Inspirations and Influences

Guest Author and Giveaway: Jodi Thomas on Inspiration and Influences

Welcome to the first official “Inspirations and Influences” post, a brand new feature in which we invite authors to write guest posts talking about their …..well, Inspirations and Influences. The cool thing is that the writers are given free reign so they can go wild and write anything they want. It can be about their new book, series or about their career as a whole. Anything goes. The idea was born when Meljean Brook wrote the Most Awesome Ever guest post at the time that Demon Bound was released last year. We plan to have at least one (but hopefully more) of these each month and we already have a pretty cool line-up.

To kick-start the series, we invited prolific romance writer Jodi Thomas. With more than 28 books written and quite a few RITA awards , Jodi has been inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame in 2006. If you want to learn more about the writer and read reviews of her books, check out The Book Binge’s Jodi Thomas Week that took place last year.

Her newest mainstream fiction book, Rewriting Monday (reviewed here by Ana) will be released on April 7th.

Without further ado, Jodi Thomas on her inspiration and influences:

In a week, my twenty-eighth book will be released, REWRITING MONDAY, and I still have trouble believing I’m a writer sometimes. I spent years as a closet writer, telling few people, because when I did, they’d ask what I sold and I’d have to say ‘nothing yet’. A writer becomes a writer long before she or he sells. I think sometimes even before they jot down Chapter 1 they are collecting ideas, tiny scraps of paper cluttered into the mind.

One of those scraps was a line I heard a woman say once about how everyone over the age of ten wishes they could go back and rewrite one minute of their life. From that line a story began to form. A story of a woman who’d made a mistake and lost all she thought important to her and a man who’d ‘done the right’ thing for everyone else but never been brave enough to fight for what he might want. In the end, they find that what’s important, what matters, lies within them and has all along.

I also wanted to write a view of a small town in REWRITING MONDAY. I know I must have lived the other fifty weeks of the year when I was a child, but my memories are most clear of the two weeks I spent each summer in Hollis , Oklahoma , with my Aunt Dixie and Uncle Leroy. My aunt was the perfect small town lady and my uncle owned a little trucking company that hauled cattle and every relative in our family who moved. With five sets of aunts and uncles in town, I pretty much had the run of the place. I felt like I knew everywhere and everyone in town. My uncle always had a horse saddled and waiting in the back yard for me and at ten, I rode over to the rodeo grounds each night. Those memories of the people, the places, the way of life came forward in my mind as I wrote REWRITING MONDAY.

You asked who influenced and inspired me. The first person on my list would have to be my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Dickerson. She saw a little girl in her class who couldn’t read and recognized a reading problem even before they had names for them. Thanks to her, I got to go to a school one summer and learned to read. Sometimes I think my not being able to read at a young age may have helped in a strange way. I spent lots of time daydreaming. While I was making up stories in my head, my teachers were often saying ‘pay attention’. I wish I could go back and tell them I wasn’t wasting time, I was busy planning my career.

So now, after twenty years of watching my stories hit the stands, how do I feel about it? In truth, I don’t concentrate on the books that are published, it’s the ones in my head keeping me busy. I’ve another twenty or thirty stories to write. As I’ve done all my life, I live with a story whispering though my mind all the time. I work out conversations and plots as I drive along through my day and at the end of each day, I do what I’ve always done, I tell myself a story and go to sleep.


Thank you, Jodi. That was really interesting.

Now, for the giveaway.

Jodi Thomas is generously offering a signed copy of Rewriting Monday and a tote bag to one lucky winner who leaves a comment on this post. Contest is open to all and will run till Saturday midnight Pacific Time. The winner will be randomly picked by Random.Org and announced in our stash on Sunday. Good luck!

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  • canochinha
    April 3, 2009 at 3:51 am

    I’ve only read “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult, but I loved it and I would love to get the chance to read this one.


  • Virginia Hendricks
    April 3, 2009 at 3:51 am

    I normally read paranormal, but this might be a book that gets me into another genre every now and again! Sounds great!

  • KMont
    April 3, 2009 at 4:04 am

    That was a wonderful post, Ms. Thomas and Smugglers! I love hearing from authors what inspired them and how they came to be a writer. Good stuff!

  • Samantha
    April 3, 2009 at 4:16 am

    Thanks for the post! I agree about the events that stand out in childhood, and that even one kindness, in hindsight can make all the difference. 🙂

  • carolyn jean
    April 3, 2009 at 5:02 am

    What a great new feature! I love it. And that’s really interesting to hear the comment that sparked this book.

