Jodi Thomas is a fifth generation Texan. She has a degree in Family Studies, and is a marriage and family counselor by education. She is also a successful writer, celebrating 25 years in publishing. 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 currently serves as Writer In Residence.
"My door is usually open to students all morning," explains Thomas, who talks to the classes at the University and on other campuses during her many speaking engagements when not writing in her spacious office in WTAMU's Cornette Library. "They come by to visit and ask questions about being a writer. When I was a child, being a writer wasn't an option. All the people I knew had regular jobs. I'm hoping that students will see that being a writer is a possibility. This is particularly important in these days when programs in the arts are being cut in the public schools."
Her view on her personal impact on the world has changed over the years. "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 or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, Tom, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo, and "checking up" on their two grown sons.
Jodi Thomas, along with Timothy Lewis, will be presenting a workshop at the Open Book Festival, this Saturday in Amarillo. The workshop, “So You Want to be a Writer,” begins at 9:30 in the Amarillo Civic Center Heritage Room. The event is sponsored by the Amarillo Public Library. More information can be found on the library’s website or facebook page.