Can't Stop Believing By Jodi Thomas

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Probably the most asked question of writers is “Where do your ideas come from?” For me, they come in bits and pieces often written on note cards all over my house. I picked up a few today as I walked toward my study: “Ice storm in Harmony---someone falls.” –was on the landing. “If he had double the horse sense, he’d still be too dumb to make change.”-was on by my bed. “Your eyes are so blood shot they look like a map of Georgia.”-was written in my notes where I’d copied a line from an old song.

If I had to answer the question honestly about where ideas come from, I’d have to say I don’t know. They come to me like scraps floating through my thoughts and I piece them together like my grandmother used to piece a quilt never knowing how it will come out but always hoping it will be beautiful.

Four years ago I was having lunch with my editor, Wendy McCurdy, in a little café in San Francisco. Twisted Creek and Rewriting Monday were out, both about small communities. She asked me what I wanted to work on next.

I said, “I want to write a series about a small town in Texas. The people of the town will drift through each other’s stories, but each book will focus on one set of characters.”
She asked if I’d thought about who the main characters would be.

“One will be the sheriff, another fire chief, and of course, the owner of a Bed and Breakfast. But one has already walked in and introduced himself to me. He’ll be in every book.” I remember I couldn’t wait to tell her about him. “He’s in his early forties, slightly overweight, hasn’t had a date in years and he’s the funeral director.”

Wendy shook her head. “You’ll never make him a hero.”

“Watch me,” I answered because in my mind Tyler Wright was already a hero.
That meeting began a series of books about a small town and the people in it. It seems like only yesterday but in June my 6th Harmony, Can’t Stop Believing, will be out. Readers will meet new characters and touch base with the ones they cared about in earlier books. They can read one, or the series, and never feel lost.

Only, I sure warn everyone. In Book 6, you find a hero who’ll be hard to forget. Cord McMillan will capture readers’ hearts from the first chapter. He’s taken some hard knocks, but he’s not down for the count. He sees himself as a simple man who is falling in love for the first time with a woman who’s made playing at love her hobby. She has everything and he as nothing, but what he offers her will “rock her world.”

I hope all my readers will come along with me in this visit to Harmony, Texas, and feel like they are coming home.

Like a real town lives flow around one another, changing, influencing, and sometimes helping. Ronny, a quiet woman who works at the post office, is asked to open her heart and forgive the only man she’s ever loved when he returns looking not for a lover, but for someone to help him walk through a dark period in his life.

Martha Q muddles her way through trying to write and accidentally stumbles into a chance for love and Tyler Wright holds to his Kate, his love that came late to his life.
Amid them all, Cord McMillan tries to hang on to his farm in a town where no one will talk to him. He made a mistake and hurt a deputy when he was 17, and now he believes everyone hates him. When the first car in three years drives up to his place, he doesn’t trust his neighbour, Nevada Britain, or the bargain she offers him.

He has nothing to offer in return, but he knows if he agrees he’ll step all into her plan, with no holding back. If she doesn’t hold up her end of the agreement, he also knows she’ll break him completely, like six years of prison never could.

As you read Can’t Stop Believing, you’ll find love so deep it’ll melt your heart. So, come along with me to Harmony, Texas, a place where you’ll find a home. I promise to keep you up late reading.

This is my 37th novel and with each I strive to learn and grow. An early writing teacher told me once to write what you love to read. This book is one that I plan to pick up years from now and read. I have a feeling the story will come back to me like an old friend.
Hope you enjoy Can’t Stop Believing…

Jodi Thomas