posted on April 9, 2018 by Jodi Thomas

Discovering My Characters

People often ask me which character is me in a book.  I always say,  “Them all.”

In MORNINGS ON MAIN, I was a young woman driving through town looking for a place to stop for a few months.  Looking for a piece of her life that was missing.  She traveled light from town to town, not even packing a memory when she moved on.

I was an old woman losing her memory after a lifetime of collecting the history of the town she loved.

I was a teenager, wild and afraid.  Fighting to break free and make a few memories before life made her settled down.

MORNINGS ON MAIN weaves these three women’s stories together as the stories of the town’s history are displayed in quilts.  Quilts have always fascinated me.  I remember lying under my grandmother’s quilt from that drifted down from the ceiling.  I remember my mother quilting long after her mind had had been invaded by Alzheimer’s.  I loved seeing my sisters’ quilts displayed on their bedroom walls.

But, I don’t quilt.

My mother only read my first book before she stopped reading completely.  I’ll never forget what she said about my patchwork stories that blend together.  She said, “Jodi, you quilt with words.”

Stories dance in my head all the time, but now and then one lives on after I turn the book in.  MORNINGS ON MAIN is still waltzing in my thoughts.  I hope that people come as alive to you as they did to me.

Come visit Laurel Springs, and I hope you’ll stay for a while!

Jodi Thomas

MORNINGS ON MAIN

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas, a master of family drama, returns with MORNINGS ON MAIN (HQN Books, April 2018, $15.99 U.S./$19.99 CAN.), a riveting tale that follows three generations of women, each facing challenging circumstances, but whose stories unite as they strive to overcome their individual burdens.

Jillian James has been a wanderer as long as she can remember, traveling from town to town, never staying too long in any one place. Not running to or from anything, or hiding out. Just drifting…the way she was taught as a child by her nomadic single father, a man who liked to travel and went wherever the jobs took him, never putting down roots or getting involved for too long with anyone. And Jillian is the same way—no strings anywhere, no place to call home. And no one to call family, not since she last saw her father the day he dropped her off at college—before disappearing from her life completely. But now, twelve years later, Jillian is hoping to find some trace of him in the only place she believes he ever had a special connection—the small, welcoming town of Laurel Springs, Texas.

Soon after arriving, Jillian lands a temporary job courtesy of Connor Larady, a man of many hats—town mayor, land owner, newspaper publisher, unpublished novelist and, most important, devoted single dad to his rebellious teenaged daughter, Sunnie, and doting grandson to Eugenia Larady, better known to everyone as Gram. Connor hires Jillian to help out in aging Gram’s quilt shop, cataloguing and preserving each quilt’s history, just as Gram starts struggling with her own slipping memory.
Despite her better judgment, Jillian soon finds herself growing closer to each of the Laradys: helping Sunnie cope with a tragic past while struggling to figure out what she wants from her future; spending time with the shy, handsome Connor while knowing that any romance between them will only end in sadness when she eventually leaves; and connecting with the lovely Gram, a woman who is the heart of the entire town, building literal and invisible threads throughout the community–and whose fading memories and occasional flashbacks, a shocked Jillian realizes, contain clues to her own family history.

Jillian has spent her life avoiding attachments. According to her father’s rules, it hurts too much to care. But for the first time in her life, she’s starting to wonder if his rules are wrong, if it’s better to be part of something greater than just herself—part of a community, of a family, of loving someone.

Jodi Thomas

Jodi Thomas

A fifth-generation Texan, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jodi Thomas chooses to set the majority of her novels in her home state, where her grandmother was born in a covered wagon. A former teacher, Thomas traces the beginning of her storytelling career to the days when her twin sisters were young and impressionable.

With a degree in family studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A&M University campus, where she served as Writer in Residence.

Commenting on her contribution to the arts, Thomas said, "When I was teaching classes full-time, I thought I was making the world a better place. Now I think of a teacher or nurse or mother settling back and relaxing with one of my books. I want to take her away on an adventure that will entertain her. Maybe, in a small way, I'm still making the world a better place."

When not working on a novel, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo and checking up on their two grown sons.

https://www.jodithomas.com/

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