Threads of Change, Quilting Story Series #1Threads of Change, Quilting Story Series #1
Jodi Barrows
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In 1856, the political unrest is growing in the South. Lucas Mailly gathers his granddaughters and sends them west by wagon with a handful of men to lead them. He must stay behind to sell their beloved Riverton home and timber mill. The recently widowed Elizabeth Bromont doesn't want to disappoint her grandfather and pushes her own emotions aside to do what is expected. She takes charge of this band of women on their adventure across the frontier.With every turn along the wagon trail, these cousins, filled with city social graces and charm must learn how to handle the hardships and heartaches they face. Elizabeth finds herself with an unexpected suitor-her deceased husband's best friend. Her sister, Megan, encourages her, while keeping a secret of her own. Abby and Emma, the Mississippi cousins that have journeyed west, peel away the emotional layers put there by their heavy-handed plantation owner father and mother.
     

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 Christianbook.com Interview with Jodi Barrows


 

Please tell us a bit about yourself. What made you decide to become a fiction author?

I have always loved to read and spent my summers reading as a young girl.  The county librarian teased me that I had read every book in the building.  I couldn’t believe that they would let me take the books and keep them for two weeks!  As I pedaled away on my purple bike with the white wicker basket overloaded, I was the happiest child in the world.  My mother knew that I would be where the breeze floated through with my nose in a book.  As a young adult, I was disappointed with the quality and availability of quick read books.  I missed being swept away to another time and place.  I enjoy reading and writing books that aren’t predictable and I stay away from having a cookie cutter outline.  Although some of life is predictable, I tend to prefer that my reader doesn’t always know what will happen next. Unexpectedness or a twist in life is where God does his best work.

What is your favorite Bible verse? (translation too, please) Why?

Ephesians is my favorite book in the Bible and I usually read in the New Living Translation.  This book is short and easy to read, understand and apply to our day.  Hands down, Ephesians 3:17-21 is my favorite; really the entire chapter but in verse 20 it says “Now glory be to God who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes.” Now that’s what I’m talking about!

What sparked your interest to write Threads of Change?
 
Threads of Change is based on my family history and mostly the women in my family.  They have a great story and I wanted to tell it.  When I spend time in their story, it’s like I spent the day with them.  It’s refreshes and restores me; their story gives me strength and stability by remembering what they had to go through.

Do you have a strong interest in historical fiction? What draws you to the Civil War period of writing?
 
Historical fiction has always been my favorite; to learn about a time period through someone’s daily life.  It peaks my interest to know more and it allows the reader to know a little about many things.  Knowledge is power.

   The antebellum time period has a lot of romance and myth woven all through it.  It was when the clock stopped and the era changed.  It was the rebirthing of a nation, with pain and anticipation.  A race of people were set free, a president was assassinated and a nation was ripped apart.  At the same time, a new culture was growing in the west, as territories were establishing another way of life and the native American Indian was eroding.  It was as if the tectonic plates were shifting again and the world would never be the same.  When the dust finally settled, we were into the industrial age and a whole new way of life. Studying people and how they adapted to their way of life is inspiring.  If we are teachable, it can give us courage and turn us into a better person.

What part of your background was involved in creating the setting and characters for Threads of Change?

It all starts with my great, great grandmother and her grandfather.  The story is about the things my family experienced in the mid 1800’s. 

 

 

How much research did Threads of Change take?

I have spent my entire life learning family history from the women in our family.  They lived to be old and healthy and remembered everything.  Growing up we received these stories and not stories about Cinderella. 

I find that the research into a time period or certain area of history is rewarding and captivating.  When I discover these interesting facts, it is exciting to thread them into the story.

How much of Threads of Change is based on factual information?

I took the stories of the women in the family and blended them with my imagination and history of the era to make it come into a full story.

What are the most interesting facts that you learned while researching and writing Threads of Change?

In 1850, the average life expectancy of a white man was 38 and for the black man it was 30.
 
I also found it interesting that the military abandoned their posts to move on to a new territory and just left the settlers to fend for themselves.

What other new writing projects do you have on the horizon?

The family of women continues in Threads of Home which will be released in February 2014.  I am currently working on the third one which jumps into the Pony Express time period as well as the Civil War and the birth of the western territories.

What message would you like your readers to take from reading Threads of Change?

I want the reader to be encouraged in their situation of life as well as become closer in their walk with their Heavenly Father.  It would be exciting if the reader could know Him better and hear Him breath and speak as He gently, lovingly guides us individually to abundant life.  I hope they will encounter Him as never before.

 

What organizations are you involved with?

In my current busy schedule, I am involved with my local Gateway Church and my family.  I do, however enjoy being a teacher/leader at a youth church camp each summer in the Ozarks.

What are some of the challenges you face as an author?

I could write or do research everyday as I really do love it.  However, with my new business to run and a lecture schedule to keep, I find that impossible.  Sometimes I wish that there were two of me so I could lecture, teach and write each day!

Who is the person who most influences your writing?

There are too many to mention them all but mostly the women of the family, being true to themselves and their story as well as telling it like it is.  So much of history is being rewritten or just plain forgotten.

When my mother gave me permission to write the story, we were talking on my back porch.  She said “You write the story, but be sweet when you tell the story.  We are human and made mistakes or poor choices.  We may not all be here now, but I guarantee that we will be at the Pearly Gate waiting for you and eternity can be a long time to hear our opinion of what you wrote!

What aspects of being a writer do you enjoy the most?

I like writing a different story, with true to life hardship and courage.  It’s pure joy just setting on my back porch and letter the story evolve as the wind whispers through the gardenias and crape myrtles. This allows me to get into the souls of the characters as if they were breathing.

What do you do to get away from it all?

My retreat is my back porch and breezeway; at times I enjoy the silence of the breeze or maybe some music that gets me relaxed or excited.  Reading a book or writing in my journal is a wonderful get away for me.  With my current travel schedule, any time at home I consider to be precious like a retreat.
Another side line interest of mine is reading about quantum physics, biology and mechanics.  I would love to have a block of time to really delve into these topics. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

I really want the reader to fall in love with these characters, thinking about them and their actions.  My main goal would be for them to start their own encounter with God and a desire to hear His voice, spend time with Him and fall in love with the Creator of Love.

 

 


 

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Threads of Change, Quilting Story Series #1 -eBook

Threads of Change, Quilting Story Series #1 -eBook
Jodi Barrows
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