Author Guest Post | “Summer of the Oak Moon” by Laura Templeton

Posted Friday, 8 May, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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One of the blessings for hosting blog tours with Chapter by Chapter, is watching all the lovely new releases by Month9Books and their imprint Swoon Romance! On the latter side of the ledger, the Swoon Romance titles which interest me to read in the future when I can acquire a print copy of the books are the Young Adult and New Adult titles; although I notice most of the ones that tempt me of late are strictly YA. I happen to fancy the stories where authors take different turns highlighting the coming-of age period of young adults and the shifting of perspectives from childhood, adolescence, and the opening chapters of their adult lives.

This is why I was drawn into wanting to read Summer of the Oak Moon, as I have previously picked up a similar story about societal perceptions and influences on a multicultural relationship by Julie Kibler in Calling Me Home; a novel I still need to finish reading. I first discovered it soon after my local library purchased it as a debut novel, and what compelled me inside the story itself was the honest realism of the relationship as it was unfolding inside the narrative grace Kibler gave her characters to inhabit. It is these kinds of stories I am in search of finding, and as soon as I read the synopsis for Templeton’s Swoon Romance, I felt as if I had found a novel to anchour alongside my readings of Kibler.

When I decided to ask the topic for this blog tour, I decided to talk about the heart of the story and counter-balance that against the social movement towards seeking Equality and Diversity in Literature. I have openly spoken about my pursuit of #EqualityInLit which runs hand in hand with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks mission towards a balance of stories which represent the world we live in. I found the author’s response quite refreshing and I look forward to hearing your response in the comments after you’ve read her essay.

Summer of the Oak Moon by Laura Templeton

Rejected by the exclusive women’s college she has her heart set on, Tess Seibert dreads the hot, aimless summer ahead. But when a chance encounter with a snake introduces her to Jacob Lane, a black college student home on his summer break, a relationship blooms that challenges the prejudices of her small, north Florida town.

When Jacob confesses that Tess’s uncle is trying to steal his family’s land, Tess comes face to face with the hatred that simmers just below the surface of the bay and marshes she’s loved since birth. With the help of her mentor Lulu, an herbal healer, Tess pieces together clues to the mysterious disappearance of Jacob’s father twenty-two years earlier and uncovers family secrets that shatter her connection to the land she loves.

Tess and Jacob’s bond puts them both in peril, and discontent eventually erupts into violence. Tess is forced to make a decision. Can she right old wrongs and salvage their love? Or will prejudice and hatred kill any chance she and Jacob might have had?

Published By: Swoon Romance (@SwoonRomance)

an imprint of Month9Books (@Month9Books)

on 5th of May, 2015

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook | Add to Riffle

Converse on Twitter via:

#SummerOfTheOakMoon#YALit & #Month9Books

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Guest Post Topic: What inspired you to write the story found inside “Summer of the Oak Moon” and how do you feel it will be receptive to the readers who follow the “We Need Diverse Books” movement to shine a positive light on the stories which seek to educate as much as they seek to cause a murmur of change for more novels of diversity to be published?

Thanks so much for having me today. I’m thrilled to have a chance to chat about my novel.

The impetus to write Summer of the Oak Moon arose from some reading I did regarding the civil rights movement. While I didn’t intend it at the time, that reading turned out to be research for the historical context of my novel. Reading and attending community events focused on the civil rights movement and the years leading up to it caused me to think about how issues involving race have evolved over the years, especially in the South. I found the information so compelling (and horrifying) that I knew these were themes I wanted to explore in novel form.

Having a then-high-school-aged son (he’s now a recent college grad) I was aware that he viewed race in an entirely different way than I and my friends did when we were his age. Frequently when I meet my son’s friends, I’m surprised that they are of a different ethnic background. The fact that he never saw the need to mention this is something that never would have happened when I was growing up. And while this “color blindness” is wonderful, I feel it’s important that young people realize it is a relatively new attitude in our society. We need to understand the mistakes of the past so we can avoid making them in the future.

