Monday, September 19, 2016

Guest post by Sam Newsome, Author of 'Joe Peas'

Sam Newsome was raised on a farm in rural King, North Carolina. During his childhood on the farm, he learned to appreciate nature and family. He developed the work ethic that continues to benefit him.
He received a bachelor of arts in American history with pre­medical courses from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971. He received his Medical degree from Bowman Gray School of Medicine (now Wake Forest University Medical School) in 1975. He completed his family practice residency and board certification in 1978 and geriatrics certification in 1992. The patience and perseverance learned from his parents during his youth on the farm were valuable contributions to Dr. Newsome’s educational success.
In 1978 Dr. Newsome returned to his hometown to establish his medical practice and fill gaps in the medical care. During the last thirty­eight years of medical practice, he has staffed the local hospital, Stokes County Health Department, Jail health services, and the local nursing homes. He has served as a county medical examiner since 1978.
He married his childhood sweetheart, Betty Jo, in 1971 and they have resided in King since 1978. They have two children. Carlton lives in Raleigh and shares a love of words, while Justin, an engineer at B/E Aerospace, resides in Winston­Salem.
His first novel, Jackie, explores the miraculous life of a disadvantaged youth with autism spectrum who is destined for heroism.
His new novel explores Joe Peas’ and his local doctor’s similar quests to remain individuals in a world that increasingly rewards conformity. It celebrates family, friendship, faith and healing. It also gives Dr. Newsome an opportunity to entertain and educate his readers about long term care and good health habits.
The prologue of my book, Joe Peas, introduces the main character and explains how he got his name. It occurs during the Battle of Monte Cassino in World War II. An orphan child was found on the battlefield. The homesick G.I.s virtually adopted the child and kept him as long as possible. He had no name or was too shell shocked to remember it. He eventually called himself Joe (every shoulder was G. I. Joe). When the G.I.s had to move on, they were forced to turn the young boy over to authorities. They were OK with the first name of Joe, but needed a last name for the record. Joe could not remember his last name but he did see a can of Peas on the table. Since his recovery, the peas had been his favorite food. So he became Joe Peas.
Joe Peas is the central figure in the book. In the present an itinerant Italian house painter, Joe Peas, inserts himself into the fabric of a small rural North Carolina town and interacts with the local doctor and eventually becomes his patient in long-term care.
The cover idea was fully mine. The rather simple cover had no stock images available, so I did a simple ink drawing and sent it into Lulu Publishing. They had an illustration team formalize the picture and color it. One interesting flaw was that the first illustration proof has the Italian flag red white and green, rather than green white and red. Other than that, changing the tint of the cover and adding a short text on the bottom the front cover was finished.
On the back cover, I wanted to have a muted impression of a grandfather clock visible behind the text. The team at Lulu took a couple tries to get the positioning of the clock correct. The construction of a special heritage clock plays an important part in the story so I wanted to emphasize the significance of the clock on the back cover.

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