Guest: Jodi Thomas


Some writers believe that after years in the word business, you don’t have to deal with rejection or disappointment.

But after twenty years and twenty-five novels in print, I’ve learned that the secret of how to succeed may be in learning how to fall. In this game more can be learned from stumbling than from success.

Early in a writer’s career we sometimes look at rejection as a failure. But the failure is in not submitting. Like a boxer, a writer needs to learn how to roll with the punches. In my blog, this weekend, I want to talk about ways to remain on course in your writing even when failure knocks you down.

If I could tell new writers just one piece of advice, it would be: “Learn to fall”. There will jodicowboyhat2007.jpgbe times, thousands of them, when this business of writing doesn’t go your way.

You must learn to stop holding onto the safety strap and jump out into the unknown. Leap and the net will appear.

Developing a Plan for Rising after a Falling:

Bury the corpse.

If a book is rejected over and over again, maybe there is a reason that it is not selling. Perhaps it is time to put it under the bed and start anew.


Not only the sales and contest wins, but also times you try and come up short.

Keep learning and moving.

New fields in writing are constantly opening; be aware of new trends.

Phil Price, an accomplished playwright, once said, “I’ve often wondered why sky divers yell for joy and people who fall off cliffs scream. After all, they’re both seeing the same view. It’s only the last foot that changes.

Chinese proverb:

Fall down seven time; get up eight.

If any writers have advice for how to handle rejection, please let me know.
For example: Keep a jar of expensive chocolates to open only when a rejection comes your way.


Thank you for joining me today. From among those who post comments today, I’ll draw 2 names, each person to receive an autographed of my newest release (release date Nov. 6th) Texas Princess. Here is a blurb about Texas Princess:

texasprincessf-cov.jpgWith Texas Princess, the second novel in the fascinating Whispering Mountain trilogy, NY Times and USA Today best-selling author Jodi Thomas once again lives up to her reputation as one of the romance genre’s most compelling western historical writers.

Tobin McMurray has hated being around people since he was ambushed, while helping to defend his family’s land, at the age of six. Only because of his love of hors­es does he agree to leave Whispering Mountain to deliver a very special stallion to one of the richest men in Texas.

Upon his arrival, he collides with Liberty Mayfield, the nearest thing to Texas royalty. He’s fascinated by her then shocked when her father asks him to kidnap his only daughter.

Alone and on the run from death threats, strong, quiet Tobin and pampered, headstrong Liberty discover they need one another – both to stay alive and to feel alive as passion ignites. 

+ posts

48 thoughts on “Guest: Jodi Thomas”

  1. Jodi: Thank you so much for being with us today. It’s great to have you here. I love your tips for rising after a falling.

    When you were inducted into the RWA Hall of Fame after receiving your 3rd RITA in the short historical category, you gave a lovely speech about how supportive your husband is. Congratulations on that honor–the hall of fame and the supportive husband.

    Where do you display all those golden ladies?

  2. Welcome, Jodi! What an inspiring blog. We should all take note.

    Texas Princess sounds great! And how cool….Liberty’s last name is my maiden name! I’ll be checking this one out for sure! 😀

  3. WOW I never knew writers had to have such thick skin. And being able to get back up and dust yourself off is an admirable trait– not many of us do it well. Sounds like a great book– can’t wait to get my hands on it!

  4. Hello, Jodi! Thanks for sharing your insight. I love the Chinese proverb. We need to apply that to all aspects of our lives.

    Texas Princess sounds like a fabulous book. I can’t wait to see how Liberty and Tobin get along.

  5. I know my sister is a big fan… but I have never had the chance to read one of your books, though they look really good 🙂

  6. Jodi, welcome to Petticoats and Pistols!! I’m so excited. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom. You’re a really smart woman. Lots of it I wish I’d known at the first before I published and some of it I’m still using. Lord knows at the times I’ve fallen and will still fall. The trick as you said is to keep getting back up and trying again. I hope I never forget that and to always keep learning. Writing is an ongoing process. There are always things to learn. I don’t think we’ll never know it all. I just hope to continue to grow and learn from wonderful writers like you.

