Jodi Thomas: The Power of Friendship

We’re so excited to have Jodi Thomas back to visit. We’re not sure what book this makes her but it’s over 50. Miss Jodi always has something interesting to talk about and this is no exception. We think you’ll enjoy it–and her giveaway at the end of the post. So make her welcome.

When I began writing THE LITTLE TEA SHOP ON MAIN, two stories came at once.

First, I wanted to write a story about a man who loved three women. One was his best friend, one his neighbor who needed a hero to turn to as they grew up, and the last was the love of his life even if she didn’t always agree with his plan. Readers will love Jack as he slowly figures out that the girls don’t belong to him; he belongs to them.

The second theme I wanted to write about was the power of friendship. My three little princesses grow to be close friends and maintain that friendship all their lives.

 

The number of close friendships between writers is peppered through history. It has been my experience with writers who become my friends that knowing each other makes us both stronger. We learn from one another, push each other and sometimes even compete.

In my first writing class, I heard Dee Pace read and I said I’d love to be able to write that good. When the class was over everyone agreed to keep meeting at the library. The next week, she and I were the only two who showed up. We began helping each other. Learning how to write. Learning the market. Entering contests.

Dee said once that when I won, she felt she’d won too. I realized I felt the same way. She’s now in Heaven, but every now and then I swear I hear her whispering, “Write deeper, Jo.”

There are friends you form a bond with and you remain close to even when there are months or even years you don’t talk. For some of us there is a very rare friend who follows you through all your life. I’ve heard it said that having one such friend for a lifetime is a very rare gift. They’ve known you all your life and still like you anyway.

I’ve been blessed with one–Reta. Our mothers were friends. There was never a time that we didn’t know one another. We went through school together and even were together when we met our future husbands.

As the years passed, we went different ways but were always still close when we saw one another. But, in good times and bad, I’ve always known she was a phone call away. (Below is a picture of the two of us a few years after we graduated.)

In my new book, THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN I had great fun watching my characters become friends and influence one another’s lives. My main characters were very different, one wild and creative, one grounded and brave, and one shy. When they really needed to talk or celebrate, or even cry, they’d have tea. The ritual became the thread that held them close no matter how far apart they might be in miles.

Let me know how your best friend enriches your life. I will be drawing for one print copy of THE LITTLE TEASHOP ON MAIN.

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37 Comments

  1. I have two close friends with whom I’ve had more than twenty-year friendships. They keep me grounded, a shoulder to lean on, and I’m there for them, too.

    1. That’s a blessing for all of you!

  2. My Best Friend has been there me for in some very difficult times in my life the past few years and recently in a very joyful time of my life. Ironically my best friend and I have yet to meet face to face but yet I doubt very seriously we could be any closer in our hearts if we lived next door to one another and saw each other every day. We meet and connected through Facebook over our love of reading. Tonya Lucas actually introduced me to your books Mrs Jodi. I can’t imagine my life without Tonya and hope I never do. I thank God he crossed my life path with her which in turn crossed my life paths you Mrs Jodi, and Linda Broday, Shanna Hatfield and several other of the wonderful authors of Petticoats & Pistols. Have a Blessed Weekend and a Wonderful Mothers Day.
    Love and Hugs

    1. All of those women are very dear friends. So glad Tonya came into your life!

    2. Hi Glenda … you must be a sister-friend ?. I hope you and Tonya can meet someday.

  3. I’m looking forward to reading The Little Tea Shop on Main. My best friend came into my life when I was 13 ,she then met and married her husband who was also a friend from my childhood. They were my helping hands and ears when I was a single parent to a houseful of children. It was a friendship that lasted over 60 years. He passed 4 years ago and her just 4 months ago.I’m so grateful to have them in my life.

    1. What a wonderful story!

  4. My best friend is my husband. He is the only one I can trust to always be there for me no matter what is happening.

    1. I can so relate, Janine. My husband is my best friend too!

  5. My best friends are my daughters. They have all grown in to lovely young women and we enjoy each other’s company. My best friend in school is whereabouts unknown.

  6. My friend Carol and I met in 8th grade. We made an eggshell map for geography class, dying the eggs various colors for contrast. We have sat at the piano singing and playing Michael Row Your Boat to Shore and many other tunes. Double dating was interesting. Teenage secrets were shared and kept. She was a bridesmaid in my wedding. Our mothers became friends and we have sat with each other at the homegoing of our parents. We are both faith based women who believe God is the way, the truth, and the life. We have clung to our faith through times of testing and inexpressible joy. We both have a son and daughter. As you say Jodi, some friendships are stamped in our hearts and time doesn’t impact that gift. It is a treasure and valued deeply. Looking forward to reading your new book.

    1. You and Carol are very blessed! Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. My friend of 35 years is an awesome person. She is always ready to help me when I need her. She was by my side as I managed things when my husband passed away. Have not driven much lately and she drives me to and from appointments. Don’t know what I would do without her!