  • Lusty Reader
    April 3, 2009 at 5:18 am

    While I haven’t read anything by Ms. Thomas yet, I loved your review yesterday and found out that my library has her book Texas Rain on the shelf, which I now have on hold 😉

  • Maureen
    April 3, 2009 at 7:05 am

    Hi Jodi,
    That was a wonderful post and I know from dealing with my own children that when children are struggling with reading a teacher can either be tremendously helpful or make the child miserable.

  • Ruth
    April 3, 2009 at 7:09 am

    I loved Twisted Creek so I appreciate a shot at your new book.

  • Tiah
    April 3, 2009 at 7:37 am

    Great post!

    “I’ve another twenty or thirty stories to write.” That’s amazing, you are very creative.

  • cheryl c.
    April 3, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Congrats, Jodi, on 28 books!! I have read a few of your historicals-Tall, Dark, and Texan being my favorite. 🙂

    I am looking forward to reading a contemporary of yours. Rewriting Monday sounds like a rich, delightful read.

  • Tracy
    April 3, 2009 at 8:08 am

    What a wonderful post, thank you. I especially liked hearing about your visits to OK when you were a kid – it reminds me of my visits to my grandparents in Iowa. While my siblings and I never had the kind of freedom you had they are still some of my fondest memories.

  • Zee
    April 3, 2009 at 8:36 am

    I loved this post – I, too, enjoyed summers in a small Texas town with my grandparents and loved my fourth grade teacher. I haven’t read your books yet, but now am eager to do so.

  • Matches Malone
    April 3, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Ok, leave a comment, enter the contest, what could be simpler? Great stuff. Need to find my own inspiration soon…. Thanks!!!

  • azteclady
    April 3, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Welcome, Ms Thomas!

    Mrs Dickerson sounds like a true teacher and how lucky indeed you were to have her. So many kids aren’t as fortunate.

    I am looking forward to Rewriting Mondays–best of luck with the release!

  • Jessica Kennedy
    April 3, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Great post! And I love the title of this book. 🙂

  • Renee
    April 3, 2009 at 9:18 am

    Jodi Thomas is new to me, but I’m playing blog catch up today and just read the exerpt in yesterday’s review. I love me a beta hero, and that conversation between the h/h was great!

    I also loved reading about her small town memories. 🙂

  • Teresa W.
    April 3, 2009 at 10:21 am

    This would be a new author for me, count me in!

  • Eva S
    April 3, 2009 at 10:46 am

    I’ve read some of your historicals and would love to read this book!

  • willaful
    April 3, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I have a few things I’d like to tell some of my old teachers, too. :-\ Living well is the best revenge, right? Not to mention getting published. 🙂

  • CrystalGB
    April 3, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Hi Jodi. Great post. I love your books. 🙂

  • I heart book gossip
    April 3, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Cool post, count me in.

  • MJ
    April 3, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I’d love it!!!

  • Tiffany M.
    April 3, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Congrats on your 28th book! Wow.

    I like this new feature. 🙂

  • Meanne
    April 3, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    I absolutely adored Twisted Creek and would love to win a signed copy of Rewriting Monday..If I don’t win, I’ll definitely buy it in ebook form.

    Jodi Thomas’s books are wonderful! It was lovely to read about her inspirations and influences..

  • Nicole D
    April 3, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Great post! I look forward to reading your work!

  • Maya M.
    April 3, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    I have a little boy who’s struggling in school now. It helps to try and think of the big picture in future, rather than focusing too closely on difficulties right now.

    And: I’ve always loved friends-to-lovers stories. That’s how it worked for me!

  • Bridget Locke
    April 3, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Whoo! I love the sound of this book. Sometimes in-your-face sex just isn’t necessary. 🙂

    Thanks for adding me to your sidebar, ladies! I now feel like I belong! LOL!

  • orannia
    April 3, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Thank you Ms Thomas (and Smugglers). *SIGH* It’s so nice to hear about the inspiration behind the stories 🙂

  • kelly mann
    April 4, 2009 at 7:11 am

    can’t wait on this one to come out. I love all of jodi’s books.

  • Kammie
    April 4, 2009 at 7:26 am

    I enjoyed reading your interview and learning a bit of the “behind the scenes” on your latest release. Adding Rewriting Mondays to my wish list. I love stories set in small towns.

  • Mad
    April 4, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Please count me in. I love Jodi’s books! 🙂

  • Stacie V
    April 4, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Thanks for the chance!

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