Rachel Thompson

J. D. Ferguson on Holderby’s Landing & Writing #AmReading #HistFic #BookClub

Is there any books you really don’t enjoy?
I have no interest in the self-serving interests of politicians, and therefore no interest in what they write.
Where do you get your inspiration from? 
Inspiration can come from almost anywhere and anything, but inspiration does not a story make.  My inspiration comes mainly from everyday life and my need to express the extraordinary that can be found there.  I revel in being able to see the world in a grain of sand, and try to put that on paper.
Do you plan to publish more books?
Yes!  I will probably write until my toes turn up and someone dumps me in a hole.  Getting them published and out to readers is the hard part for me, and that which I enjoy the least.  I am currently working on my fourth book, another historical novel set in 1939 Georgia.
What other jobs have you had?
First off, let me say that writing has never been my job.  At present, I have no job, that is why I can spend time doing things like this Q&A.  But up until last year I had worked at one thing or another for the whole of my life.  I started working at paying positions when in the third grade.  My career began at the age of eight as a janitor in a one-room schoolhouse on a back road in Appalachia.  Since, I have been everything from a meat-cutter in a hog slaughterhouse to naval hospital corpsman to salesman to business general manager, and many, many things in between.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I write at a desk on a desk-top computer.  I am poor of sight, the world’s worst typist, and prone to get distracted.  Without the regimen of trudging to the office and making me perform the process, nothing would get on paper.  I once tried pencil and paper, but by the time I had finished editing, I could hardly interpret my intensions from among the scribbles, erasures, and write-overs.
Tell us about your new book.  What’s it about and why did you write it?
Holderby’s Landing is centered on a young man from plantation life in 1836 Virginia whom is suddenly thrust into dire situations and forced to grow up.  His spring and summer of challenges and danger play out along the banks of the Ohio River and in the wooded highlands of what is now SW West Virginia.  His interactions with the residents of Holderby’s Landing, current day Huntington, WV, forms the main action of the story.  I wrote this novel because I liked the storyline and the potential to explore, in my often roving imagination, the historical aspects of an area in which I grew up.
If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?
I believe that I would ask Mark Twain to dinner.  Not only is he the author of many great works of literature, he is an American literary icon, and also a recognized public speaker of international renown.  Who better to make any meal a lively success?
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I should probably lie here in order to intrigue my readers, by saying that I travel the world in search of adventure and experiences to prime my creative pump.  That would be a lie indeed!  It is not that I do not wish to experience new and exciting things, but I must explain that I have obligations and responsibilities – just like anyone else , am a bit beyond the average in age, and live on a fixed income.  My life has little relaxation in it.  When not writing, I am working at something else.
How often do you write?  When do you write?
I try to do something every day, if I can be creative.  Sometimes the spark isn’t there and then it is best to let it go and do something else.  I am a terrible typist and tend to make more than the usual mistakes, so writing is a chore.  It takes me about two hours per page, including editing and corrections, when writing anything.  If what I am involved in requires research, then there is additional time consumed.  I like writing in the mornings, when I am freshest, mentally and physically.
Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it.  What keeps you going?
I am driven to write; driven to strive for the presentation of any truth or interpretation of life, displayed for all to read in the perfect sentence.  I will never achieve such proficiency, but might achieve acknowledgement of my peers for having tried.  That might be enough.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing?  How will your words make them feel?
I attempt to tell a story with my works.  It that story are points of wisdom, insights into the human condition and events only imagined for most of us.  I want the reader to enjoy the tale, learn what they can, and glean the hidden nuggets of truth to chew upon.  My words should make them feel satisfied, if nothing else.
When Justin Thorne, coddled student and heir apparent to Sylvan Springs Plantation, is forced to find his heritage, his manhood, and his destiny, in the space of one brief spring, all hell breaks loose on the banks of the Ohio River. His Virginia of 1836 is a time of transition and enormous growth. Northern industrial might and southern aristocracy, abolitionist movements and slave cultures, collide in turmoil and lay bare the raw needs and desires of those intrepid spirits confronting the frontiers of the antebellum South. 

Coming of age is an expected result of time and circumstance. It happens to all who live so long, but to each within the dictates of their own lives. The process is on-going and ever dynamic. Every person is a precious product resulting from the effects of nature and nurture. One’s ancestry, culture, and environment collude in myriad ways to make us; all as different as each life’s story, and as singular as snowflakes. This theme is played out over-and-over throughout the world and throughout history, in millions of places like Holderby’s Landing; as similar and as different as each human is to the other. Holderby’s Landing is a single glimpse in time at the coming of age of a land, a community, and a few determined souls thrown together in love, strife and chance. What they make of the time, the opportunities and themselves is the story told and the living breath of this book.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Historical Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with J. D. Ferguson on Facebook

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