Tuesday, October 6, 2009
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