Writing is Messy: Guest blogging for Southern Writers Magazine’s Suite T

Posted June 29, 2015

Many thanks to the editors of Southern Writers Magazine for the invitation to write about my messy process on the magazine’s blog, Suite T. Click here to read the complete essay.

Writing is Messy from Kathleenmrodgers' powerpoint presentation at Houston Writers Guiild conference

Kathleen M. Rodgers signed books at Barnes & Noble, Hurst, TX

Posted June 27, 2015

“A Little Boy’s Dream”

Posted June 13, 2015

 

"Wings of the City" by Mexican artist Jorge Marin in Sundance Square, Fort Worth, TX. As my husband, Tom (a retired fighter pilot/commercial airline pilot), stepped up and spread his arms out against the sculpture, I thought of a poem I wrote for him many years ago when he was still flying fighters. “A Little Boy’s Dream” captures my husband’s childhood dream to fly.

As my husband, Tom (a retired fighter pilot/commercial airline pilot), stepped up and spread his arms out against the sculpture, “Wings of the City” by Mexican artist Jorge Marin in Sundance Square, Fort Worth, TX, I thought of a poem I wrote for Tom many years ago when he was still flying fighters. “A Little Boy’s Dream” captures my husband’s childhood dream to fly.

 

 

 

“A Little Boy’s Dream”

© Kathleen M. Rodgers From the book, Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill 2002)

© Kathleen M. Rodgers
From the book, Because I Fly, compiled by Editor Helmut H. Reda (McGraw-Hill 2002)

 

 

 

Kathleen M. Rodgers reads from her novel, Johnnie Come Lately, for The Author’s Corner on Public Radio

Posted May 25, 2015 

I am one of five women authors featured this week on The Author’s Corner on Public Radio. We all write about war and its consequences.  My recording runs approximately ninety seconds. Please click the image to listen to me read from my latest novel, Johnnie Come Lately

The Author's Corner on Public Radio, Kathleenmrodgers reading from Johnnie Come Lately

 

 

 

Why there’s no “happy” in Memorial Day

Posted May 20, 2015

Photo courtesy Brian Brown/Vanishing South Georgia

Photo courtesy Brian Brown/Vanishing South Georgia

The following passage is from my second novel,  Johnnie Come Lately.  (Reader discretion advised).

     Johnnie was about to rave on Granny’s baked beans

when Callie Ann piped up, “Hey, D.J., tell everybody what

happened this morning when you went to buy cigarettes.”

     D.J. looked up from his plate. He put his fork down and

cleared his throat.

     “So, I’m standing in line at the 7-Eleven. The guy in front

of me pays for his stuff and says to this young female

cashier,‘Happy Memorial Day.’ Man, I thought that chick

was going to come over the counter. She shoves the guy’s change at him and

snarls, ‘What’s so fucking happy about Memorial Day?’ ”

     Johnnie cringed.

     Before anyone could say something, D.J. picked up his

plastic fork and stabbed at a pile of baked beans. “Sorry about

the F-bomb,” he apologized. “I’m just reporting what I heard.”

     Johnnie took a deep breath and reached for Brother’s head.

As usual, he was at her side, waiting for a scrap to fall. She

needed to hold onto the one member of the family who wouldn’t judge her.

Wouldn’t judge any of them.

     Running her fingers through his soft fur, she said what

needed to be said.

     “Well, considering that my father died in war, I have to agree

with that young lady at the 7-Eleven. There’s absolutely nothing

happy about Memorial Day. It’s a day set aside to honor the

war dead.”

 

Johnnie Come Lately released from Camel Press 2/1/15 and is

represented by Loiacono Literary Agency.

 

The author hugging her youngest son, former Army 1st Lieutenant (P) J.P. Rodgers, before his deployment to Afghanistan in 2014.

Hugging my youngest son at Fort Hood before he deployed to Afghanistan in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Author Kathleen M Rodgers welcoming home her youngest son, 1st Lt. J.P. Rodgers, from Afghanistan.

At the homecoming for my son, former 1st Lt. (P) J.P. Rodgers. My oldest son, Thomas, is to J.P.’s right.  In 2012, J.P.’s  roommate from Officer Candidate School was killed in action by an IED. Everyday is Memorial Day for the family of 2nd Lt. Travis Morgado. This is why we can never associate the word “happy” with Memorial Day.       

