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Jodi Thomas

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About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas is a fifth-generation Texan who sets many of her stories in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. She is a certified marriage and family counselor, a Texas Tech graduate and writer-in-residence at West Texas A&M University. She lives with her husband in Amarillo, Texas.

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Author Essay

You’re a fifth generation Texan, and your books take place in your home state. What are a Texan’s defining characteristics?

Texans, like most people, have a true pride in their state. For the most part Texas was founded by fighters and dreamers. Texas was a nation before it became a state, so maybe that explains why even when Texans travel abroad, if you ask where they’re from they say Texas.

Many of your books take place in late 1800s in Texas. What drew you to this particular period? Why are cowboys and frontiersmen so alluring?

I picked this time period because it took strong people to survive in early Texas. I also grew up with stories of those times. My grandmother was born in a covered wagon. I can walk the land where my great-grandparents, on my father’s side, built a dugout.

The three brothers in my book believe in doing what is right and they believe in family.

How does your work in Family Studies inform the relationships you create in your books? Do you draw inspiration from relationships in your life to create the relationships in your novels?

I think I was interested in Family Studies in college because I wanted to understand how people relate to one another. When I write I want to create characters that walk off the pages. I don’t see myself as writing history or characters. I’m writing people, real feeling, loving, hurting, surviving people. I just happen to set them in the past.

What did being inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame mean to you?

Being inducted into RWA Hall of Fame was a lifetime goal come true. I went to my first writers conference in 1987 and, even though I hadn’t sold a book, I begin to dream and work toward the goal of someday getting to step on that stage.

What can your readers expect from your new Whispering Mountain series?

I believe the Whispering Mountain series is the best writing I’ve ever done. From the time the brothers walked off the outline, I knew I’d love writing all the books. Each one is different, just as each McMurray is. With these books the back story is rich in Texas history and with a touch of magic in their belief in the power of Whispering Mountain.

I’m still riding the range as my ancestors did, I’m just doing it in front of a computer.

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