As a five-year old, JoDee experienced culture shock when her Texas-born Dad announced to her Southern California-born Mom, we are leaving the ocean breezes and palm trees for mesquite bushes and tumbleweeds. “Residing in Midland, Texas turned out to be a wonderful place to grow up, a small town mentality full of talented doers, dreamers, and the friendliest people on the planet.” After graduating high school, her eyes were on attending a small liberal arts college in Louisiana majoring in dance with aspirations of a career on Broadway or Los Angeles. Her practical-minded father nipped those pipe dreams in the bud with the suggestion that unless she wanted to be a nurse or teacher, finding a job was a better option than college, thus relegating her jazz hands to typing and shorthand. She spent her professional life in the banking industry prior to branching out into the public relations recruiting business, then handling publicity for a non-profit, writing freelance articles for newspapers and trade publications, installation ceremony scripts, and sadly a few obituaries. Her dream “job” has been chairing, writing minutes, and reviews for the ninety-plus community book club. JoDee also enjoys a byline, Back Porch Musings, a light-hearted view of life in general, in an area newspaper.
With little more than a burning desire to write, a vivid imagination, a sense of humor, and a love of reading, she plucked a few personalities off the family tree, encasing their world inside fictional events to create a literary novel, five-years in the making. A fixture in the family home tucked in a hall closet was an old world map brown leather suitcase filled with the mustiness of old memories…photographs, yellowed newspaper articles, hand-written journals, and Western Union telegrams. “Every face and every word inside this treasure trove of antiquity told a story.” Writing, rewriting, editing, stopping, restarting, researching, and reading “how-to” books led to the publication of Life in a Box in July 2017, her dream come true.
JoDee and her husband live in East Texas in close proximity to their only daughter, son-in-law, two grandsons, a bird dog, three cats, a donkey, and a few head of cattle. Her sophomore novel is in the developmental stages. The working title, The Whisper Room, is set in the Big Bend Ranch State Park.