November’s featured author is Jodie Toohey. Jodie is the author of Crush and Other LovePoems for Girls, released in 2008. Her recent novel, Missing Emily: Croatian Life Letters, is now available for purchase at both The Book Rack locations, Exotic Imports, the West Kimberly Road Hy-Vee, Amazon.com, and other online retailers. Missing Emily tells the story of two girls living on opposite sides of the world, one in the United States and one in Croatia, who deal with their own turmoil, one of depression and the other of civil war, through pen pal letters in the early 1990s.
Jodie began to think about writing a book like Missing Emily after meeting her friend from Croatia several years ago. She thought back to what she was dealing with in her life in 1991 to 1992 and thought about how her perspective may have been different if they would have had contact during that time frame. About the book, Jodie says, “I believe the story will resonate with readers because, though the specific circumstances may be extraordinary, the issues are universal: death of a loved one, depression, boys, school, and trying to appear normal while dealing with turmoil ‘behind the scenes.’ I hope it will show readers who may be dealing with some of these issues that they are not alone and they are not new, which will hopefully comfort them and motivate them to seek solace outside of themselves. I also hope readers will be reminded there is a big world out there and even though they may be dealing with their own problems, there are people in the world dealing with much worse, like war. Finally, it contains a positive message about the evolving state of normal and remaining thankful for the good things you do have in your life.”
When Jodie is not working on her young adult novels, she is running her professional writing and editing business, Wordsy Woman Word Sales and Service; writing poetry; taking classes to earn her Masters of Business Administration; or volunteering for MWC, her next endeavor for which she will be leading a seven-session series of creative writing classes for seniors via a partnership between MWC and CASI. Her poetry book entitled The Other Side of Crazy is planned for release by 918 Studio in September 2013. To learn more about Jodie, please visit her website at www.wordsywoman.com. To read an excerpt from Missing Emily, click here. Or stop by to visit during the MWC holiday signing at Southpark Mall on November 24th between 1 and 4 p.m., or on December 8th at the Elmore Avenue Book Rack or December 15th at the Moline Book Rack, both from Noon to 3 p.m.
For aspiring writers and authors, Jodie offers this advice, “Follow your own heart. Your best writing will come directly from you, deep within your soul. Nobody else has your exact same perspective so whatever you write will be unique and authentic as long as it comes from you. Write to find out who that ‘you’ is and then infuse your writing with the ‘you’ you find.”