Ever since meeting Jodi, from WOW!, I have had the opportunity of hosting many talented authors. Today is no exception. Jodi is stopping by to introduce us to Ms. Jadie Jones. Welcome ladies!
Young-adult author. Equine professional. Southern gal. Especially fond of family, sunlight, and cookie dough.
I wrote my first book in seventh grade, filling one hundred and four pages of a black and white Mead notebook. Back then I lived for two things: horses and R.L. Stine books. Fast forward nearly twenty years, and I work with horses as a coach for the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) and hoard books like most women my age collect shoes. Its amazing how much changes… and how much stays the same.
The dream of publishing a novel has hitch-hiked with me down every other path I’ve taken (and there have been many.) Waitress, farm manager, road manager, bank teller, speech writer, retail, and more. But that need – the call from within to bring pen to paper – refused to quiet. Finally, in 2009, I sat down, pulled out a brand new notebook, and once again let the pictures in my head become words on paper.
Then I got married. Moved. Life sped up the way that it does, claiming each day faster than the last. I became a mother, and my manuscript reverted to something I would do one day. Thankfully, babies take naps, and there’s only so much daytime television a person can stomach. And Tanzy, that main character of mine, was shouting at me from my office: “Hellooo? We aren’t done yet, Jadie.” So I pulled her out. I read our story. I tore it to pieces. And then I put it back together again.
As a child, my grandfather would sit me in his lap and weave tales about the Cherokee nation, and a girl who belonged with horses. His words painted a whole new world, and my mind would take flight. My hope – my dream – is that Tanzy’s journey does the same for you.
Confession time: Jadie Jones is not my name. It’s a pen name I created to honor two fantastic women who didn’t get the chance to live out their professional dreams. First, my grandmother – a mother of four during post World War II America, who wanted to be a journalist so bad that even now when she talks about it, her blue eyes mist and she lifts her chin in silent speculation. And second, a dear friend’s mother who left this world entirely too soon. To Judy Dawn and Shirley Jones, Jadie Jones is for you.
Connect with Jadie at these sites:
I recently returned from a weekend event in New York, where I got to spend a lot of time speaking with Moonlit enthusiasts. Seeing someone’s eyes light up when they ask me about my book is one of my favorite things in the world. Several times, I was asked if any of the characters are based off of anyone I know. My answer always comes as a surprise: Tanzy’s horse Moonlit and the relationship they share was inspired by a horse I had in college named Luna.
Tanzy loses Moonlit to her mother’s grief: in a drunken rage, her mother sells Moonlit to a stranger for one dollar (fun fact: the sale of a horse is only official and legal if there is proof that at least $1 changed hands.) I didn’t lose Luna that way, but I did give her up when I really, really didn’t want to. She had a cancer virus that affects horses, and developed a large tumor (about the size of a grapefruit) above her knee. I spent every dime I had on surgeries, chemotherapy, and a treatment called cryonic freezing. But nothing worked. I was out of money and the vet was out of options. He said she had months to live. So I posted an ad online, seeking help. A couple of weeks later, I gave her away to a woman in Florida who promised she’d do everything she could to save her.
She did. An experimental treatment removed the tumor on Luna’s leg, which was the biggest threat because it had started warping the bone underneath, and a horse can’t live on three legs. She will always carry the virus, but many measures are in place to lessen the chance that new tumors will erupt. Since then, she’s given birth to many babies, most of which quickly earned national titles. Luna herself earned the title “Horse of the Year” several times over.
In retrospect, my journey with Luna, losing her, and the wonderful things that happened because of it had a hand in inspiring the plot of Moonlit in two ways. One, the ripple effect of a single action, and how often times our paths are circular. And two, for better and for worse, nothing comes without a cost.
ABOUT THE BOOK
From Amazon: Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.
When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.
But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself?
Paperback: 310 pages
Publisher: WiDo Publishing (April 16, 2013)
THANKS TO JODI FROM WOW!,
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