Elizabeth Jacobson: Author Interview

Elizabeth Jacobson is the author of Not By Sight which is currently a double Semi-Finalist for 2023 Carol Award. I absolutely loved reading the biblical fiction novel Not By Sight (find my full review here), and I’m grateful for the opportunity to interview Elizabeth today to learn more about her!

In addition to being an author, Elizabeth is a middle school mathematics intervention teacher in California. Self-described as both analytical and creative as well as kind, Elizabeth enjoys drawing and watching videos in her spare time. She also enjoys researching linguistics, history, and geography. Fun fact: Elizabeth loves going to escape rooms. Let’s welcome Elizabeth Jacobson now!

Author headshot of Elizabeth Jacobson (photo submitted by Elizabeth).

Welcome, Elizabeth Jacobson!

Q) To start our time together, please describe your writing in 5 words. 

A) Character-focused, researched, human, God-honoring, uplifting

Q) If you had a theme song for your life, what would it be and why?

A) Oh goodness, I can’t possibly pick! Right now, I do really love Dead Man Walking by Jeremy Camp. It really speaks to the journey that God has brought me on in working to overcome anxiety.

Elizabeth’s Writing

Not By Sight

Q) Can you tell us about your works currently available to readers?

A) Yes! Not by Sight: a novel of the patriarchs is a retelling of the Joseph story in the Biblical book of Genesis. It focuses more on his remarkable inward journey of faith, rather than his outward journey that we all know. It is currently a double Carol Award semifinalist in the Debut Novel and Historical categories, and I am so honored!

Q) So, what was the inspiration behind Not By Sight?

A) I’ve always loved the Joseph narrative in the Bible. One of the things that draws me to writing speculative fiction is the opportunity to see characters react and grow in extreme situations. I love the drama. It’s the only part of my life where I thrive on drama, lol. The Joseph narrative is 100% historical, and yet the “drama” is extraordinarily high.

Besides that, though, the Joseph narrative is a lesson in faith, and I really love that. I loved tackling Joseph’s journey and seeing how he grows in his faith over time, despite being separated from his father, the only one who could really teach him about God, and despite being in such horrible circumstances. It’s not a natural thing for a human to do in such a situation, at all.

It was a wonderful challenge trying to figure out how Joseph would grow in his faith – would choose to grow in his faith – naturally. I think it’s all too easy, since Joseph is a Type of Christ, to just assume that he was mostly perfect or something, somehow. But that’s not true. It can’t be true – he was human, just like the rest of us. But he looked horrible situations in the eye, and despite that, chose to trust God.

Other Projects

Q) What are you currently working on?

A) I’m currently working on a fantasy trilogy called Over Stars. Books 1 and 2 are drafted, and draft one of Book 3 will be happening soon! I hope to start hyping the release of Book 1 sometime in 2024. I also have some art commissioned that I am super excited about!

Q) Can you tell us more about the trilogy?

A) Over Stars is my “baby”, haha. It is the first story that I ever began writing on my own, and I’ve been working on it on and off for over 15 years! However, I only began drafting in earnest a few years back. I like to call it “fantasy with a sci-fi twist.” The story centers around a kingdom at war that becomes threatened by an outside force. Racial divisions within the kingdom run high, but those divisions must be overcome in the face of treason, trust, and an incredible secret.

Faith and Writing

Q) Who will enjoy your books?

A) Adults will enjoy my books, but I think teens can too. I write “clean”, though dark topics may be discussed, such as in the Joseph narrative when he is accused of r*pe. When it comes to Not by Sight, I believe that the decision is up to the parent. That said, there is nothing of that sort in Not by Sight that is not also in the Bible. And I think teens can definitely enjoy my fantasy series, Over Stars!

Q) How does your faith intersect with your writing?

A) Oh gosh. An easier question might be “How does it not intersect?”! My faith in God is woven into my very soul. My writing comes from my soul. My faith is very, very ingrained into the way that I write. That said, messages of faith may be stronger or more subtle, depending on the book that I am writing.

Q) What is your favorite Bible verse?

A) I love Hebrews 12:1-3. It acknowledges that life is a race that requires endurance, but reminds us that Jesus is with us and ran that race, too. He understands!

More About Elizabeth Jacobson

Q) What was your most recent 5-star read and why?

A) I can’t actually say the name! I recently beta read for a friend. Her book blew me away, and it’s not even done yet! I loved her incorporation of faith and family.

Q) Do you incorporate similar themes or favorite tropes across your writing? 

A) The themes in my books always tend to cycle back to two things: God and family. Family can be the source of a person’s great joys but also deep heartaches. There is a lot to unpack when it comes to family. God, on the other hand, is that one constant that humans are so desperately searching for.

Q) Speaking of tropes, what is your favorite bookish trope? On the other hand, what about your least favorite?

A) I love Chosen Ones. Yes, I am covering my face right now. I can’t help it! Of course, I prefer it if they’re done in a new and fresh way, but there you go! I can’t help but love them. As for least favorite tropes, I really hate killing a female character to motivate a male, a character being r*ped as a motivator for personal growth, and toxic relationships. Ugh.

Q) If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

A) I think it would have to be the UK. I love the history there, and my three favorite authors (Tolkien, Lewis, and Austen) are from there as well!


Q) If you could give your younger self any advice, in terms of writing or something else, what would it be? 

A) You have a lot to learn, you always will. But you are more capable than you think you are. Trust God, and He will show you the paths that He has made you for.

Q) In conclusion, what advice can you share with other authors? My advice would be to focus on character when you write! Worldbuilding is amazing and “fun” (I say “fun” through gritted teeth, because it is like molasses in January when I am coming up with worldbuilding ideas, hah), plot is amazing and fun, perfecting prose is amazing and fun. But my hot take is that all of this pales in comparison to character. Readers don’t relate to worldbuilding, plot, or prose. They relate to people. This is the power of character. When your characters are dynamic, it can compensate for all sorts of other flaws in a story. Of course, we want to smooth out as many flaws as possible, but character is the most important thing to get right!

Not By Sight promotional graphic.

Connect with Elizabeth!

Connect with Elizabeth through website, Facebook, and Instagram. And get your very own copy of Not By Sight and request at your local library!

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Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

2 thoughts on “Elizabeth Jacobson: Author Interview

  1. Loved the review. I played Dead Man Walking while reading the the review. It was uplifting. Thank you Kayla for the inspiration you give by showing us a part of a writer drive to write

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