Author Jo Huddleston is today’s guest. She talks about the inspiration behind her latest novel and is giving away a copy to one lucky commenter. See below for details.
When I wrote Wait for Me, I had been to a real coal community 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. Her house was palatial. Her daddy owned the coal mine there as does Julie’s daddy in my story.
I couldn’t see the coal community the night we arrived. The next day my friend took me to the company store. From there, I saw the tipple. An imposing structure towering above all around it.
The memory of that tipple took root. I wanted to write a book about a coal camp’s tipple. My second fiction series is set in the coal mining region of West Virginia.
When my friend showed me her small community, she didn’t show me the miners’ homes. What she knew and I didn’t was how the miners’ families lived—not in palatial dwellings!
Not until I researched for my story did I learn about coal miners’ substandard housing. The owner of a coal mine owned the miners’ homes—better described as shacks. All had only two bedrooms, no running water, and no bathrooms. The coal community had one well from which all the families drew water and carried it back to their houses.
My research for my story was an eye-opener. Photos from coal communities swelled my compassion for the people who lived there and subsequently I was able to write passionately about their lives.
With Wait for Me, research became more than valuable. Without this research I could not have written authentically—my descriptions and dialog would have been cardboard imitations. When you read Wait for Me, please know that compassion oozed from my fingertips as I tapped my keyboard. Enjoy reading about Robby and Julie!
Wait for Me
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 soulmates, Robby and Julie. The American South’s rigid caste system and her mother’s demand that Julie 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?
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 an 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.
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Purchase eBook for Kindle and print copies of Wait for Me at: http://tiny.cc/xndfwx
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The names of those who leave comments before 11:59 p.m. (Central time), Sunday, June 7th, 2015, will be entered in a random drawing for an eBook for Kindle copy of Wait for Me. The winner will be announced on Monday, June 8th.