We’re so excited to chat with Jodi Thomas about her new book, Ransom Canyon, the first book in the brand new Ransom Canyon series. We’ll get right to our interview with Jodi Thomas, but first, here’s the 411 on Ransom Canyon:
***ABOUT THE BOOK***
Ransom Canyon by Jodi Thomas
Series: Ransom Canyon #1
Published by HQN Books on August 25, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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From New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas comes the first book in a compelling, emotionally resonant series set in a remote west Texas town—where family can be made by blood or by choice…
Rancher Staten Kirkland, the last descendant of Ransom Canyon's founding father, is rugged and practical to the last. No one knows that when his troubling memories threaten to overwhelm him, he runs to lovely, reclusive Quinn O'Grady… or that she has her own secret that no one living knows.
Young Lucas Reyes has his eye on the prize—college, and the chance to become something more than a ranch hand's son. But one night, one wrong decision, will set his life on a course even he hadn't imagined.
Yancy Grey is running hard from his troubled past. He doesn't plan to stick around Ransom Canyon, just long enough to learn the town's weaknesses and how to use them for personal gain. Only Yancy, a common criminal since he was old enough to reach a car's pedals, isn't prepared for what he encounters.
In this dramatic new series, the lives, loves and ambitions of four families will converge, set against a landscape that can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful, where passion, property and pride are worth fighting—and even dying—for.
This is the beginning of my new series which will be six books and two novellas. Ransom Canyon is about four ranches that surround a small canyon that cuts through the flat Panhandle landscape. A small town called Crossroads sets in the middle of the ranches. My people not only live on the edge of a canyon, they live on the edge of a way of life that binds the past with the present. They’re fighting, like their pioneer grandparents did and trying to live in the modern world as well. I loved writing their stories of love and survival.
You bet. I got to spend days on a huge ranch watching cowboys working cattle and listening to their wonderful stories. I talked to people who knew the western way of life because they’d lived it every day of their life. I also had a great time writing the different ages of characters. The kids: Lauren, Tim, and Lucas who break into an old house and suffer an accident that will change all of them. The retired teachers watching over their former students from bungalows on Main. Staten falling in love with a woman he’s known all his life and Charley learning trust again from a crazy woman.
For the first time I had a chance to outline the stories before I started writing. I knew there would be six. So, I spent four months doing research, writing family histories, drawing maps, etc. before I even started writing.I also tried something new with this series. Out back of my home is a little apartment—one room with a bath. We’ve used it when sons and nephews come home from college and need a place to stay for a few months. With all sons and nephews employed and married, I closed the ‘bunk house’ to guests and made it the Ransom Canyon headquarters. I stripped all the western art and put up white boards. I put in a Hemingway style desk that can fold out larger and went to work.
Now, when I step into the ‘bunk house’ I step into Ransom Canyon and all my characters are waiting for me.
I often laugh and say that when I’m old and in the home, roll me over by the window by the sun and I’ll be happy because I’m my own Home Entertainment Center.
I took a bad fall from a horse at 16 and still limp a little when I’m tired.
I love Staten Kirkland (my hero in Ransom Canyon) because he’s strong and good, but I also love Wilkes Wagoner (Rustler’s Moon, January 2016) because he’s a hero looking for a cause.
I’m working on book 3 of the series right now and loving every minute. I’ve got a hero who has sworn off women for life. He thinks he has a truck load of trouble already when he meets his new boss, Jubalee. She’s bossy, about to lose her ranch, uncommonly crazy and the kind of sexy that messes with his mind and goals.
The hardest question I find to answer is “where do your ideas come from?” I truly don’t know. I pick up pieces of plot or of conversations sometimes.
I always start with a person. He or she comes into the office in my mind, sits down, and begins to tell me his story. Some nights I write longer just to see what is going to happen.
When I’m blocked, I love to just drive. Something about crossing open country makes my imagination explode with ideas.
***About Jodi Thomas***
New York Times and USA Today‘s bestselling author Jodi Thomas has published over 30 books in both the historical romance and contemporary genres, the majority of which are set in her home state of Texas. Publishers Weekly calls her novels “Distinctive…Memorable,” and that in her stories “[tension] rides high, mixed with humor and kisses more passionate than most full-on love scenes.”
In 2006, Romance Writers of America (RITA) inducted Thomas into the RWA Hall of Fame for winning her third RITA for THE TEXAN’S REWARD. She also received the National Readers’ Choice Award in 2009 for TWISTED CREEK (2008) and TALL, DARK, AND TEXAN (2008). While continuing to work as a novelist, Thomas also functions as Writer in Residence at the West Texas A&M University campus, where she inspires students and alumni in their own writing pursuits.