Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut novel, That Summer, Book One in the Caney Creek Series has just released. Book 2 in the series is scheduled to release April 2013, and book 3 in the series is scheduled to release September 2013.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
We live in a college town, which made it convenient for our children to earn college degrees. We love living in the South and vacationing on the seashore of the Gulf of Mexico. We lost a fourteen year old cocker spaniel. I won’t get another pet because the pain of loss is too great.
What 3 fun or unique things can you tell us about yourself that we don’t know?
I chew my ice cream. I fear being in the dark. In high school I played varsity basketball.
Please describe yourself with three words.
Positive, hopeful, enthusiastic.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Being with my children and grandchildren, spending time at the beach, and of course reading.
How did you become involved in writing?
I minored in English in college and reading the literature in classes whetted my appetite for the written word. After that I became a voracious reader. When I retired from working, I sent a few short stories out. When the swift rejections arrived, I decided maybe I needed to know more about writing than just reading it. After reading writing craft books and magazines, the first article was accepted. I was hooked. Three years later my first two books released.
Where do you write? Do you have a dedicated office or a corner or nook in a room?
I have a corner of a room anchored with a desk, laptop, printer and stacks of papers.
Do you always know the title of your books before you write them?
In my mind I do. I plot my book in my mind. I choose a title that describes or summarizes that story. None of my titles have been changed by a publisher—yet.
Please tell us about That Summer.
That Summer is the first book in The Caney Creek Series. The book is an inspirational Southern historical novel set in the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee. The Great Depression brings devastation to all , but love’s triangle survives.
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.
Can you relate the book cover with your story?
That Summer is Book #1 in The Caney Creek Series. The top half of the cover shows a beautiful, peaceful creek that is as important as a character in the entire series. The lower half of the cover has a photo of a snazzy car from the late 1920s. You’ll have to read the book to learn why the car is significant.
What takeaway value do you hope your readers receive after reading this book?
That Summer is the story of God’s forgiveness so readers will understand that no matter how far they may stray from Him, His forgiveness is available. The book’s message is that God does not abandon His children, but rather they let go of God. The reader will discover that God is always close, waiting on the other side of their heart’s door; waiting for the straying one to love Him and depend on Him.
Where did you get the idea for your book?
All of my ancestors and I were raised in the East Tennessee Appalachian Mountains area. I listened to their entertaining stories, especially at family reunions, about their times past. As my ancestors began to pass away, I felt that their stories should not be forgotten. That Summer is NOT a true story. It is a story of many stories with a good bit of embellishment from me.
Did you have to do any research for this book?
Yes. Thank goodness for the internet where I found factual details to include in my book.
How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I began writing in 1990, sold my first article in 1991, and sold my first book at a writers’ conference in 1993.
What advice would you give to writers who have been writing a few years but still haven’t interested an agent or publisher in their novel?
Pray about every step you take on your writing journey. Strengthen that fruit of the Spirit—patience—for you will need it. Writing for publication is many times a waiting time. Be patient and never give up if you believe God has given you the talent to write for his glory.
What are you working on now?
That Summer has just released. I’m writing on book two in the Caney Creek Series. Publisher plans are for book two to release in April 2013 and book three to release in September 2013.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Read all you can about the craft of writing. Find a writers’ conference near enough to be affordable for you to attend. Soak in all you can in the workshops and from the speakers, editors, and publishers even at meal times. Be prepared for rejection. They won’t be rejecting you but what you wrote. Margaret Mitchell received over twenty-five rejections for Gone With the Wind! They told her nobody wanted to read about the Civil War.
Please tell us where we can find you.
My website/blog is at www.johuddleston.com
On Facebook you can find me at https://facebook.com/jo.huddleston.hope
Please tell our readers where they can get your book.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and CBD. If your bookstore doesn’t have the book they can order it for you if you give them this information:
ISBN 13: 978-1-9392190-3-9.
Jo’s publisher will sell her novel, That Summer, at a discounted price through this month of December only. You can buy the book for $9.99 if you click on this link http://donaldjamesparker.com/sosproducts.aspx?p=473&c=5
No limit to number of books purchased, but only discounted through December, 2012. The Kindle and Nook books should be online this week. Paperback will be on Amazon, B&N, and CBD whenever they put them on their websites.
Leave a comment by clicking on the conversation “bubble” at the top of this article, to enter a drawing to win your own copy of That Summer.