Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Petit Fours and Hot Tamales Welcomes NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author Jodi Thomas

Please welcome our guest today,Jodi Thomas, a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author. A fifth generation Texan who taught family living, Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.

The stories Thomas has committed to paper have earned her an impressive list of distinguished awards. Her first book, Beneath the Texas Sky (1988), won the National Press Women’s Novel of the Year in its category. Book two, Northern Star (1990), was named best novel by the (Texas) Panhandle Professional Writers and the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc., an organization of writers’ groups from several states. Book three, The Tender Texan (1991), was Thomas’s first national bestseller and won her the first of two Romance Writers of America RITAs, the $1.5 billion romance publishing industry’s equivalent of an "Oscar." Book twelve, To Kiss a Texan (1999) was her first novel to score on the USA TODAY Best-selling Books list. For The Texan’s Wager(2002), sixteen was the magic number. As Thomas’s sixteenth novel, the book scored number sixteen on the NEW YORK TIMES extended bestseller list. Her second contemporary, Finding Mary Blaine (2004), won the National Readers’ Choice Award. The Texan’s Reward (2005) was awarded Thomas’s third RITA, allowing her to be inducted in the RWA Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2009, Jodi received the National Reader’s Choice Award for two of her books: Twisted Creek (2008) and Tall, Dark and Texan (2008).

By Jodi Thomas
Today is the release date of my 28th novel. THE LONE TEXAN. You’d think I’d be used to the thrill/worry/panic of it, but I’m not. I know RT gave it 41/2 stars and it’s brother, TALL DARK AND TEXAN won the National Readers Choice Award this summer, but there is still this little voice inside of me that always says, ‘Am I a real writer?’

Through the first books people always asked me when I was planning to give up my efforts at writing. One of my co-workers told me that I was killing myself staying up nights working at a job I’d never be paid much for.

I couldn’t explain to her how the story was there and I had to write it. Writing is like living with a waiting room in your brain. The more you write the more characters stand around waiting for you to put their story down. Sometimes they even bug you when you’re working on some other story by passing notes under the door saying, “Write me. Look what I’m going to do! Look what I’ll say! Look how I’ll fall in love.”

When I received the cover of my third book THE TENDER TEXAN, I called my editor crying. My name was on top!

I said, “Gail, this makes me feel like a real writer.”

And she said, “Jodi, you are a real writer.”

I cried the rest of the day. Someone thought I was a real writer. Man, did I have them fooled.

The first time I went to RWA, I remember seeing a RITA and saying, someday I’d like to have one of those. If I had one, then I’d be a real writer.

I have four RITA’s lining the top of my bookshelf. One put me into the Hall of Fame.

When do you become a real writer? After twenty years I’ve figured it out.

You become a real writer when you pick up the pen and begin to dream.

The story release today, has followed me for three years. I meet Drummond when he was 15 and tied in the McMurray barn when they caught him trying to steal a horse. He took one look at Sage, 18 and thinking she was all grown up, and fell in love. Through three books Drummond proved how much she meant to him again and again, but he was a kid alone, born in an outlaw camp, and she was the only girl of the McMurray clan who owned a powerful ranch.

At 23 she returns to Texas as a doctor and he’s matured into a gunfighter. Their love story is one of the most powerful stories I’ve ever written. Come alone with me and enjoy THE LONE TEXAN.

I’d love to hear from you at www.jodithomas.com


Sally Kilpatrick said...

Jodi--I love your post because I think we all question ourselves, and it makes those of us who aren't published yet feel better to know that questioning is normal. I'm looking forward to The Lone Texan, too. You had me at stealing horses and tied up in the barn. : )


Marilyn Baron said...

I love your comment, "You become a real writer when you pick up your pen and begin to dream."

Congratulations on your success and thanks for blogging with us.

Marilyn Baron

Tammy Schubert said...

Thank you for blogging with us today.

I just checked out your Web site. One of the best things you did for your readers was to provide a Word document with a list of your books broken down by series. This really helps when it is time to shop.

What is your take on the western historical romance market? I always here that it is not doing well. This is unfortunate since I have a few of these stories to write.