Of course, I wanted not just an historical novel but also a great story—defined (by me) as interesting characters, lots of mystery, a juicy romance, and a unique setting. The overarching themes of racism and prejudice and love-despite-it-all underlie the coming-of-age plot and provide the story with historical context. I hope I succeeded in making Summer of the Oak Moon a book that readers enjoy…and that they learn a bit along the way.

I will say that I didn’t set out to create a “diverse book” even though the story is certainly that. In fact, before I wrote Summer of the Oak Moon I didn’t give much thought to diversity in the books I read. But after writing it, I began to notice how often books don’t really reflect the society around me. The south has changed a lot in the last fifty years, and today I interact daily with people from all over the globe, something unheard of when I was growing up. But if I pick up a novel by a bestselling author, I might think that everyone in Georgia looks just like me (minus the gray hair!) What’s with that? I now make a conscious effort to create characters as diverse and (important, as well) un-stereotypical as the wonderful people who populate my day-to-day life. If writing Summer of the Oak Moon and any future novels furthers the cause of diversity in books, then I am absolutely delighted.

About Laura Templeton

Laura Templeton

Laura Templeton lives near Athens, Georgia, with her husband, son, and a menagerie of animals. When she’s not writing, she enjoys gardening, learning to figure skate, and taking long walks on the quiet country roads near her home. Something Yellow is her debut novel, and her creative nonfiction has appeared in various publications.

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I wanted to express my gratitude for the openness of Ms Templeton to respond to my question but also to take a more personal route towards expressing how the story inside Summer of the Oak Moon inspired her to write it. I love how writers find a kernel of motivation and inspiration from their research and how a novel they are penning can lead to such an incredible life affirming revelation of how different generations grew up differently in a society that has constantly been moving towards changing the perspectives of culture and ethnicity.

I could definitely relate to the author’s son, as I grew up in a generation close to his own, except for one difference, as when I was younger there were still a few barriers for me to cross through, as despite the fact I never saw colour as a child growing up in a city in the South, I still had to live through a period of time where friendships were hard to forge outside of school as my friends’ parents would only allow us to know each other whilst we were on school grounds. I had difficulty in understanding their reasons for this but I had to come to accept that despite the fact we were in the 80s/90s, we still hadn’t transitioned to where culture and ethnicity were going to forestall a friendship between girls of a different race.

What gave me hope in the author’s response is perhaps the difficulties my friends and I had are erasing to where the friendships you have in school can transition into your life outside that structure, and truly reflect who you are as a whole. Each of us grew up in a different era of time, and it interesting how history and social commentary changes per each generation lived because we are all approaching this topic from a different point of view based on our own experiences.

There are three generations represented on this guest post feature and I would imagine many more on the rest of the blog tour itself. How wonderful then, that we each find compassion and understanding on a topic that breathes such a beautiful life inside a novel? I cannot wait to read this romance when I am able to get my hands on the print edition!

I also concur with the author when she said she didn’t seek out writing a story on diversity but rather she wanted to endeavour to represent the world around her as a mirrored reflection inside the novel her pen was creating! This is my own approach to the craft, as I think the greatest testament we can leave behind as a legacy through our stories, is honestly portraying the world in which we live and the people we happily get to see on a daily basis. Rock on, Ms Templeton, rock on!

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This blog tour is courtesy of Chapter by Chapters Blog Tours:

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Be sure to click-through to the ‘virtual road map’ in order to read reader reactions on behalf of the ebook copy of Summer of the Oak Moon as much as to read other Guest Features by the author! I was quite intrigued about the topics the other book bloggers selected, so I will be following along too!

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NOTE:

Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Summer of the Oak Moon”, book synopsis, author photograph of Laura Templeton, author biography, the blog tour badge were all provided by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours and used with permission. Writerly Topics Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers badge and My Thoughts by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 8 May, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, African-American Literature, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours, Civil Rights, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Contemporary Romance, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Realistic Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Taboo Relationships & Romance, The Writers Life, Writing Advice & Tips, Writing Style & Voice, Young Adult Fiction




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