“I’m frustrated by people all over the country who view the day as anything but a day to remember our WAR DEAD. I hate hearing “Happy Memorial Day.” Jennie Haskamp, United States Marine Corp Veteran, for Washington Post.

 

Gypsy Muse Studio hosts author Kathleen M. Rodgers for Main Street Days in Grapevine, TX

Posted May 16, 2015

Gypsy Muse Studio 106 E Texas St, Grapevine, Texas

Gypsy Muse Studio, 106 E Texas St, Grapevine, Texas

L-R Literary agent Jeanie Loiacono, Claudia Hackett, Rhonda Revels, and author Kathleen M. Rodgers gather on the lawn of Gypsy Muse Studio in Grapevine, TX for Main Street Days. Kathleen signed copies of her novels, Johnnie Come Lately & The Final Salute.

L-R Literary agent Jeanie Loiacono, Claudia Hackett, Rhonda Revels, and author Kathleen M. Rodgers gather on the lawn of Gypsy Muse Studio in Grapevine, TX for Main Street Days. Kathleen signed copies of her novels, Johnnie Come Lately & The Final Salute. 

Kathleen with Claudia Hackett, who drove from Memphis, TN to meet Kathleen in person. Claudia and Kathleen met on Facebook years ago.

Kathleen with Claudia Hackett,  who drove from Memphis, TN to meet Kathleen in person. Claudia and Kathleen met on Facebook years ago.

 

 

Johnnie Come Lately’s fictional setting takes place in Portion, Texas, modeled after Grapevine. Anyone familiar with the area will recognize certain locations along historic Main Street, such as the Palace Theater and the corner bank building at Worth and Main. The cemetery along Dooley Street plays prominently in the story, as does the nearby lake.

L-R Claudia Hacket, Kathleen, and Meredith, an aviation mechanic from Savannah, GA who stopped by Kathleen's booth and left with autographed copies of Johnnie Come Lately and The Final Salute.

L-R Claudia Hackett, Kathleen, and Meredith, an aviation mechanic from Savannah, GA who stopped by Kathleen’s booth and left with autographed copies of Johnnie Come Lately and The Final Salute.

 

 

 

 

Johnnie Come Lately deals with the repercussions of a heat-of-the-moment confession, a son’s enlistment during wartime, and many other issues that American families deal with day to day. At the heart of the story is a woman whose mama has been missing for several years and the family secrets surrounding her disappearance.

Kathleen with Faith, the 14 year-old granddaughter of one of the owners of Gypsy Muse.

Kathleen with Faith, 14 year-old granddaughter of one of the owners of Gypsy Muse.

 

 

Kathleen M. Rodgers is a former freelance writer for Family Circle MagazineMilitary Times, and many other national and regional publications. Her first novel, The Final Salute (Deer Hawk Publications) has been featured in USA TodayThe Associated Press, and soared to #1 on Amazon’s Top Rated War Fiction. Her second novel, Johnnie Come Lately (Camel Press), has been featured in Southern Writers MagazineStars & StripesFort Worth Star-Telegram, and The Authors Corner on Public Radio.

She is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency.

 

 

Southern Writers Magazine presents “The Journey to Johnnie” by Kathleen M. Rodgers, author of Johnnie Come Lately

Posted May 4, 2015

Kathleen M Rodgers - SW May 2015 teaser

Click the photo to enlarge the image. If you aren’t a subscriber to Southern Writers Magazine and you’d like to read the entire article, please click here to order the May/June print or online edition with my story featured on page 30.    

 

01 SW Cover May 2015 (1)

Honored to see my name featured with other contributors on the cover of the May/June 2015 issue of Southern Writers Magazine.

Signing copies of my latest novel, Johnnie Come Lately, at Hastings Books in Clovis, New Mexico. To read more about my work, please visit my website @ www.kathleenMRodgers.com

Signing copies of my latest novel, Johnnie Come Lately, at Hastings Books in Clovis, New Mexico. To read more about my work, please visit my website @ www.kathleenMRodgers.com

Featured author in Southern Writers Magazine:blue

 

Former Clovis, NM resident Kathleen M. Rodgers visited Clovis on May 1-2 signing copies of her latest novel, Johnnie Come Lately.

Updated: May 6, 2015

Marquee in front of Hastings Books in Clovis, NM. :)

Marquee in front of Hastings Books in Clovis, NM. 

