Monday, April 22, 2013

Jo Huddleston's "Beyond the Past"

Beyond the Past back cover blurb
An inspirational Southern Historical with Threads of Romance
Emmajean Callaway’s life in Atlanta plummets from bad to worse. Can big brother, Jim, lead her back to the family who loves her and also hold the imploding Callaway family together?

Jim Callaway looks forward to 1951 and the chance to forge a relationship with Caroline after twenty years apart. He’s sidetracked when his sister and his best friend need his help. His baby sister, Emmajean, skids into jail on drug charges in Atlanta. The ordeal of incarceration and trial diminishes her and she needs rescuing, not only physically but spiritually. She struggles toward recovery and restoration with her lawyer’s help as he champions her inside and outside the courtroom. Jim’s nephew Joe is one step ahead of the truant officer, wrecks his car, and officials suspect alcohol is involved. Joe 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, wondering if they really can overcome obstacles to their being together after so many years.

1) How did this story come to you?
Beyond the Past is book #2 in the Caney Creek Series. The series is set in the Southern Appalachians of East Tennessee where I and my ancestors grew up. At annual family reunions as a little girl, I’d listen to my relatives’ stories about time before TV and air conditioning. All those stories stayed in my mind from year to year. Those stories needed to be told. This book is fiction but it came to me from listening to real people.

2) Tell us about the journey to getting this book published.
The first book in the series, That Summer, started simmering in my head in the late 1990s. In 2001 I was diagnosed with a health problem that prevented me to write, either by hand or computer (this was before speak-to-type). I thought my writing career was over. In 2008, I regained ability to hold my fingers on the home keys of the computer and finished book #1 soon thereafter. But getting an agent or a publisher for a first time novelist seemed impossible. I discovered ACFW, joined, and found my publisher on ACFW’s list of recognized publishers. I couldn’t write That Summer and not have a book #2 so I wrote book #2, Beyond the Past.

3) Tell me three things about yourself that would surprise your readers.
Well, not much surprises folks these days, but here goes:
I played varsity basketball in high school
I am claustrophobic
I chew my ice cream

4) What are you working on now and what's next for you?
I’ve begun book #3, Claiming Peace, in the Caney Creek Series. I hope to be able to start another series but that’s not settled yet.

5) Parting comments?
Dawn, it was my pleasure to visit with you and your readers on your blog. Thanks for having me.

6) Where can fans find you on the internet?
Website/blog: http://www.johuddleston.com