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Archive for November 3rd, 2010

In the two years since she claimed Harmony, Texas, as her home, eighteen-year-old Reagan Truman has found herself drawn to others who have made their way there, too. Gabe Leary, for instance, whose plan to hide out in Harmony is dashed when he becomes the town hero. Then there’s Liz Matheson: Vulnerable and fresh out of law school, Liz has never been needed by anyone until an unsettling encounter with Gabe changes everything. And there’s Liz’s brother, volunteer fire chief Hank Matheson, who’s starting to wonder where the town’s sheriff, Alex McAllen, will ever set the date to marry him.

As for Reagan, who’s been shaped by the loneliness she’s know most of her life, she’s finally found a place she belongs and doesn’t want anything to get in her way. But when her life is put in jeopardy and the whole town comes together to save her, she’ll discover that trusting the love that’s come into our hearts is the greatest gift of all.

~~~*~~~*~~~

Hello from Texas.  I’m happy to stop by and visit with everyone this morning.  After twenty years as a writer, this is my 30th novel and what I believe shows my best writing.  A few years ago I began a series about a small town I set in Texas.  Harmony is the kind of place we all think would be a nice place to live.
The people of Harmony will warm your heart and I hope they’ll be so real you send them a Christmas card. J
The characters in SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY are well rounded with problems, joys, talents and families.  Sometimes I think it would be easy to write a hero who is the strong, silent type who has no family or friends to get in the way of his mission, but in my books, as in real like, my people have to deal with others.
I love writing this way because it adds lots of humor in the stories.
From my first stories I’ve always loved writing about how characters influence one another’s lives.  Just as everyone you meet changes you, everyone in Harmony shifts your view of the world.
THE INTERVIEW

NT: Hi Jodi! Thank you for being my guest today. I’ve been a huge fan for years. I remember my first JT book, it was THE TEXAN & THE LADY and once I finished it, I went to the bookstore looking for anything else I could find by you. 🙂

Jodi: Thank you so much.  I’m glad to find someone who has been with me over the years.

NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?

Jodi: I’ve always told myself stories but I thought I’d have to be able to spell to be a writer.  I finally gave it a try when my kids were little and I was going crazy waving Bye-bye to the mailman.  It took me about five or six years.  I kind of drifted into writing.

NT: You have a new release this month, sequel to WELCOME TO HARMONY. Can you tell us about SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY?

Jodi: SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY is set in Harmony with the same characters everyone loved in WELCOME TO HARMONY plus a few more I think you are really going to like.  I feel it’s my strongest book yet and I had great fun writing it.

NT: What inspired the idea for this story?

Jodi: I think the idea that we often fear people we don’t know.  Reagan is afraid of Gabe but when she gets to know him she finds out he’s her guardian angel.

NT: Which do you find easiest to write — your contemporaries or your historicals?

Jodi: I like them both.  When I’m finished with one I’m ready to move into the world of the other.

NT: Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?

Jodi: I’m Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University so I spend my mornings at the University talking to students who want to write.  Then in the afternoons I do mostly the business of writing.  After I make it home and eat dinner with my husband, I usually climb the stairs to my writing room.  It has windows on three sides and I feel like I’m up in the trees.  I usually write from 8 to midnight.  If I don’t have a talk or signing I stay in my pj’s on Sat and write all day.

NT: Is there anyone you use as a sounding board when you’re stuck on a scene?

Jodi: I have a friend DeWanna Pace.  I met her in my first writing class.  She reads everything I write before I send it in.  If I’m having problems I give her a call and we go for a hamburger at a little place on Route 66 called Barnaby’s Beenary.  She always knows just the right questions to ask to get me through the problem.

NT: What was the most interesting thing you had to research and what was the hardest thing to research?

Jodi: I love research from the history of the Harvey Houses, to WWI pilots, to the rodeo, to tornadoes.  If I’m not interested in something I don’t do research on it and don’t put it in a book.  Sometimes the hardest to research is when one of my characters is injured.

NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing *G*)

Jodi: I love traveling.  Of course I love the places, but sometimes the joy of it is the getting there.  Last year we drove from Amarillo to Scottsdale AZ.  I think I saw the most beautiful sunset in the world that day and it seemed to last forever.

NT: Any advice to aspiring authors? What craft books helped you that you would recommend to aspiring writers?

Jodi: First read what you love.  Books have a rhythm and the more you read the easier it is to hear in your own work.

NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now? Will there be more stories set in Harmony? 🙂

Jodi: I’m finishing up Harmony 3.  It will be out next year.  Also another Whispering Mountain—TEXAS BLUE  will be out in April of ‘11.  I’l also have a short story GIVE ME AN OUTLAW.  Next year is a crazy year.  I’ll have some of my older books being re-released.  Can’t wait to see THE TENDER TEXAN with a new look.  I loved that book.

NT: As a huge historical fan, will we see more historicals from you?

Jodi: Always!  In fact there is a new one dancing in my head right now screaming to take off and run.

NT: If someone has not read any of your books, either your contemporaries or historicals, which would be the one you’d recommend they try first?

Jodi: In the historical:  TEXAS RAIN, or THE TEXAN’S TOUCH.  In the contemps:  WELCOME TO HARMONY or TWISTED CREEK.  These books will give the a first look at what I write and they are all in print.

NT: How can readers contact you?

Jodi: Drop by jodithomas.com and leave a note.

NT: Thank you so much for blogging with us here at Novel Thoughts!

Jodi: You are welcome.  Thanks for coming along with me into fiction.

A big thank you to Jodi for joining us today! For a chance to win SOMEWHERE ALONG THE WAY, just leave a comment below.

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