Monday, May 18, 2015

Jo Huddleston Interview





Hi, Jo! Give us a couple sentences describing what you write.

I write sweet, Southern historical romance novels. I am a born-and-raised Southerner and I love to write about the settings I know and the kinds of people who populate them.



How would you label the overall mood of your stories: dark, gritty, poignant, sensitive, heart-warming, light, witty, humorous, adventurous?

Poignant, sensitive, heart-warming



What is the name of your latest book?

Wait for Me



What inspired you to write this story?

When I wrote my latest novel, Wait for Me, I had been to a real coal community only one time. One memorable time. I went home from college with a friend for a weekend. Her home was in the coal mining region in southern West Virginia.


We had arrived at my friend’s home after dark and I did not see any part of the coal community until the next day. My friend took me to the company store. When we left the store and stood on the porch, I saw the coal mine’s tipple. An imposing structure towering above all else around it.


The memory of that tipple engrained itself deep within my mind. I’ve always had a desire to write a book about a coal camp, including its tipple. This first book in the West Virginia Mountains Series is that book.



Using any celebrity, past or present, whom would you cast as your main characters?

A young Elizabeth Taylor and a young Montgomery Clift.



Oh, those are two of my favorites! A sneak peek into what you're working on right now?

Book 2 in the West Virginia Mountains Series. I don’t have a title yet. I usually pick my titles from a scene or chapter in the book.



If your life were a book, what would the title be?

Late Bloomer, But Worth the Wait



Fun! :) If you were in your heroine’s shoes when the story starts, would you react differently than she? How so?

Yes, I would have reacted differently. Julie, in my story, knows what she wants and won’t stop at anything until she gets it. At her age I was not that decisive and determined. I was more of an observer of things happening around me instead of the one causing things to happen.



I love seeing this insight into your character! Now, I'm dying to know, what does your writing space look like?

I have a heavy executive-style desk in the corner of a bedroom, anchored by a laptop, printer, lamp, and stacks of paper. It’s the same desk I used at home when I was in high school.



Wow, that must bring back a lot of memories! What better way to fuel writerly emotions!

What do you do for a fun break if you find yourself overwhelmed with writing pressures?

I zone out and read. When I read for pleasure I’m able to turn everything else off.



Do you blog? If so, leave us the address.

Yes, I have two blogs. One is where I highlight Christian authors and their books, with a book giveaway each week (http://www.johuddleston.com). The other blog is my inspirational blog where I share my thoughts and insight on varied topics (http://lifelinesnow.blogspot.com).  



What are you reading right now?

A Light in the Window by Julie Lessman



Oh, I loved reading that one. Can't beat a sweet historical romance for a good read, right? Thanks so much for being here, Jo. I really enjoyed getting to know the lady behind the craft,and I know everyone else will, too.



Author bio.

Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut novels in the Caney Creek Series and her latest book, Wait for Me, are sweet Southern romances. She is a member of ACFW, the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN), and holds a M.Ed. degree from Mississippi State University. Jo lives in the U.S. Southeast with her husband, near their two grown children and four grandchildren. Visit Jo at www.johuddleston.com or on her Facebook page.





Book blurb.

Can Julie, an only child raised with privilege and groomed for high society, and Robby, a coal miner’s son, escape the binds of their socioeconomic backgrounds? Set in a coal mining community in West Virginia in the 1950s, can their love survive their cultural boundaries?



This is a tragically beautiful love story of a simple yet deep love between two soul mates, Robby and Julie. The American South’s rigid caste system and her mother demand that Julie chooses to marry an ambitious young man from a prominent and suitable family. Julie counters her mother’s stringent social rules with deception and secrets in order to keep Robby in her life. Can the couple break the shackles of polite society and spend their lives together? Will Julie’s mother ever accept Robby?



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Jo is generously offering an eBook for Kindle copy of Wait for Me as a giveaway to one amazing commenter! The winner will be announced this Saturday, the 23rd!


Winner of last week's Surprise Book Giveaway is Library Lady (Janet E.). CONGRATULATIONS, Janet! I'll be in touch with you soon! :)

10 comments:

Jo Huddleston said...

Natalie, thanks for having me visit with your readers and you. Good luck to all in the book drawing.

Patty said...

I don't like to think of the US as having a 'caste' system, but I guess we do to some extent.
I just married in April and my husband and I couldn't come from any more different backgrounds! Thankfully my parents love him, and I think we will be great for each other and that will become even more evident as time goes on.

pattymh2000(at)yahoo(dot)com

Natalie Monk said...

Hi, Jo! Thank you so much for being here!

What a perfect setting for a love story complicated by social systems. While I know the South isn't the only part of the country steeped in social divisions, we definitely have our share of uppish folk. Haha!

I love the idea of taking Romeo and Juliet to the 1950s coal mining South. And I trust these characters get a better ending than poor Jules and Romie. Haha!

Natalie Monk said...

Hi, Patty! It's an interesting thought, isn't it? I've got you entered in the giveaway.

Best wishes on your marriage!

Jo Huddleston said...

Patty, thanks for leaving your comment. Many happy days with your new husband!

Loraine Nunley said...

This sounds interesting. There do not seem to be many christian fiction books from the 50's. I am looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.
momrain(AT)aol(DOT)com

Natalie Monk said...

Hi, Loraine! Thanks for coming by and saying hi! Best wishes in the giveaway!

Carole Jarvis said...

As a lifelong native of Georgia, there's nothing I enjoy more than southern fiction. Thank you, Jo and Natalie, for an enjoyable interview and giveaway. It's great to learn about your stories, Jo. I hope to read this story soon and help promote it also.

Carole
cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Jo Huddleston said...

Loraine, glad you find my book interesting. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

Carole, glad you enjoyed the post. When you read this book I hope you enjoy it and thanks in advance for your help to promote it. Thanks for commenting.

Natalie Monk said...

Hello, Carole! Welcome to the Sweet South Blog! Glad you enjoyed the interview. Hope you have a great Memorial Day Weekend! Best wishes in the giveaway!