Kathleen signed copies of her latest novel, Johnnie Come Lately, at Hastings Books in Clovis, NM on Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2. At 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, she spoke about her writing journey at Clovis Carver Library.

Kathleen with her literary agent, Jeanie Loiacono, at Hastings Books in Clovis, NM.

Kathleen with her literary agent, Jeanie Loiacono, at Hastings Books in Clovis, NM.

Display at Hastings Books in Clovis, NM. Photo courtesy Debi Smith, friend of the author.

Display at Hastings Books in Clovis, NM. Photo courtesy Debi Smith, friend of the author.

 

 

 

Many thanks to Mel Eperthener, Manager of Hastings Books in Clovis, and Margaret B. Hinchee, Library Director Clovis-Carver Public Library, for hosting both events.

Purple PressOn Friday, May 1 at 11:20 a.m., Kathleen spoke with the staff of The Purple Press (the high school newspaper). Margaret Hinchee, Director of Clovis Carver Library, joined her. Margaret and Kathleen, Class of 1976, both served on the high school newspaper, Margaret as editor and Kathleen as student writer.

Award-winning members of The Purple Press Staff, 1976, L-R: Michelle Williams  (1976-77 editor-in-chief), Debbie Wetchensky (1975-76 outstanding typist), Margaret Burns (editor for Best Page), Kathy Doran (most improved writer and best story recipient), and Linda Taber (outstanding typist).

Award-winning members of The Purple Press Staff, 1976, L-R: Michelle Williams (1976-77 editor-in-chief), Debbie Wetchensky (1975-76 outstanding typist), Margaret Burns (editor for Best Page), Kathy Doran (most improved writer and best story recipient), and Linda Taber (outstanding typist).

Poster courtesy Camel Press. Library flyer  by Sarah Lewis, Adult Services Librarian, Clovis Carver Public Library.

Poster courtesy Camel Press. Library flier by Sarah Lewis, Adult Services Librarian, Clovis Carver Public Library.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIO:

Native New Mexican Kathleen M. Rodgers started writing for her high school newspaper, The Purple Press, her junior year.  She didn’t take the writing gig seriously until she won First Place for Feature Writing from New Mexico Press Women her senior year. The winning story, “Strange Blobs of Light Whiz Through the Night,” was inspired by the UFO sightings over Clovis in 1976. Kathleen is the former Kathy Doran, Clovis High School Class of 1976. Go Wildcats!

To read more about Kathleen, please visit her website. More photos of the Clovis book tour are posted on the Loiacono Literary Agency  website.

Former ENMU Student publishes second novel. Story by Wendel Sloan, Director of Media Relations at ENMU.  

 

War Memorial in Johnnie Come Lately by Kathleen M. Rodgers

Posted April 14, 2015

A war memorial plays a significant role in my latest novel, Johnnie Come Lately.
Photo courtesy Brian Brown/Vanishing South Georgia

Photo courtesy Brian Brown/Vanishing South Georgia

 

Siobhan Fallon, Army wife and author of the critically acclaimed collection, You Know When the Men Are Gone, says this about my novel:  Johnnie Come Lately evokes the pathos of family life—secrets, betrayals, misunderstandings, heartbreak, and just enough love and forgiveness to make it all worth it. Kathleen M. Rodgers treats her haunted characters with keen insight and empathy, offering them the second, third, fourth chances that all of us flawed human beings need.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnnie’s Journal

December, 1979

Portion, Texas

 

Dear Mama,

I’m up here at Soldiers Park, hoping you might come

swaying by with the breeze. Most of the leaves have dropped

and it’s getting cold. I asked the old soldier, the one you talk to

from time to time, if you’d happened by here lately, but he just

stands high on his pedestal, armed and ready, and gives me the

silent treatment.

He’s not about to give up your secrets—the secrets you pour

into him from this bench. Dark things hidden behind bronze

eyes that only seem to come alive for you.

Pick up the novel at www.johnniecomelately.com

Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency

North Texas Book Festival, April 11, 2015 in Denton, TX

Posted April 1, 2015

NTBFlogoDENTON – The 15th annual North Texas Book Festival, which celebrates all genres of writing, will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 11, 2015 at Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts. More than 50 authors from Texas and Oklahoma will sign and sell books.

The festival is free and open to the public.