    What has been the hardest part for you during your career?

    I’m really looking forward to reading Texas Princess! I know without opening a page that it’ll hold me captivated until the end. Your stories always do. I wish you all the best and much, much success.

    Oh, and we have our upcoming anthology — Give Me a Texan — to look forward. I’m so thrilled to be in that book alongside you, Phyliss, and DeWanna! 🙂

  7. I guess I always assumed that once you had a bunch of books published, the rejections didn’t happen anymore. It must be hard though to hear rejection about something you’ve written.

    TEXAS PRINCESS sounds like a great book!!

  8. Welcome to the blog, Jodie!

    What a great blog! I still remember your kindness to myself and Lois Greiman when we came to Amarillo, TX for a booksigning. For any of you who don’t know Jodie, Jodie is one of the sweetest, kindest authors that I know. I will never forget, Jodie.

    Welcome! Welcome to one very classy lady.

  9. Welcome to Petticoats & Pistols, Jodi! So glad you’ve stopped in 🙂

    Wonderful post! Thank you for sharing your insight with us. I’m a huge fan of your books–personal all-time fave is TO WED IN TEXAS 🙂 I’m looking forward to TEXAS PRINCESS!

  10. Jodi:
    It was a delight to meet you in Dallas this past summer. You were gracious and kind and your success is inspiring. I liked your comment that “the failure is in not submitting”. It’s always helpful to remember that.

    I’m feeling pretty cool today because on October 20th, I’ll be the guest blogger on this website. It’s an honor to be in such great company.

  11. Hi Jodi!
    It’s great to have you blog today with Petticoats. I do so much love your inspiring words to newbie authors. Fall 7 – Get up 8, that’s a great proverb. In the early years of writing, I felt that getting a rejection letter, was a confirmation that I was a writer. After all, a real true editor took the time to read my work. After that, I learned to roll with the punches. Sell two, reject one, sell one, reject two. It’s an up and down business and longevity isn’t always in your control, but inspiration is. Stay inspired. I really enjoyed your post!
    And Texas Princess sounds fascinating. Can’t wait to read it!

  12. When Jodi decided to do her blog on the topic of “Falling” she had no idea how fitting it would be for today’s session.

    Jodi fell, broke her arm, and had surgery last week. Since she is down to hunting and pecking with four fingers, instead of cancelling today’s blog, I’m going to answer a few questions for her. Jodi will do some short blogging later this afternoon.

    She wants to thank everyone for your comments, and she’ll do her best to answer every question.

    Lorraine, you asked where Jodi keeps her “golden ladies”. They are down in her office at WTA&M where she is Writer in Resident. Since the RITA was always her dream, she gets a real kick out of keeping them around to remind her how far she has come with her writing. She loves it when students come in the office and she can share her RITA stories. There is a picture of Jodi and her “golden ladies” on her web-site at

    And, yes, her husband Tom is her #1 supporter. The proverb Fall 7, get up 8 was his contribution to today’s article.

    Rejection and the fear of failure is with every writer regardless of their success. Jodi once told me that an author is only as good as their “last book”. Food for thought.

    Dang, this is one of those times that I might have to stand up to be corrected, but I believe Jodi’s first book was sentenced to a life under her bed, until after she got published. Then she got a call from her editor asking if she had “anything” she could rework ASAP, so she grabbed the book from under the bed, dusted it off, and it became her second published work. Goes to prove, just because a MS is rejected, there won’t be a home for it someday.

    Again, Jodi thanks everybody for their comments and will write more later. Phyliss

  13. A new Jodi Thomas book is indeed a happy event. I’ve enjoyed both your historical and contemporary books. I’m so glad there’s another novel to look forward to.

  14. Great advice, Jody! I’m not a writer, only a reader, but I think some of your thoughts can apply to many other situations in life as well.

    I think Texas Princess sounds really good! I like that title.

