“Beneath the Texas Sky” … rides again!

I’ve always loved Historical Romance.  I grew up with Dad reading Louis L‘Amour and Mom reading Barbara Cartland.  In 1987 I’d written two stories and decided to be adventurous and go to my first RWA set in Dallas.  This was ‘big time’ for me.  I mostly walked around with my mouth open in shock, trying to absorb all I could about the business.

The last day I get a 10 minute interview with a real New York editor. She wasn’t interested in my Civil War story but the one about Texas held her attention for a few minutes.  Two months later I got the call and sold my story, Weston Bred.  Kensington told me they had a problem with the name.  So, within 24 hours I became Jodi Thomas and the book became BENEATH THE TEXAS SKY.

In 1988 my first book came out pretty much unnoticed by anyone not related to me.  Since I was a member of the Texas Press Women, I entered it in their statewide contest.  It won and went on to national.  I won there also which threw BENEATH into second printing.

Berkley bought the Civil War book and won the bid for book three, THE TENDER TEXAN.  My career rolled along with a book every year until number 16 hit the New York Times list.  Then BENEATH got a new cover and came out again.  Years later it got a face lift with cover number three.

I laugh and say anyone has to look hard to see my name on the first cover.  In twenty-three years of writing over thirty books, four RITA wins and almost a dozen anthology collections set in early Texas, BENEATH THE TEXAS SKY will always hold a place in my heart.  I still love historical romance.

When I’ve had a long day in the real world there is nothing better than turning my computer on in my study and stepping into the past.  I sometimes wonder if my Civil War book had sold first, would I be the Queen of Civil War Romance?

Tonight, while many of you are reading this, I’ll be in 1875 with Rose McMurray.  We’re going on a grand journey with a cowboy who has a dark past and a lie he’s chosen to live with.

Many people write and ask me, ‘How do I step from the historical Whispering Mountain series to the modern day Harmony series?’

It’s easy.  Like flipping channels between your two favorite programs.

Speaking of TV.   When you are in a western mood, what do you watch?  What movies spark your imagination and put you to dreaming back in the past?

I will give away our newest anthology “Give Me a Texas Outlaw” to one person who posts a comment!

 

“Widows of Wichita County” was reprinted and released in July.

“The Secrets of Rosa Lee” is due to be re-released August 2011.

And “The Tender Texan will re-release in December 2011.

Guest Blogger
Updated: July 29, 2011 — 4:31 pm

28 Comments

  1. What a treat when a friend introduced me to Louis L‘Amour.

    Read, rather than watch films, but classics are fun–that is, would go w/ original True Grit rather than remake.

  2. Interesting story of how you were discovered. I’ve enjoyed several of your “Texan” books!

    Western movies I enjoy: Across the Great Divide, Dances With Wolves, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Little Big Man

    Western TV shows: Bonanza, Little House On the Prairie, Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman, The Big Valley, The Virginian and Rawhide

  3. Hi Jodi,

    You’re so right about how nice it is after a day of fighting the 21st Century to step back in the past in one of my manuscripts, or in one of my favorite author’s books.

    Your westerns are wonderful, and I for one am glad that New York editor called you back.

    As for movies I watch when I’m in a western mood (which I’m usually in a western mood) Tombstone, Lonesome Dove and McLintock come to mind, but there are so many more. For TV shows I recently found re-runs of The Virginian and Wagon Train. Catching the PBR or CBR on TV is nice when I’m in a cowboy mood. :o)

    –Kirsten

  4. Love your books!

  5. Jodi, we’re so happy to have you visit again. I always look forward to when you come. I hope you never run out of books to tell us about, whether new ones or re-releases. And I’m really glad you’re not ditching your western romances to go strictly contemporary. Hurrah for that! Don’t get me wrong, I like your women’s fiction books but I LOVE your historicals. Can’t wait for Rose McMurray’s story!

    Here’s wishing you lots of inspiration and more hours on the clock.

  6. Oh, and I forgot to say that when I’m in a cowboy mood I plop in Lonesome Dove or The Outlaw Josie Wales. But I’m always on the lookout for new westerns. Even though it’s quite a departure from the “normal” westerns, I have Cowboys and Aliens on my agenda. Hopefully, I’ll get to see it Sunday. I hear it’s pretty good.

  7. I have already been the recipent of your book, but I will say that one of my all time fav movies is McLintock. I can watch this movie over and quote nearly every line.
    My fav is when Wayne and Maureen O’Hara have thier meeting after months of seperation and she refers to the Govenor of being a gentleman, and Wayne say “You have to be man first before becomeing a Gentleman”..
    On TV I love The Big Valley, Rawhide, who wouldn’t love to watch Clint Eastwood, and Lee Majors… And Richard Green and Peter Breck were not bad to look at either..

  8. We love having you at the Junction, Jodi. So glad to have you here today. I’ve been an avid fan of your historicals for years. Love ’em! I’m excited about Rose’s story. Can’t wait!!

  9. Hi Jodi, I love your books! My dad was a big reader and I think that’s were my love for books comes from. He used to read a lot of the Louis L‘Amour books. I am also a big fan of watching westerns on tv. I just finished watching Cowboy Up on one of the movies chanels. The western romance is my favorite type of book to read but I read a little of everything. I think dad rub off on me.