The center is at 400 E. Hickory St., Denton, TX.

 

Schedule of events, including children’s activities

9:00  a.m.  North Texas Book Festival opens

9:30-11:30  a.m.  Balloon artistry by Al Curlett of Totally Twisted Balloons, the exhibit hall

General Interest Presentations in Craft Room (east wing):

9:15-10:00 a.m.   Children’s Story Time, featuring children’s book authors Andrew Fairchild (“Bali and Blu: Friends of a Different Color”) and Danielle A. Vann (“Gracie Lou and the Bad Dream Eater”)

10:00-10:45 a.m.   Featured Author Shelly Tucker: “Ghosts of Denton”

10:45-11:30 a.m.   Stories and Songs by Caryl McAdoo, a contemporary Western romance author

11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.  Performing Poetry with cowboy poetry recital by Elaine Fields Smith

12:15-1:00 p.m.  “Boy! That Air Feels Good: The Untold History of Car Air,” by Rod Barclay

Writers’ Block presentations on writing and publishing (east wing):

1:00-1:45 p.m.   Kathleen M. Rodgers and Jeanie Loiacono on working with an agent

1:45-2:15  p.m.   Gale Cochran Smith and Treva Tindol Dawson on writing with a partner

2:15-3:00 p.m.   Miracle Austin, Dancing with Rejection: How early publisher rejection strengthens one as an author

4:00 p.m.  North Texas Book Festival closesUPDATED ROSTER FOR NTBF 319

 

For an in-depth story on the festival, click here:

http://www.dentonlifestyles.com/2015/03/2015-north-texas-book-festival/

 

 

 

 

“No Stress Book Club” of Grapevine, TX discusses Johnnie Come Lately

Posted March 26, 2015

Dr. Cindy Ryan lead the discussion

Dr. Cindy Ryan led the discussion

Dr. Cindy Ryan, a minister at First United Methodist Church of Grapevine, TX,  read about Johnnie Come Lately in the book section of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and ordered the novel. She was intrigued by the book’s description:  “Johnnie Come Lately is set in historic Portion, a Metroplex suburb that is loosely based on Grapevine, and follows Johnnie Kitchen, a 43-year-old housewife with a secret.”

After Cindy read the novel, she contacted me through my website and told me she’d picked Johnnie for her book club’s March selection. She invited me to attend the “No Stress Book Club” which started in 2006. They’d never had an author visit before.

Last night, this warm and fun-loving group welcomed me with open arms. 

 

Members of the "No Stress Book Club" of Grapevine, TX met at the home of Trudy Hughes (bottom row, far L) to discuss Johnnie Come Lately.

Members of the “No Stress Book Club” of Grapevine, Texas, met at the home of Trudy Hughes (bottom row, far L) to discuss Johnnie Come Lately.

“A beautifully crafted story about family secrets and second chances, Johnnie Come Latley is a guaranteed book club favorite.”  Barbara Claypole White, award-winning author of The Unfinished Garden and The In-Between Hour

To learn more about Johnnie Come Lately, please visit my website.

“When I Became My Words” by Zachariah Claypole White

March 20, 2015

"At age 9, Zachariah had just won first place in the Carolina Parent Magazine writing competition, and his prize was to read his story at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham. (He needed a stepping stool to reach the podium.) After the event, the wonderful Cathy Davidson asked how it felt to read his words. In response, Zachariah wrote his first poem. He hasn't stopped writing and performing his words since…”  Award-winning novelist Barbara Claypole White

“At age 9, Zachariah had just won first place in the Carolina Parent Magazine writing competition, and his prize was to read his story at The Regulator Bookshop in Durham. (He needed a stepping stool to reach the podium.) After the event, the wonderful Cathy Davidson asked how it felt to read his words. In response, Zachariah wrote his first poem. He hasn’t stopped writing and performing his words since…” Award-winning novelist Barbara Claypole White

When I Became My Words

by Zachariah Claypole White

I stepped up to my fate

All my work lay before me

My legs were shaking

My heart was quaking

My hands became a mouth

And I became my words

My skin became pages

My heart became a pencil

And I wrote my soul

My legs were shaking

My heart was quaking

When I became my words

©2004 Zachariah Nigel Claypole White

Barbara Claypole White with her talented son, Zachariah, this past  Christmas.

