Please welcome Jo Huddleston to my blog today by commenting!
How long have you known that you were a writer? Did you receive a clear “call?” Or have you just loved writing all your life?
In college I minored in English. When attending literature classes, the others in the class would not understand what Shakespeare wrote. At the same time I did, and enjoyed literature classes. Then in the English classes where we had to write essays, etc., I loved it. So I carried that love of the written word into my adult years, reading constantly. Somewhere along the way I knew my writing talent came from God. When I began to write for publication, I wrote for the Christian marketplace.
What is the genre you write in? Would you explain what it is?
I call my novels inspirational Southern historical romances. My novels are set in the Southeast U.S in the 1950s and earlier in the 20th century.
How do you spend your writing days? Do you set goals to reach a certain number of words per day? Can you give us a general idea of how long it takes you to write a novel?
When I’m writing a novel, I set a goal of 2,000 words per day and/or a 10,000 word goal per week. Some days I don’t reach my goal but then some days I go over the goal. That helps me get the 10,000 words per week. If I stick to those goals I can get a first draft in 2-3 months.
What is the spiritual message in your latest book? What can readers expect to get from reading it?
The spiritual message in my latest novel, Claiming Peace, is the Scripture verse of Philippians 4:7: “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” I hope my readers will understand the truth in that Scripture verse, that Jesus left us with His peace, but we have to claim it and hold onto it.
You recently had another book published. Would you take this time to describe it to us? How and where can readers buy your books?
My previous book published was Beyond the Past, book 2 in the Caney Creek Series. The message of that book is from 1 Peter 5:7: “Casting all you care upon Him, for He careth for you.” After their parents die, the oldest sibling, Jim, guides the Callaway family and holds them together. His baby sister, Emmajean skids into jail on drug charges in Atlanta. She struggles to recover physically and spiritually with her lawyer’s help as he champions her inside and outside the courtroom. Jim’s nephew, Art, is one step ahead of the truant officer, wrecks his car, and officials suspect alcohol is involved. Art awaits his fate at the hands of the juvenile court judge. Jim and Caroline continue their bumpy journey as they seek realization of their dreams.
Claiming Peace, book 3 of the Caney Creek Series has just released. The book visits again the Callaway family and friends in 1951who live in the Southern Appalachians of East Tennessee, Why did Callie have an appointment with a neurologist? Will she work her way through whatever lies ahead for her and her family? Does Emmajean’s attraction for the young lawyer, Terry, blossom further or die on the vine when he wants her to meet his parents? Can Caroline and Jim find happiness in their long-delayed marriage?
You’ll meet some new characters as the Callaway saga continues. Follow the Callaway family throughout the Caney Creek Series—live their triumphs, sorrows, achievements, and losses.
Where do you get ideas? Character names? Do you find your characters similar to you in any way?
My ideas just pop in my head, not suggested by any of my environment. So I have to believe that God put them there. I don’t believe in coincidences, only God incidents. I try to choose my character names that were used in the time and area of my books. I’ve read that authors put a little something of themselves into their characters. Maybe, but not into all their characters. My favorite character in the Caney Creek Series is Emmajean. I would love to be a person who could think and act somewhat as she does.
Do you ever feel like giving up? Most people don’t understand the stress, the work, and the joy of being a writer. How tenuous becoming a writer is. Do you care to share how it feels, what discouraging/encouraging times you’ve gone through? Who’s inspired you the most?
Oh, I think at times everyone on every path of life may feel like giving up. When a deadline has to be rescheduled it’s discouraging. I encourage myself by remembering that God gave me the story and the talent to write it. Who’s inspired me the most—that is a difficult question to answer. Many authors’ works have inspired me. But my most inspiration comes from a reader not an author—my best friend, Carrol.
Would you roughly explain how you “chose” (or was chosen) a publisher? Do you just go “inny, minny, miny, moe?” Grin. Now, that you’re published, can you sit back and relax from the success you’ve experienced?
When the publishing industry started going through multiple changes coupled with the eBook explosion, the bigger publishers seemed not to spend much time with debut novelists. I belong to the America Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), which maintains a list of their acceptable publishers—those that pay royalties and do not charge the writer fees to get their book published. I chose a small publisher from that list and have been pleased working with them. No, now that I’m published, I can’t sit back and relax because there are still stories in my head I want to get down on paper.
Do you mind telling us some of your likes and dislikes? Hobbies, interests? Where would you like to travel if you could? Etc.
I love to spend time with my grandchildren. I would like to take a cruise ship in the Alaska area. There is much more in America that I want to see.
Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out? Anything else you’d like to share? Promotional information?
My website: http://www.johuddleston.com/p/home.html
My blog: http://www.johuddleston.com
Where you can purchase my Caney Creek Series books:
Signed copies available at my website: http://www.johuddleston.com/p/home.html
Paperback copies are available at my publisher’s site http://www.donaldjamesparker.com/sOSProducts.aspx
Kindle eBook available at amazon
Nook eBook available at barnesandnoble
Thank you, Carole, for having me to visit your readers and you. I’ll be doing other blog visits where one commenter will win a copy of Claiming Peace. You can find a list of the blogs I’ll visit by clicking the Blog Visits tab at the top of any page of my website. Carole’s website is included and one of the commenters of this blog will win a copy of Claiming Peace.
After writing three traditionally published nonfiction books of devotions and prayers, the three novels in the Caney Creek Series are out: That Summer, Beyond the Past, and Claiming Peace. The books in the Caney Creek Series are inspirational Southern historical romance novels.
I earned a B.A. degree with honors from Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University. I am a member of Lincoln Memorial University's Literary Hall of Fame.
Now, I'll share my non-literary side. My work experience includes: in college I worked in the dining hall, typed for professors, and worked in the office of my university's president. In my adult life I have been a high school classroom teacher, high school guidance counselor, private secretary, state-wide political campaign secretary, owner-operator of two small businesses, and a real estate agent.
Back Cover Blurb of Claiming Peace:
Facing her lowest moments, Callie’s life begins to crumble. Can she find peace to help her endure?
Visit again the Callaway family and friends in 1951 who live in the Southern Appalachians of East Tennessee. Why did Callie have an appointment with a neurologist? Will she work her way through whatever lies ahead for her and her family? Does Emmajean’s attraction for the young lawyer, Terry, blossom further or die on the vine when he wants her to meet his parents? Can Caroline and Jim find happiness in their long-delayed marriage? You’ll meet some new characters as the Callaway saga continues. Follow the Callaway family throughout the Caney Creek Series—live their triumphs, sorrows, achievements, and losses.
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