Today on Wednesday Writers best-selling Amazon author Jo Huddleston is talking about research, and what she did to make her Christian Historical Romance Promise Me accurate. She’s offering one eBook copy of Promise Me for a giveaway drawn from commenters on her post today. Your chance to get into the giveaway will run through Tuesday May 24, so be sure and leave Jo a comment. Now let’s hear what she has to say about researching books.
Most writers prefer writing creatively instead of doing research. However, unless a writer is writing about her own backyard, research will inevitability be necessary. An expected requirement for writing historical fiction is doing research and there’s just no way to get around it.
Doing research is much easier now than even a few decades ago. With the internet, research sources are literally at our fingertips 24/7.
I write sweet Southern historical romance. I knew when I set my stories during the Great Depression of the 1930s that I would have to rely on research. That was a period I could not depend on “write what you know.” I did extensive research for books 1 and 2 of this series.
In my latest release, Promise Me, the third and final book in my West Virginia Mountains series, I could rely on what I knew for portions of the book. This story opens in late 1960 in West Virginia. However, when the plot of Promise Me wove its way to the battlefields of the Vietnam War, I had to turn to research to make my story authentic and convincing.
A writer has various avenues of research to explore and this held true for me. Of course the validity of the written word for historical research is a valuable resource. For my reading about the Vietnam War, I relied on encyclopedic references, photos taken on location, and testimonials of Vietnam War veterans. In addition, one of my most valuable resources was face-to-face accounts from American servicemen.
Although some of the personal accounts I was privileged to get were from veterans of wars other than the Vietnam War, war is war. As you read Patrick and Adriana’s story in Promise Me, I hope you will find Patrick’s experiences realistic. In part, I wrote them based on facts and feelings I received from respected, reliable, and living resources.
Yes, Promise Me, is fiction. But to make historical fiction believable, an adequate amount of reality must be woven with the threads of fiction. That’s what I attempted to do when writing this new release. I hope you won’t doubt what you read about the historical situations and locations mentioned within its pages.
by Jo Huddleston
In 1960, civil discord in Vietnam fills the news. After his college graduation, Patrick Fitzgerald plans to join his daddy’s South Carolina accounting firm. But Uncle Sam may have another position in mind for Patrick—in the U.S. Army. His family’s affluence would be no match for the persuasion of the military draft.
Adriana Montagna’s papá ekes out a living as a coal miner in the mountains of West Virginia. Can a lasting relationship form with Patrick, or will his wealth become a barrier between them?
Meanwhile, the fiber of America’s unity stands on the precipice, while its youth fight a no-win battle on foreign soil. What good can a young couple hope for at such a time as this?
August 1960 – Morgantown, West Virginia
“Good night, Chet. Good night, David. And good night for NBC News.” The program signed off with the Texaco Gasoline red star logo across the screen.
In Dean Loreen Fletcher’s apartment, Patrick Fitzgerald sat closest to the television when NBC’s Huntley-Brinkley Report ended. He stepped to the floor-standing console and turned off the television. He took his time returning to sit on the sofa beside Adriana Montagna. A somber silence settled over the living room and its six occupants, interrupted only by the humming window air conditioner.
Patrick scooted to the front edge of the sofa cushion and rested his forearms on his legs. “I don’t want my first job after graduation to be in Vietnam.”
No one remarked and he continued. “The situation over there worries me. Now Washington announces we’re sending 3,500 soldiers to South Vietnam to help them fight against the communist North Vietnamese. When I graduate from college in December, I hope their mess over there has cooled down some.”
Adriana laid her hand on his back. “Patrick, hush. We don’t want to think about you going overseas.”
He turned toward her. “Look, Adriana, while I’m enrolled in college, I have a Student 2-S deferment from the military draft. The minute I graduate, that deferment goes away. I have to think about going overseas.”
Claude Capshaw agreed. “I’m afraid Patrick may be right. Looks like we might possibly be in for some bad things ahead.”
About the Author:
Jo Huddleston is an Amazon Bestselling author of books, articles, and short stories. Novels in her West Virginia Mountains series and her Caney Creek series are sweet Southern historical romances. Her novels are endorsed by Amanda Cabot, Debra Lynn Collins, Cara Lynn James, Sharlene MacLaren, and Ann Tatlock. The redeeming story of God’s pursuing love is the foundation of her novels, and in them you will find inspiration, hope, and gentle stories that are intriguing and entertaining. Jo is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN).
Website (Read novel first chapters here): Christian authors’ books blog: Inspirational blog: Sign-up for Jo’s mailing list: Facebook author page: Facebook personal page: Amazon author page: Goodreads: