Author pays visit to Clinton

Next book due out Jan. 5

By Kristy D. Carter -


Tawni O’Dell has been calling Clinton and the Richert Inn home for the last two weeks. O’Dell is a New York Times bestselling author.

O’Dell, who is in town with husband Mitchell Maxwell, director of the film Tarnished Notes, thought spending some time in Clinton would be a great way for her to delve into her newest book writing.

Growing up in a small town in Pennsylvania, O’Dell has published five books, with the sixth due out Jan. 5. All of her books have a small town setting.

“I grew up in a small town, but I have lived in big cities,” O’Dell shared during an interview from the Richert Inn earlier this week. “There is still a part of me that loves spending time in a small town.”

O’Dell and her husband have called Clinton home for the last few weeks, as Maxwell has been shooting a locally produced film, based on the book written by Sampson Independent Publisher and Editor, Sherry Matthews.

As a child, O’Dell said she loved writing and even pursued journalism as a degree in college. For a short time, the published author said she worked for newspapers, but quickly learned she had a passion for fiction and wanted to turn her path towards being a writer.

O’Dell’s first book was published when she was just 22 years old, and by the time she was in her mid 30s, she was married and had two children. At that milestone in her life, she said she had written five novels, but all five were rejected.

“I probably have over 200 rejection letters from those books,” O’Dell explained. “I was writing about stuff I didn’t care about. When I realized it and made a change, my book was published.”

Back Roads, O’Dell’s first published book, spent 12 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List. It was a featured book in Oprah’s Book Club. Plans are in the works to turn this novel into a movie.

“Meeting her launched my career,” O’Dell attested about Winfrey.

The book’s setting is a small town, a place much like Clinton. Spending the last few weeks in town has been the perfect place for O’Dell to spend time writing, she attested.

“Writers spend a lot of time in their heads,” O’Dell shared. “Small towns are the perfect place to do that.”

O’Dell’s sixth novel, Angel’s Burning, will come out Jan. 5, but is available now on for pre-order.

Angel’s Burning is the beginning of a series — something O’Dell has already started working on. Hopefully, the series will be developed into a television series.

“I’m glad I ended up here,” O’Dell said of her time in Clinton. “I can’t say enough about how nice the people are.

O’Dell’s other books are Coal Run, Sister Mine, Fragile Beast and One of Us. For more information on O’Dell or any of her books, visit her website at or Facebook page.

Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

Next book due out Jan. 5

By Kristy D. Carter


Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.

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