Today’s guest is Jo Huddleston, 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. Jo is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the Literary Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University (TN). Here’s her thought of the day.
Introvert or Extrovert?
A commonly held notion is that authors are introverts. How could they be otherwise, wisdom argues. After all, novelists stay holed up in seclusion for hours or days writing their masterpieces. They have no contact other than with their fictional characters. Writers live in a make-believe world, others think, much like the kid who has a make-believe but invisible friend.
In my elementary school days, my lifestyle would qualify me as an introvert. Yes, raised an only child, I had little social interaction with my peers, and spent much of my time outside of school in the presence of adults. I was quiet, reserved, and stayed out of trouble. Even when I graduated from a rural high school in a class of sixty senior students, I was still pretty much an introvert. I did not, however, particularly enjoy my situation.
Because I’d be able to work on campus and apply my earnings to my tuition, I attended a small private college away from home. I determined to reinvent myself from my first moment on campus. I’m a Southern girl and many of us have double names—Peggy Sue, Shirley Ann, Carol Jean. I never offered my first name to those I met at college and was forever after known as Jo.
Before college, I had hardly been farther than my backyard except for a week’s family vacation each summer. Situated on campus, I may have learned more outside of the college classroom than in it. I visited a friend’s home in West Virginia whose daddy owned a coal mine. What an eye opener, among my many new experiences!
I observed the poor living conditions of the miners and their families, but also their excellent work ethic. Within the coal mining community I saw the Company Store, also owned by the mine owner, where the families traded tokens for dry goods and groceries. I was introduced to the coal mine’s tipple, the metal building perched on tall skinny legs that sat astraddle of railroad tracks and facilitated the loading of the mined coal into railroad bumper cars. The tipple truly fascinated me.
On that visit to West Virginia, I decided that someday I’d write about a tipple. I did so in the first book of my West Virginia Mountains series, Wait for Me. Readers have followed the mine owner’s family and a miner’s family through book 2 in the series, Trust Me. And now book 3 and the final book of the West Virginia Mountains series has released, Promise Me.
Here’s the back cover blurb of Promise Me:
When war calls…faith is tested
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?
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And, add your thought on Introvert or Extrovert. Thanks.