  15. Jodi, I’m sorry to hear about your fall and broken arm. I hope the surgery went well and that you’re on the mend!

    Thanks, Phyliss, for posting for Jodi! 🙂

  16. Good afternoon, I thank everyone for your comments. Today is my second day to try and work. I’m putting in corrections with one hand on a manuscript due in Nov.
    I don’t think I’ll get far, but even if I just get a few pages, at lest I’m moving.

    One of the hardest things to do when you take a hit in this game is to climb back end. Its easy to take one day off, then two, then a week. I’ve found that setting a simple goal, like one page, or one hour can help get you started writing again. It also gives you a sense of movement.

    So,when you stop for whatever reason, wake up the next morning and write one small goal down then stick it where you will see it all day long.

    one goal, one step and before long, you are back in the game.

    write on, Jodi

  17. Sorry you’re hurt Jodie. go ahead and misspell everything, we understand.
    Someone once told me about rejections in writing: You get rejected by 100% of the editors you DON’T submit to. You get rejected by 100% of the agents you don’t query. You lose 100% of the contests you never enter.
    So if you’re scared of being rejected and don’t send anything in, you ARE being rejected, only by your own doing.
    So stay in there.
    Texas Princess sounds like a great idea for a book.

  18. Texas Princess sounds like my kind of read. I love to read books about Texas. My favorite author’s books are based aroung Texas. Sounds like a fantastic read.

  19. Linda, one of the hardest times of my career was when my 5th book came out “Cherish the Dream”. It was a WWI story and nobody wanted to read a historical about the war. I thought my career was over! Luckily, I had signed a two book contract, and for my next book, I went back to Texas and the 1800’s. I knew that was my one chance, so I wrote a story about a dime novelist.

    A year later I picked up my second RITA, so I’m glad I didn’t stop when I was down. Jodi

  20. I wish to thank everyone for allowing me to be Jodi’s “fingers” today on a couple of posts. For you readers out there, I’ve had the priviledge of reading “Texas Princess” and I can guarantee you of a terrific read!

    I look forward to being a guest blogger on P&P prior to the release of “Give Me a Texan” And yes,it’s a ton of fun and stretches my creativeness to the max to work with such gifted authors as Jodi Thomas, DeWanna Pace, and one of the founding Petticoat and Pistol Fillies, Linda Broday. Phyliss

  21. Jodi, I’m back from the KOD retreat held here in Omaha (left a day early to work on a manuscript due in a week–eek!) But I just had to hop on and thank you for blogging for us on P & P. And oh, gosh, with a broken arm no less. Phyliss, you’re a godsend!!

    No matter how many books an author has published, rejection is still something we all fear–and experience. This weekend, a popular author with 22 books out had an ‘excrutiating’ (her word, not mine) time finding an agent. She succeeded and won a 3 book deal with a new publisher, but it just goes to show it wasn’t easy, but she persevered. That’s the name of the game.

    Great blog, Jodi!

  22. Jodi, I love your books and would love to win “Texas Princess”! I used to be a telemarketer so I have no trouble with rejection. Hope it’s not to late to enter!

  23. I just wanted to say I read To Wed in Texas and To Kiss a Texan and enjoyed them both. This sounds like another great read.

  24. Thanks everyone for all the great comments and compliments! Please check out something new that I’m trying on this book…a trailer for “Texas Princess”. You can view it at or I even went You Tube! They tell me that trailers are the wave of the future for books, so let me know what you think. Jodi

  25. I too missed the contest, but look forward to reading your books. Picked one up when Cheryl StJohn recommended you at her site. I am a great proofreader, but these encouragements could give me the spunk to try actual writing; agree they could be applied to life in general.

    Message interrupted last night by son needing computer. LOL

  26. Jodi,
    Great job on the trailer! I love the white horse. And, ooooo, the guy twirling the gun. Scandal! *g* Seeing the cover bigger makes me want the book more. It’s beautiful. If I didn’t know you I would buy the book for the cover alone. Your site looks fantastic too.

  27. I just saw this book listed at double day books and i thought it sounded really good i didn’t know you were blogging 2 days ago. That’s just my luck . I was way late for this one!!

Comments are closed.