SWLA Spotlight: Jennifer Thibodeaux

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Jennifer Thibodeaux is a local author whose first book, a work titled Static, was published just three weeks ago by iUniverse. Thibodeaux presented her work on Dec. 17 at Central Library in Lake Charles, where she held a question and answer session and a book signing. To see a picture gallery detailing the event, visit http://greaterlakecharles.kplctv.com/photo-gallery/arts-culture/60340-swla-spotlight-jennifer-thibodeaux .

Static is described as a paranormal romance novel set in Southwest Louisiana. Thibodeaux says the book is aimed at young adults ages 14 to 23. Unlike in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, Thibodeaux said her series has no vampires or werewolves, and the main characters are not in high school. The main characters are in their twenties.

Thibodeaux said that she chose to illustrate an abusive relationship in her book because, "it's real world and it's something I've dealt with probably on a smaller manner, but it's something I know almost every person I know has been through, and I think it's ridiculous when we read book after book and everything's so perfect in the books, and there's nothing about real life in them."

Thibodeaux said that she began writing two years ago when the intermittent cable signal at her home in Sulphur caused her to turn to other pastimes.

"I didn't want to start writing; I didn't even realize I was writing a book," Thibodeaux said.  "We lived out in Sulphur, and none of my friends lived out there… There was a night whenever I had my daughters in my front room … and I was sitting on the couch watching TV… and the TV cut off," Thibodeaux said.

Thibodeaux said that she started typing and "the next thing I knew, it was 7:00 in the morning, and I had to be at work for 8:00."

Thibodeaux is a Lake Charles native and a single mother with two daughters. She has worked as a pharmacy technician at Walgreens for eight years, and she is also a student at McNeese State University and a graduate of LaGrange High School.

"I work in a pharmacy, and a pharmacy's fast-paced. It's always going. Everybody's yelling, and the phones are always ringing. It's just non-stop, so I think whenever I finally just sat down to quiet, (writing) was the easiest thing I've ever done," Thibodeaux said.

Describing her experience in getting her book published, Thibodeaux said, "I didn't think (my book) was good enough to be published. I didn't think it was anything anybody would want to read, but (my friend Angela) actually read them, actually read the books, and she just put it in her head that she was going to get them published. Then, one day, people started calling me and asking me if it was okay to talk to her (Angela) about my book, and six months later, we had a book in our hands."

"I guess she (Remy, the main character,) was me. She had a lot of the same issues I have. She's got a lot of the same personality, but she's more of who I wish I was. She deals with things a lot braver than I do, and she's a lot better at it, and I sometimes wish I could be as good as her, even though she's completely imperfect," Thibodeaux said.

Thibodeaux's advice to authors-to-be: "Like I said earlier, just write and write and write until you find something you just love, and I think everything else just happens."

Thibodeaux said her favorite types of books are classics and "unusual romance." She noted Jane Austen as her favorite author and Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice as her favorite novels.

Although Static is Thibodeaux's first book, it is only the first in a series of seven books that Thibodeaux plans to publish. Thibodeaux's next book is set to be released in 2013. None of the six pending books have been assigned titles yet. Thibodeaux wrote the manuscripts for all seven works over a one-year period.

Thibodeaux said she is working on a second series based on a slightly more "normal" romance, and she reports that the first book is about one-third complete.

Thibodeaux said that the hardest part of writing her books was keeping track of their timeline. She admitted mapping the events out on an actual calendar.

Static is available in both hardcover and paperback versions through iUniverse at http://www.iuniverse.com/ , Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/ and Barnes and Nobles at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ among other publishers. The book is also available at select bookstore locations.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.