Friday, April 29, 2016

LONE HEART PASS By New York Times Bestselling Author Jodi Thomas

By New York Times Bestselling Author
Jodi Thomas
With a career and a relationship in ruins, Jubilee Hamilton is left reeling from a fast fall to the bottom. The run-down Texas farm she's inherited is a far cry from the second chance she hoped for, but it and the abrasive foreman she's forced to hire are all she's got. 
Every time Charley Collins has let a woman get close, he's been burned. So Lone Heart ranch and the contrary woman who owns it are merely a means to an end, until Jubilee tempts him to take another risk—to stop resisting the attraction drawing them together despite all his hard-learned logic. 
Desperation is all young Thatcher Jones knows. And when he finds himself mixed up in a murder investigation, his only protection is the shelter of a man and woman who—just like him—need someone to trust.

A fifth-generation Texan, JODI THOMAS sets the majority of her novels in her home state. Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, with a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A & M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence. When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, Tom, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo, and "checking up" on their two grown sons.

By Jodi Thomas
HQN Books; April 26, 2016
$7.99; 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-78921-4


What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your genre that isn’t so?

I’ve won four RITA’s for best in my genre at RWA.  People think I know some kind of secret, but I don’t.  I just write a book that I’d like to read and I’m lucky that others enjoy it.

I think some people think to write a novel that you have to have billionaires and perfect characters.  I’ve always thought those of us who are not perfect can fall in love just as deeply.

What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your genre that they need to know?

That an original plot that captures the reader’s heart will always be the book that stays on the reader’s shelf to read again.

What are some of the day jobs you have held?

I worked my way through college checking groceries and working in the library.  I’ve taught school, done rape crisis counseling, run a museum gift shop.  When I was growing up my parents ran a small hotel and I worked there weekends and holidays from school.

Are you a full time or part time writer? How does that affect your writing?

I learned years ago that I need interaction with people to write, so most of my writing life I’ve had some kind of part-time job.  For the past 12 years I’ve served as Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in a small town about 20 miles from my home.  Three or four days a week I go to the office.  When I started I had to define my job.  So, I keep about 6 hours a week of ‘open office time’ so students or people in the community can come up.  I also take a couple of interns each semester.

I think this keeps me up on the markets and helps writers starting out.

How do you feel about e books vs print books and alternative vs conventional publishing?

The up side is so many books are getting out there.  The down side, as I see it, is that many writers are jumping into the game before they are ready.  Their writing isn’t polished enough or they haven’t taken the time to learn the markets in alternative publishing.  So they get frustrated and quit. The great writer that might have been stops or worse stops growing.

I think the solution is, no matter which way you go in publishing, learn your market and step in as a professional.  I believe in this so strongly that I volunteer a week of my time in June at the WTAMU Writing Academy.  Hundreds of books, both alternative and conventional, have been published by our students.

How do you make time to write?

I love writing but some days it’s late before I climb the stairs to my office.  I sometimes think being tired is for me like whiskey was for Hemingway.  I step into the story and the midnight hours pass lost in my story.  I rarely turn my computer on before noon.  I started writing after I put my kids to sleep.  They’re grown but my most creative time is in moonlight.

What projects are you working on at present?

I’m working on my next RANSOM CANYON story, no. 5,  It often takes me a month to write the first few chapters and then I fly.  I think it’s all about getting to know my characters.

On one board in my study is the next series.  Note cards of all colors fill the space.  Starting a series is a very messy process.

Why did you choose to write in your genre?

That’s an easy one.  I write what I love to read.
I picked Texas as my background because I know the people.  Texas if full of wild, loving, interesting, crazy folks and some days I think about a third of them are related to me.

Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your writing? What impact did they have on your writing?

I never like to answer this because the list is so long and just around the corner will be a new author that will be my favorite.
Two authors who influenced my writing are Debbie Macomber and Robyn Carr.  Debbie, who has written so many wonderful books, said she loved mine and that went a long way in helping me believe in myself.  Robyn interviewed my in Vegas and said, “write a series, Jodi!  No one wants your stories to end with one book.”  So I did.

Is there a particular book you really struggled with?

Some are hard births, some are easy, but in the end, when I send them off, I love them all.

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