    1. You sound like you have a very special friend, Estella. Treasure her always!

  8. Avatar

    I’ve heard great things about this book. I have many close friends that I rarely see in person but we keep in touch via Facebook, messenger, texts and phone calls. The best of friends in this day and time enriches my life with books, prayers, support and daily encouragement. We message many times a day about life and the books we are reading. She actually brought reading back into my life after decades of not reading. Tonya Lucas is God sent to me! Happy Mother’s Day!

    1. You are certainly lucky to have so many friends, Stephanie. And I am so happy Tonya got you back into reading. I promise you will love this book!

  9. Jodi I can’t wait until everyone reads this book. They will fall in love with it as much as I did.
    My best friend Ms. Glenda Kinard is such a light in my life. She’s always there for me and we keep each other’s spirits raised up. She’s a new grandmother and she shares her new bundle of love with me through photos. We’ve yet to meet but when that day arrives, It will be amazing.
    Glenda and I also have another P & P friend. Stephanie Jenkins Ortiz-Cerrillo and we call ourselves the 3 Amingos and we have each other’s backs. We 3 ladies have so much fun visiting EVERYDAY. God truly put these lovely friends in my path and I praise him for it.
    Happ Mother’s Day to Everyone. Congrats on another amazing book Jodi. Love you Dearly.

    1. Tonya, you a real treasure to so many people, especially me! I can’t thank you enough for all you do for me and letting others know about my books. Love you too!

  10. What a beautiful post, Jodi

    1. Thanks, Karen! I really enjoyed writing about my dearest friends.

  11. Yes, there are those who are still close even though you don’t see each other often. What a blessing those friends are! Mine keep me in line since I’m more the free spirit that says and does what I feel like. LOL. Lovely post!

    1. Susan, I love your outlook on life. Enjoy your friends always!

  12. Friends are so important in our lives. People who we can turn to with our happiness, as well as when we are down, and know we’ll be loved and not judged. I miss Dee so much, and one of my happiest times was when the four of us wrote the six anthologies. True friendship helped all of us, I believe. I never knew DeWanna as well as you did, but I learned so much from her. She was funny, brilliant, and loving. I’m so happy to have two of you guys who I can depend on during the good, bad and ugly. I also love my P&P family. The Fillies and each reader who I’ve gotten to know. Friendship is so important when the chips are down or when we’re on a winning streak. Your new book is fantastic and truly shows friendship at it’s finest.

    1. Thanks, Phyliss for such wonderful words about friends and the book. Those memories about writing the anthologies are ones I will always treasure. And P&P has been a real blessing for me as well. Looking forward to making many more good memories with you!

  13. My best friend enriched my life in so many ways. We share laughter and we share tears. We share great moments and we share the bad moments as well. I love talking to her and being around her any time our busy schedules permit. She is amazing!

  14. Your reply describes a wonderful friendship where you can laugh and cry together. That’s what makes it so special!

  15. Jodi, I loved Dee Pace, too. She was always an inspiration. I was stricken when we lost her, years back.
    My father used to say if you can count true friends on one hand, you’re blessed. Over the years, I’ve learned how true that is.
    I’ve cherished over the years, the few times we were able to get together. I remember driving you all over the Metroplex once for book signings. Not sure you were that “easy” with my crazy driving. And I remember the time we were able to have lunch together, too, here in Arlington, I think. I especially remember Anaheim when you wanted to convince “your then” publisher that you could write women’s fiction, as well as romance. How right you were!
    You will always be my role model as a writer. I love your books and you!

    1. Loved reading your message! We have some great memories of Dee and DFW, don’t we? Thanks for your nice comments too!

  16. Happy Book Birthday! I’m glad you could come and chat with us. I only have a handful of truly close friends and I wouldn’t take a million dollars for them. Friends are who get us through the hard times, who are always quick to help, and who love us just as we are. I count you as one of those. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day. I love this book!

  17. Thanks, Linda, for your comments about friends. I am so blessed to have you as my friend and thank you for always being there for me. Happy Mother’s Day to you as well!

  18. Hello Jodi! I’m so grateful for the special relationships the Lord has placed in my life. They are loving me to life!

    Enjoy your Mother’s Day weekend!

  19. My best friend and I met when we were 4 and we’re 60 now so I’d say that’s a lot of years! We don’t always keep in touch for weeks at a time because sometimes she’s out of the country with her husband but when we get together, it’s like we’ve never been apart!

  20. Welcome. This sounds like a fascinating story. My best friend is always there for me, no matter what. We exercise together when we can. We share life together. We are Warriors of the Lord. The two of us and our husbands are in a bible study together. Our oldest two boys went to school together and cub scouts and boy scouts together. Our two families are very close. Oh and our two oldest boys are now 33 yrs old.

  21. My best friend is my husband. We are true life partners.

  22. My best friend I have known each other since we were babies through our parents and have always been like sisters. We still keep in touch but we are not around each other so much since we have been married and I moved but the bond is still there.

  23. My best frien d helps m e stay positive. Love her!

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