'Designing Women' Creator Comes Home for Book Signing - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Poplar Bluff -- Heather Flanigan Reports

'Designing Women' Creator Comes Home for Book Signing

September 28, 2004 – Posted at 3:53 p.m. CDT

POPLAR BLUFF -- A Region 8 native returns to her roots for a very special book signing. Writer and producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, best known for creating the hit television series 'Designing Women,' was in Poplar Bluff Tuesday.

“I know not every author stops in Poplar Bluff, but this is my hometown, so I said I wanted to stop here,” said Bloodworth-Thomason, as she continued her nationwide tour promoting her debut novel.

For some, the line was long, but the wait was worth it. Janie Longhibler traveled from the Lake of the Ozarks; she was visiting with relatives in Poplar Bluff when she learned of Bloodworth-Thomason’s visit.

“I read it in the paper and thought, yeah, that would be cool. I'd like to see her. I have enjoyed a lot of her shows, my favorite of course is Designing Women,” said Longhibler as she clutched several copies of Bloodworth-Thomason’s book.

The Poplar Bluff Hastings store was crowded with spectators as Bloodworth-Thomason appeared, promoting her new book, "Liberating Paris." The author visited with friends and fans, but says the town was her inspiration.

“I always say that I had such a happy childhood, my parents almost ruined my chances at writing. I think growing up here, I was a bit of a tomboy. I had a lot of very proactive relatives, a lot of lawyers who had a lot of opinions about everything,” said Bloodworth-Thomason, “I think my father always made me think. You know if you didn't have an opinion, you pretty much got sent to your room.”

For some folks waiting in line, it was more than a chance to meet Bloodworth-Thomason, it was a long awaited reunion.

“We went to high school together. She's a little younger than I am, but we had classes together. She just had so many opportunities and made most of them for herself and her talents,” said former Poplar Bluff High School classmate Evelyn Jones.

And while Paris may not be Poplar Bluff, there are many similarities. “Poplar Bluff inspired this book. A lot of my childhood inspired the book and the people here and so I wanted to give them credit,” said Bloodworth-Thomason.

"Liberating Paris" will soon hit the silver screen. The book will be made into a movie, directed by Bloodworth-Thomason, and is to star Melissa Etherige, Michelle Pfeiffer and Arkansas native Billy Bob Thornton.

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