Saturday, January 20, 2018

Romance writer Jodi Thomas has a real soft spot for Fort Worth

August 8, 2012 by  
Filed under Romance, Lust & Passion

Jodi Thomas recalls the moment that she realized she wanted to be a romance author./pp She was sitting in a graduate class at Texas Woman’s University in Denton penning a romance, instead of listening to the lecture about counseling married couples who have sexual problems./pp University officials had been after Thomas to declare the focus of her doctoral studies, but after the lecture, she approached her professor and said she wanted to write historical romance novels./pp “He said go for it,” Thomas said./pp Her 35th book, “Wild Texas Rose,” the sixth book of the “Whispering Mountain” series, has just been released. Thomas tells the story of adopted cousins Rose McMurray and Duncan McMurray. Much of their story unfolds in what is now downtown Fort Worth around Second and Main streets./pp Cowtown was featured prominently in several earlier novels, and Thomas says she has an affinity for Fort Worth. “What first interested me in Fort Worth was it is such a totally Western town. I have this feeling it was a true Western town. I also like the spirit of the people.”/pp Starting out, Thomas said, there was no question that she would write historical fiction. Both she and her husband are serious history buffs./pp “Even before I started writing we would visit historical sites,” she said. But more than that, Thomas said, she “comes from one of those families that talks in stories.” Both of her parents came from large families – her dad was one of six and her mother was one of seven – and there were plenty of relatives around to tell stories and talk./pp Writing historical fiction “is not writing about the Alamo or Washington-on-the-Brazos,” Thomas said. “It’s about writing about the people, about what they felt.”/pp She said she does extensive research for her novels – everything from talking with re-enactors and historians, to visiting sites that include old cemeteries. “The flavoring of names in Fredericksburg is a lot different than the names in Galveston.”/pp When she was writing about Harvey Houses, railroad restaurants and hotels that originated in Kansas, she visited a Harvey House museum and met a 93-year-old woman who had been a Harvey girl during the World War II era. Her historical novels are set between 1836 and 1876, a time Thomas describes as “very Texan, very Western.”/pp She said the difference between then and now is that today people consider what’s legal and illegal. But in the 19th century, “They thought in terms of right and wrong.”/pp As for writing romance books, Thomas said, “Life has romance; life has love.”/pp “Wild Texas Rose,” however, is a bit of a departure from her earlier historical works./pp “I wanted to do a multi-viewpoint book that has a real twist,” Thomas said. “It’s a little more sophisticated. I think because you see the story from different angles the characters become richer.”/pp The change in style means that readers shouldn’t expect the vivid details and imagery of historical Fort Worth that can be found in titles such as Prairie Song./pp “I wanted a lot of the plot to come from the interplay of the characters,” she said. To accomplish this, she explained, “I had to sacrifice the blocks of history I usually put in.”/pp Thomas knows she’s taking a risk. “I’m hoping readers will come along with me.” She said the change in style makes the story read faster and allows her to give the characters more depth./pp This approach will likely feel more familiar to fans of her contemporary work. She publishes one historical and one contemporary novel a year./pp Currently, she’s writing her way through the “Harmony” series, set in the modern-day Texas town of Harmony. Chance of a Lifetime is due out next year. “Just Down the Road,” was released in April./pp Thomas doesn’t outline or storyboard her novels before writing. She said the characters of Harmony came to her when she spent the night alone in a Tyler bed-and-breakfast that dates to the Civil War. She laughs now, as she recalls getting “spooked.” Instead of exploring, she locked herself in her room./pp As she waited for morning to come, she said she refused to dwell on her fear. “I decided to go to a better place. I went to Harmony.” She said the characters “came in and sat down and said, ‘Let’s tell you the story.’”/pp This camaraderie with her characters isn’t unusual. Thomas scoffs at the idea of writing types of characters, such as the “alpha male” type that is a staple in romance fiction. “I don’t write characters. I don’t write men that are suave and say the right thing. I write people.”/pp She points out that one of the men in “Wild Texas Rose” isn’t a strong alpha, but rather a man who doesn’t know how to express his feelings to a woman./pp Next year’s “Whispering Mountain” release will tell the story of Beth McMurray, Rose’s sister. She’s the last of that generation of McMurrays, but Thomas hints that the McMurray clan could go one generation further./pp JODI THOMAS AT A GLANCE/pp When the “Harmony” series launched, Jodi Thomas said she and her editors talked about which series would do better. But both have proved successful. Last year’s installment of “Whispering Mountain,” “Texas Blue,” was voted Best Western Romance of 2011 by Love Western Romances, while “Welcome to Harmony” received a RITA award from the Romance Writers of America./pp Thomas has a master’s degree in family studies from Texas Tech University./pp Thomas is Writer in Residence at West Texas AM./pp A fifth-generation Texan, Thomas lives in Amarillo.

New Couple Alert: Danny Boyle & Rosario Dawson

August 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Romance, Lust & Passion

Rosario Dawson, Danny BoyleBauer-Griffin/Tillen Dove

Well, this is new. It looks like the athletes aren’t the only ones hooking up at the games.

London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony director Danny Boyle and Rosario Dawson appear to be going steady. 

Danny Boyle’s London 2012 Opening Ceremony: Most Watched in 50 Years, Breaks Record

The couple, who were spotted got cozy in Brighton, U.K., met after the director hired Dawson to star in his crime thriller Trance.

Boyle, whose opening ceremony was the most watched in history, is 20 years older than the 33-year-old actress.

The Sin City actress is apparenlty getting into the Olympic spirit by going for the gold(en age).

Go on, you two crazy kids!

Check Out How Hollywood’s Couples Met