Once again, thanks for spending time with us today.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Welcome, Jodi! I have to say that I have a thing for cowboys. One of my favorite Western writers was Louis La'mour, who is no longer with us. Of course, he never focused on the romance, lol. But he did whet my appetite for Western settings. Can't wait to give your cowboys a ride!

Emmanuelle said...

Congrats Jodi !
I'm really looking forward to reading the Lone Texan... *sigh* exactly my kind of story ;-)

Susan May said...

Thanks for reminding us that no matter how great we get we can still doubt ourselves. Long, tall, Texans are great in books and in real life.

Maxine Davis said...

Thanks so much for stopping by PF&HT. I love your writing. I guess Twisted Creek will always be one of my favorites. Well, we'll see after The Lone Texan!

The first time I drank coffee, I wanted it black - because that's how the cowboys drank it!

Carol Burnside said...

Hmm, Texas, cowboys and romance. What's not to like?

(says this Texan)

Gotta go buy these books. How did I not know about them before now?

Dianna Love said...

Hi Jodi -

Wonderful interview and I do love your stories. We need more fun Western adventures - glad you're willing to supply them.

Congrats on your success!

CiCi Barnes said...

Hi Jodi,

I'm a huge fan of yours and can't wait to run out and get your new book, The Lone Texan. I read so much and your books are in the keeper category.

Thanks for such great reads, and thanks for stopping by PF&HT to chat.


Anna Steffl said...

Thanks for posting with -- and inspiring -- us.

Tami Brothers said...

I LOVE cowboys!!! Especially being from Wyoming. We have LOTS of cowboys there.... Man I miss that place sometimes...grin....

Thanks a ton, Jodi, for blogging with us today. This book sounds great! I can't wait to find it.

I can totally relate to the unbelievable feeling of calling myself a writer. I have to say, I honestly felt like one this weekend at M&M. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one out there with this type of fear.

Thanks for sharing with us today!


Cinthia Hamer said...

Good evening everyone! Sorry I'm late to the party (as usual!)

Jodi, thank you so much for joining us here at PF&HT. I've been a fan since reading The Tender Texan. Since I'm wild about cowboys, I'd love to see them return to popularity.

Thank you so much for sharing some of your writer's insecurities. It's so validating to see someone of your caliber saying she's had doubts as to whether she was a "real writer".


Sandy Elzie said...


Sorry to be so late...just a very busy day. Loved your comments and encouragement to us all...pubbed or soon-to-be.

I never felt like a writer until I saw my name on the cover of a book, even though in my heart I knew I was. I hope we all get a chance to see for ourselves how exciting it is to publish our 27th book (g)

Thanks for visiting.


Ana Aragón said...

Hi, Jodi,

I love Texas westerns! Two of my children were born in Texas and even though we've lived in Georgia for 12 years, they think of themselves as Texans...

Thanks for your encouraging words...I have two books with my name on them and I only have 25 to go!


Linsey Lanier said...

Hi Jodi,
I'm late, too. :) Your series about Drummond and Sage sounds spellbinding. I'll have to check it out.

Thanks for being with us and for being so open and encouraging. I think we all feel like impostors at times. Maybe that's proof. Who goes around wondering if they're a real writer, except a writer?


Cyrano said...

I'm a day late. So sorry about that.
I just read your post and was so happy to realize that even as a published author, you still question yourself.
I'm happy because I do it all the time and hearing that others do it, especially successful authors like yourself makes me believe I'm not the only one out there worrying over my work.
Thanks so much for keeping it real and I wish you the best of luck with your continued career.
Have a lovely Wednesday,

Darcy Crowder said...

Hi Jodi -

Thank you so much for taking the tine to be with us. You've got me sold...I'll be going out to The Lone Texan this week. (g) And thank you for the encouraging words. "You become a real writer when you pick up the pen and begin to dream."

Debbie Kaufman said...

Hey guys: Jodi just sent me this link to her book video
Check it out!

Carol Burnside said...

Bought The Lone Texan at Wal-Mart yesterday. Looking forward to reading it.