  10. Hi, Jodi. My dad had some Zane Grey books from when he was a boy and I enjoyed reading those.

    When in the mood to watch a western, a John Wayne movie always is a good choice. There’s no one like the Duke. A friend of ours saw the new “True Grit” and she thought it was better than the original, but I have to disagree. (It is a very good movie, but not like the original classic.) My DH and I also like “McClintock”.

  11. The above comment is mine, but the computer had Kirsten’s name and email on before I realized it. Sorry, Kirsten!!!

  12. I love historicals… they got me hooked on reading! 😀 I read more westerns over watching them, but I do enjoy seeing the old movies at times…

  13. No problem, Deb, I agreed with everything you said!

  14. Enjoyed reading your comments. I have been a fan of yours for awhile so I probably read your first book.
    My dad used to read to me and my sister from the Louis L’Amour westerns he was reading. I have the complete collection of Zane Grey and Louis’ books. Another good western writer is Ralph Compton.
    For Western movies, it has to have John Wayne in it along with the scenery of Monument Valley. I especially like The Searchers. Living here in Arizona, I have traveled thru that country alot. The scenery is awe-inspiring when seen up close.

  15. When I’m in the mood for watching Westerns I watch pretty much anything with John Wayne in it since I have a lot of DVD’s and Tapes. For current Westerns I always watch Silverado when it comes on tv. Currently I’m reading Willie Nelson’s book A Tale Out Of Luck and it reminds me a lot of the western shows we used to watch in the 50’s and 60’s on television…it’s actually a pretty good story. Enjoyed your comments today.

  16. Just have to say how much I’ve enjoyed your books. There really aren’t many westerns out there like when I grew up. Thank goodness for vcr’s and dvd’s. I really enjoyed reading and watching Lonesome Dove for one.

  17. I always read Zane Grey (loved his books). I have read all of your books and loved everyone of them. I have already bought Give me a Texas Outlaw so keep me out of the drawing.

  18. Jodi, thanks for visiting Wildflower Junction. We alway enjoy hearing about your new goings-ons. The one thing that I noticed is how tiny your name was on the first “Beneath the Texas Sky”. Love it! In preparation for our “A Texas Valentine” anthology, I recorded a lot of the “Maverick” series. Loved James Garner particularly, but Jack Kelley was wonderful. Hugs, Phyliss

  19. Love the interview.

    I don’t watch tv or movies—prefer to read.

  20. Jodi, It is always a joy to see you on here. I love all the covers of your books. My favorite western is Tombstone and Bonanza. I love historical’s. The covers of your Texan series is always nice

    I inspire to become the writer you are.

    Walk in harmony,
    Melinda

  21. Love hearing that I’m not the only one who watches old westerns over and over. The other day I spent hours watching one Rifleman after the other.

    Today I’m working on the first few chapters of the next Whispering Mountain series. Rose’s story. Having trouble finding the right man for her, but she’s looking. Having fun playing with a very unusual sub-plot. It is original and fun—and hard to write just right. About this time next year you guys will let me know how you liked what I’m doing today.

    As writers we love having readers come along on our journey.

    Wishing everyone a blessed day. Jodi

  22. I really wish there were Western series on TV. I pull out my recordings (still VHS) of Dr. Quinn and Young Riders. Didn’t have a recorder before them. I did buy a Bonanza DVD set. For movies, it would be Dances With Wolves, Lonesome Dove, The Outlaw Josie Wales, and Into The West.

    I like the second cover for BENEATH THE TEXAS SKY best. Landscape covers give a great feel for the setting of the story. Have enjoyed your books of both genre. Anthologies are a favorite. They give me an opportunity to enjoy several favorite authors and find new ones.

  23. Hi Jodi, welcome to Wildflower Junction…I’ve got so many of your books in my Kindle it’s like we’ve got a connection through “whispernet”!

    I find a lot of wholesome movies with Western settings on the Hallmark movie channel. I think I’m addicted to them. My all-time favorite TV series have got to be Bonanza and Dr. Quinn, although I’d take a good dose of The Big Valley any day. Ooh, and I love the fairly recent movie Open Range. Annette Bening was such a great character.

    Thanks for spending the day with us!

  24. Ohh Tanya, forgot about Bonanza and Dr. Quinn.. Never missed an episode.

  25. Now that a couple of you mentioned “Bonanza” I’ll admit that Dan Blocker who played Hoss Cartwright was related to me. Well, sorta! He was my aunt’s first cousin. I always said he was part of my family, although my Aunt Martha was my aunt by marriage, so technically, it didn’t count. Shucks! Hugs, P

  26. Hi Jodi!
    When I’m in a Western mood I love watching Little House on the Prairies. It has that Western feel to me because it has that wild, untamed land with new people settling in. I find there are not many modern day Western shows. There’s also another show that has a Western feel to it but I forgot what it’s called…it was an 80s show with and featured a german shepperd who always helped solved cases. I really like stories about cowboys 🙂

  27. Hi Jodi. When I am in a Western mood I like to watch Gunsmoke, Bonanza and the movie,McClintock.

  28. Oh, CRystalGB, McClintock is one of my favorites. I still howl at the “Shoot him, Daddy. Shoot him.” and John Wayne does LOL.

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