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.