Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth Jacobson to the blog today to chat about her debut novel, Not By Sight, which is a double semifinalist for this week’s Carol Awards – in the debut & historical categories!
Elizabeth Jacobson is a middle-school math teacher in sunny California who loves the Bible, fantasy, and science fiction. She got bit by the writing bug at age thirteen and has been frantically putting words on pages ever since. Her goal in writing is to share with the world the most important message anyone can express: the Love of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Not by Sight: A novel of the Patriarchs is her first novel. You can connect with Elizabeth on her website.
NOT BY SIGHT: A Novel of the Patriarchs by Elizabeth Jacobson
GENRE: Historical/Biblical Fiction (Christian)
PUBLISHER: WordCrafts Press
RELEASE DATE: March 16, 2022
Beloved. Betrayed. Despised. Exalted.
What could make a man turn to God when every event in his life screams that God has turned his back on him?
Joseph, the eleventh son of the patriarch Jacob, had his father’s favor, and that was his downfall. Sold into Egypt by his enraged and jealous brothers, Joseph is left with nothing to cling to except the stories of his father’s God, a seemingly remote and unreachable figure. Faith may prove futile, but Joseph is desperate – for the very hate that enslaved his brothers has begun to overtake him.
Hi Elizabeth! Welcome to the blog!
Elizabeth: Summer for sure. I love the long daylight hours.
Carrie: I am the exact opposite, aka a mole lol
Elizabeth: Ha, funny story! I never had pets growing up, but I thought I was a dog person. Then I got a lovely British Shorthair cat a year ago. Now I am a cat person for sure!
Carrie: aww that’s sweet!
Elizabeth: Music! I took piano lessons for many years and I find that music really inspires my imagination and writing. Listening to music while walking is actually one of my tricks for getting over writer’s block.
Carrie: I always wanted to learn to play the piano ♥
Elizabeth: Oh my goodness, print for sure. I like being able to easily flip backward to remind myself of something I read earlier. Or – shh! – flip ahead. (Yes, I am ashamed.)
Carrie: haha your secret is safe with me 😉
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Elizabeth: I always thought it would be so fun to be able to teleport. Imagine how much time you would save! Haha.
Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Elizabeth: I loved Nancy Drew growing up. (The old ones with the yellow covers, not the new stuff!) I loved how smart and confident she was, and how she always surprised other characters with her intelligence and drive. The books would often note other characters’ thoughts: “This pretty young woman can’t possibly be a detective!” It taught me that girls and women can be anything they want to be, and that they don’t need to hide their smarts or confidence.
Carrie: the yellow-covers Nancy Drew was my childhood fave too – and what a great lesson to learn!
Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Elizabeth: “She’s insane. She wants us to suffer. But then somehow – usually – it all works out better than I expected. But if you ask me, I think there’s an easier way to accomplish all this!”
Carrie: LOL sounds about right 🙂
Q: Which character in Not By Sight was the most difficult to write?
Elizabeth: Asenath was pretty difficult for me to write. I wanted her to have agency and drive of her own, and an intelligence to match Joseph’s, but the story is so focused on Joseph’s journey of faith and is restricted to his point of view. So I was somewhat limited in what I could do for her. I chose to give her an insightful mind that comes out in conversation, and a burgeoning love of horses that could be worked into the story. I have heard from readers who loved her, and I am so very glad to hear that!
Carrie: i bet that is rewarding to know your hard work paid off!
Q: Some authors like to hide little things in their stories. Is there anything you have hidden in Not By Sight?
Elizabeth: Yes! Haha. There’s three “Easter eggs” in the book, connected to each of the three “Joseph” productions I have watched. There’s a nod to the cartoon movie Joseph: King of Dreams, the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and the Brazilian TV Series José do Egito (Joseph of Egypt).
Carrie: oh that’s fun!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Not By Sight?
Elizabeth: One of the most important things God laid on my heart while I was writing Not by Sight is the idea of the imperfection of faith. We tend to view Joseph as that guy on the flannelgraph who just forgives everyone and trusts God no matter what, but that’s deeply unrealistic. It’s not human. And it’s not right to imagine Biblical people as anything other than human. They were just like us. (Except Jesus of course – fully God and fully man!) They are there to serve as examples, yes, but those who are there as good examples stumbled as much as we do, and accomplished what they did through the grace of God. So, in writing Not by Sight, I wanted to show Joseph as human. Human in his failings and struggles, but at the same time desperately clinging to a belief in God. That’s real faith – one that is tested and even battered by circumstance. One in which the person makes mistakes. But also one in which that person clings to God despite everything.
Carrie: amen! So thankful for that truth. (And bonus points for bringing in flannelgraphs!!)
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Elizabeth: Thank you so much for having me! It’s been so fun!
Not by Sight is currently a double seminfinalist in the Carol Awards in the debut and historical categories! I am so honored and still a little stunned. I can’t wait to see what happens! Soli Deo gloria.
My current work in progress is a trilogy called Over Stars. I like to call it “fantasy with a sci-fi twist”. I’m working in Christian themes as well. The story centers around a kingdom at war that becomes threatened by an outside force. Racial divisions in the kingdom run high, but those divisions must be overcome in the face of treason, trust, and an incredible secret.
Elizabeth Jacobson is offering an ebook copy of Not By Sight to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics. US winner may be eligible for print copy if so desired.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Not By Sight by Elizabeth Jacobson?