Barbara Claypole White with her talented son, Zachariah, this past Christmas.

Zachariah’s bio:

Zachariah Claypole White is a multi-published poet and an award-winning singer-songwriter.  His poems have appeared in numerous publications including Highlights Magazine, and both his poems and lyrics have received many awards including a silver medal at the national level of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. He is a former winner of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poetry Series (middle grades) and was featured in the Durham Magazine as one of the “best and brightest” high school students in The Triangle area of North Carolina. In honor of his openness about fighting obsessive-compulsive disorder, the magazine dubbed him The Warrior Poet. He is currently a student at Oberlin College, where he is majoring in creative writing. YouTube video of Zachariah performing one of his slam poems about OCD: ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdCxeUFupCc

 

The Unfinished Garden by Barbara Claypole WhiteEnglish born and educated, Barbara Claypole White lives in the North Carolina forest with her family. Inspired by her poet/musician son’s courageous battles against obsessive-compulsive disorder, Barbara writes hopeful stories about troubled families with a healthy dose of mental illness. Her debut novel, The Unfinished Garden, won the 2013 Golden Quill Contest for Best First Book, and The In-Between Hour was chosen by SIBA (the Southern Independent Booksellers) as a Winter 2014 Okra Pick. The In-Between Hour by Barbara Claypole WhiteHer third novel, The Perfect Son, has a publication date of July 2015. For more information, or to connect with Barbara, please visit barbaraclaypolewhite.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Kathleen M. Rodgers on Wall of Fame at Tarrant County College/NE Campus

Posted March 18, 2015

What a kick to walk into the library at Tarrant County College/NE Campus and see my mug shot and name on the Wall of Fame. In 2014, I was named a Distinguished Alumna, but I hadn’t returned to campus to see the display until today. To read about the Wall of Fame, click here. In my latest novel, Johnnie Come Lately, my protagonist, Johnnie Kitchen, returns to college later in life. Portion Community College is modeled  after TCC/NE campus.

Kathleen M. Rodgers on the Wall of Fame at Tarrant County College/NE Campus, 2014 Distinguished Alumna Award

Kathleen M. Rodgers at the Wall of Fame at Tarrant County College/NE Campus (2014 Distinguished Alumna Award).

Kathleen M. Rodgers to speak at Houston Writers Guild Pre-Conference Workshop, March 28, 2015

Posted March 9, 2015

Houston Writers Guild announcement for Kathleenmrodgers   workshop March 28

Houston Writers Guild March 28 Conference with Kathleenmrodgers

Date: Saturday, March 28, 2015

Time: 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Location: Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston, TX  77055

Short presentation about Kathleen’s writer’s journey and how she acquired an agent

For more information, visit http://houstonwritersguild.org

BIO:

Kathleen with her literary agent, Jeanie Loiacono, in front of "Johnnie's house" in Grapevine, TX. The red brick bungalow in the background served as the inspiration for Johnnie Kitchen's home in Kathleen's second novel, Johnnie Come Lately.

Kathleen with her agent, Jeanie Loiacono, in front of “Johnnie’s house” in Grapevine, TX. The bungalow served as inspiration for Kathleen’s second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, set in the fictional town of Portion (based loosely on Grapevine).

Kathleen M. Rodgers is a former frequent contributor to Family Circle Magazine and Military Times. She is the author of The Final Salute and Johnnie Come Lately and is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency. In 2014, she was named a Distinguished Alumna of Tarrant County College/NE Campus. You can read more about the author here.

Gift From A Reader

Posted March 6, 2015

A handmade dishcloth sent to me from a loyal reader named Sheri. I was honored to sign her copy of Johnnie Come Lately. She was also kind enough to post a short review on Barnes & Noble.

A handmade dishcloth sent to me from loyal reader Sheri Anderson.  I was honored to sign her copy of Johnnie Come Lately. She was also kind enough to post a short review on Barnes & Noble.

 

From page 22 of the paperback edition of Johnnie Come Lately:

     “She shuddered and hid her face in the dishcloth. In her rush to save him, she’d made a horrible mistake.”

BIO:

Kathleen M. Rodgers is a former frequent contributor to Family Circle Magazine and Military Times. She is the author of The Final Salute and Johnnie Come Lately and is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency. In 2014, she was named a Distinguished Alumna of Tarrant County College/NE Campus. You can read more about the author here.