Today Jo Huddleston, author of the Caney Creek Series That Summer is visiting with us.
Jo will be offering a copy of That Summer, the first book in her series to a lucky commenter. Please leave your email address so I can get in touch with you if your name is chosen. By the way, Jo, I love the car on your cover!
So, Jo, Please tell the readers about the book that is being showcased today.
THAT SUMMER, an inspirational Southern historical romance, is book 1 in my Caney Creek Series.
To escape his poppa’s physical abuse and their dirt-poor farm life, Jim flees to an imagined prosperous city life where he can make his own choices, ignoring God patiently knocking on his heart’s door. Settled in town, Jim strays from God and the way of faith his momma taught him. He meets a girl and loses his heart … and meets another girl and loses his willpower. Jim wrestles with social and moral dilemmas as he makes a choice beside Caney Creek that will alter the lives of five people.
Sounds intriguing. How did you come up with the concept for this book?
THAT SUMMER is Book 1 in the Caney Creek Series. The setting of the series is the Southern Appalachians of East Tennessee where my ancestors and I grew up. I’ve listened to older generations tell stories at family reunions about time before telephones and automobiles. Their stories fascinated me and caused me to want to write about a time before I was born.
At the conclusion of THAT SUMMER I realized I couldn’t leave my characters in some of their situations. I had to write at least one more book about them. Book 2, BEYOND THE PAST, came to be. Book 3 in the Caney Creek Series, CLAIMING PEACE, released in September 2013.
What are you working on now? Do you have a release date for this book?
I’m working on another sweet Southern romance, which takes place in the coal mining regions of West Virginia in 1956. Just finished my first rough draft. Now the hard part—editing. Then I’ll submit it for publication.
Editor usually want those series released quickly to keep readers coming back. Are you a fast writer or a slow writer? What’s the most number of pages or words you’ve ever written in a day? The average number per writing session?
I’m a fast writer. I don’t work with an outline and sometimes the words leave my brain almost faster than I can type them. I’ve written 3,000 words in a day when on deadline. My goal is to write at least 1,000 words a day.
Setting is also important in books. Do you do anything special to create yours, like visiting the area, googling satellite maps, looking at books or pictures?
I’m born and raised in the South and have lived in several of the Southeastern states. My novels are set in places I’ve been. Sometimes I have to go to Google to determine distances and weather for the period I’m writing about.
Do you have a favorite book? (Or books since it’s always hard to whittle it down to one.)
SAME SWEET GIRLS by Cassandra King
THE FAMILIAR STRANGER by Christina Berry
How often do you read non-fiction?
My first three books, which were traditionally published, were nonfiction books. Now, any nonfiction books I read are usually writing craft books.
You’re published in non-fiction too? How interesting. What about other mediums? Do you have an all-time favorite movie that has stuck in your mind or that you’d watch over and over?
How about two? GONE WITH THE WIND and TITANIC. I could watch these movies over and over.
I love Gone with the Wind, too. There’s something about that antebellum era that seems so romantic.
Now for some quickies. What’s your:
Favorite food? Pizza—always hits the spot as a meal or a snack
Favorite singer or band? Bette Midler, singer—who could forget Wind Beneath My Wings?
Favorite season? Fall—not too hot or too cold. I even enjoy the beach in the fall.
Favorite flower? Daisy—a simple little flower that’s not given its 15 minutes of fame. (Daisies are my daughter’s favorite flower, too.)
Favorite color? Blue—almost every garment in my closet is some hue of blue.
Mug or teacup? Mug—I love the big handles, room for all fingers.
It’s been a pleasure having you here today. As you say goodbye, can you leave the readers with an encapsulation of your life’s philosophy?
A favorite Bible verse and one I’ve sought to instill in my children is Philippians 4:8. If everyone tried to follow those words, our world would be a better place to live.
Thanks for visiting with me today, Jo. Keep reading for an excerpt from Jo’s book.
Excerpt from That Summer
The back of Poppa’s big hand smacked across Jim’s face and flung him against the splintered timbers of the barn wall.
“What’re you doin’ outside when you ain’t finished your chores?”
“Uh, . . . me and The Twins was just foolin’ around, Poppa.”
Poppa scowled at his son. “Well, you best get that hay pitched down for the mules. The Twins need to draw water for the animals and shuck corn to feed the hogs.”
Jim stood and tried not to think about how much his face hurt. “There’re comin’. We’ll get to it all, Poppa. We’ll finish before dark.”
John Lee Callaway’s hand curled into a fist at his side. “You’ll do it now! Don’t you sass me.”
THAT SUMMER (and the other 2 books in this series) is available in paperback from Huddleston’s publisher’s, www.swordofspirit.net and you can buy a signed copy at Huddleston’s website, www.johuddleston.com. Also paperback and eBook copies are available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Caney-Creek-Series-Volume/dp/1939219035/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1404589003&sr=1-1). The book can be ordered at any bookstore nationwide.
Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. After writing three traditionally published nonfiction books, she currently writes sweet Southern romances. Her three traditionally published novels in the Caney Creek Series are THAT SUMMER, BEYOND THE PAST, and CLAIMING PEACE. Visit with Jo and her books at her website/blog, www.johuddleston.com. Jo holds a B.A. degree with honors from Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and is a member of their Literary Hall of Fame. She has a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University. Jo is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW).