Interview with Author Jill Osborne

My daughter loves to read! Recently she discovered the Riley Mae series for girls by author Jill Osborne. She was so fascinated by the books that she kept asking questions about the books, the author and the stories. You can understand her excitement when the author Jill Osborne from faithgirlz sent her a message and agreed to an interview.

Interview with Author Jill Osborne

Dear Natalie,

I’m so glad to hear that you like to read! As you can tell, I like adventure. And God has allowed me to experience many real live adventures. But the cool thing about books is that you can also experience adventures through stories, and you can learn a lot about the world around you. So, keep reading! I will too. And I’ll keep writing. Right now, I’m beginning Riley Mae book 4. She’s finally going to go on a real vacation to Hawaii with her friends. But you know, not everything is going to go as planned….

Is Half-Dome a real place?

Yes! Yosemite National Park is located approximately one hour from where I live in Fresno, CA. You have to drive about two hours to get to the Yosemite Valley, where you see the famous tunnel view. Half-Dome is one of the most famous mountain peaks, and it is actually the logo of Yosemite. I hiked to the top of Half-Dome with my family in 2003. It took a total of 12 hours to get the top and back. I trained for a year before the hike in order to be strong enough in my legs and my upper body to pull myself up the cables.

Some of what I wrote in the book actually happened—my Gatorade bottle popped out of my pack and fell down, down, down! And though we started at 6:45 in the morning, when we got the top of Half-Dome, there were thunderclouds in the area, so we had to get down fast! Thankfully we didn’t get hit by lightning. And I really did have to go potty behind a rock, but I didn’t get lost like Riley did. If you go to Yosemite, Half-Dome online, you will find some more interesting facts about this amazing place. My husband and I have a year pass, and we try to go as often as possible.

What is your favorite type of adventure?

I would have to say that hiking is my favorite. I love the smell of pine trees and the sound of the needles crunching under my hiking boots. I guess it reminds me of when I was a kid in girl scouts and all the years I spent camping with my family. I’ve also done a lot of hiking in Glacier National Park in Montana, where my husband’s parents live. One time we came within 100 yards of a grizzly momma and her two cubs. It was scary, but thankfully she didn’t seem to care that we were there. I also love kayaking. My husband and I have a two-person kayak that we love taking out on peaceful lakes.


When did you write your first story? What was it?

I don’t remember!!! Isn’t that crazy? I know I wrote lots of them, and I also wrote plays that my sisters and I would perform for anyone who wanted to watch. If you write things, make sure you save them! (It’s a little easier now with computers. We didn’t have them back when I was a kid.)

Where do you like to write?

My favorite place to write would be either outside near a lake or river, or in a bright room that looks outside. My office is actually an upstairs bedroom that looks out in the middle of a large tree. It’s fun to watch the birds fly in and out of it. I don’t write so well when there’s noise. I try to go to Starbucks once in awhile, but there’s too much conversation going on around me to concentrate. And they really blast the jazz music sometimes!

When did you discover Riley Mae’s character? Is she based on a real person?

My oldest granddaughter’s name is Riley Mae, and I began writing the Riley Mae books when she was one year old. So the character isn’t actually based on her. Riley Mae, the character, is more like a cross between my daughter and me. My daughter, Jen, was a softball player all through her childhood and high school years. But Jen never liked the color pink! I’m the pink lover. (It’s my second favorite color behind turquoise). And Riley Mae’s personality is a lot like mine, so it makes it easy for me to know how she would respond to different situations. I like to think I’m a little wiser than Riley Mae, though, since I’m a lot older. And I definitely like shoes!


What were your favorite hobbies when you were a kid? Do you still enjoy those same things now?

Of course, I loved to READ! I never went anywhere without a book. And I loved to ride my bike, swim, listen to music, and play with my friends. I learned how to play the guitar when I was 12. And yes, I still love all those things. I added running to my list a few years ago, and my daughter and I run half-marathons together a couple of times a year. It’s not easy, but it’s a fun challenge for me.

Thanks, Jill, for taking the time to respond to my daughter’s questions and give her such great answers. She read your email several times and couldn’t wait till Dad got home to share them with him! We both look forward to book 3 and 4!

Have you read either of these books? What are you waiting for? They’re awesome! (and that comes on the authority of a 3rd-grade fan!)

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