Hi, Everyone! My name is Jill Osborne, and I love great stories. I’ve been reading and writing them as long as I can remember. I’ve also been living the best story ever, because it’s the one that our creative God planned just for me. Each chapter of my story has included a loving family, amazing friends, crazy adventure, and lately, authoring books for pre-teens! I guess that makes sense, since I’ve been working in children’s and youth ministry for almost thirty years, and kids inspire me with their unlimited potential to make a positive difference in our world.
When I am out and about meeting kids, speaking, talking and sharing about Riley Mae and the Good News Shoes, I am often asked questions about who I am. So here are some answers to everything (and more) that you have ever wanted to know about Jill Osborne!
Are you married? Do you have kids?
Yes, I’m married. Mike’s my adventure buddy for life. We have two grown children, a daughter, and a son. Both are married, and have kids, which means I’m a grandma to three amazing girls, ages 13, 11, and six.
What kind of jobs have you had?
I’ve been a teller at a bank, a classroom aid, a computer lab teacher at an elementary school, a mail sorter at the post office, a library assistant, an after-school study center supervisor, a sales associate at a large department store, and a children’s pastor. I’m a writer too—but you already know that.
What is your favorite job?
Besides being a writer (which is the ultimate best), I also worked as a gift store clerk at Six Flags Magic Mountain when I was a teenager. That was fun because when we weren’t working our shift we got to hang out with our friends in the park for free and ride all the rides. I’d say this was my best job because that’s where I met my husband! He was an expert at playing all the carnival games, and he won me dozens of huge stuffed animals.
Have you always been a writer?
Yes. I’ve written plays, skits, tributes for people and special occasions, articles for my high school yearbook and local paper … the list goes on. Basically, if something needed to be written—a lesson, a speech, a video script, whatever—I always offered to be the writer. I started writing books for publication in 2008 and haven’t stopped. I love it!
What are your hobbies?
My main hobbies are reading, writing, hiking, and running. Running surprised me because I used to hate it! But one day I decided I needed a fitness challenge, so I bought the cushiest running shoes I could find and jogged for thirty seconds, during which time I thought I would die. I’m happy to say that I stuck with it, and now I get to run 10K races and half-marathons with my daughter from time-to-time. During my training runs, I enjoy lots of prayer time, and that’s also when I come up with plot ideas for my books.
I love the outdoors. I like to hike, swim, kayak, water-ski, play golf, camp, and just sit outside. My favorite places to be include rivers, lakes, pine trees and mountains. The three most adventurous things I have ever done are to climb to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite, go on a Class IV whitewater rafting trip, and take an 11-mile hike past a grizzly momma and her cubs on the Glacier National Park Highline trail.
I also love to travel! Some of my favorite trips lately have been to New York City, India (where I got to ride a camel and meet some of the nicest kids around), and Israel. I think I had goosebumps the entire time I was in Israel. I just kept thinking, “Jesus lived here!” Awesome. My favorite thing was singing praises to God while on a boat on the Sea of Galilee—the place where Jesus walked on water and calmed the storm. Wow.
What do you think about housework?
While I love a clean house, I would rather go for a walk than do laundry or dust. I would love to cook if I could be like those cooking show hosts who have all the recipe ingredients bought, cleaned, and chopped up for them in little bowls. And someone else cleans up the kitchen afterwards.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is a big, chocolate brownie (or anything chocolate, really). My favorite food to eat while writing is peanut M&M’s. I eat one for every page that I write. Well, maybe I eat more than that. Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of popcorn when I write, since I’ve been writing a lot, and no one should eat that many M&Ms!
Why do you love working with kids?
I love working with kids because kids never take themselves too seriously. They are eager to try new things, and they learn so fast. I’m amazed at their ability to think super deep one minute and then be incredibly silly the next. They also naturally understand the depth of God’s love for them, which makes them so willing and able to love Him back. It’s no wonder that Jesus said that we must become like little children if we are to inherit the Kingdom of God.
What else do you want to know? I love getting to know you! Just leave a comment or send me an email!