Author Jo Huddleston

Sweet Southern Romance

Monday, March 25, 2013

Meet Louisa

Monday Meanderings

I want you to get to know some of the characters of my novel That Summer. For the next few Mondays I’ll interview one of the characters and you can leave comments if you want. I think this might help you when you read my novel to know how these characters feel as they move through the story. If you leave a comment on this blog that is totally related to the interview I'll give you an extra entry in the next Thursday book drawing.

Today I’m interviewing Louisa Lynn Johnson, younger daughter of Aaron Johnson who lives on up the valley a few miles from the Callaways. She lives on a small piece of land in the Southern Appalachians in East Tennessee and her family is poorer than the Callaways. Her dad has a few animals and tries to grow a few crops.

JO: Louisa, did you grow up near Caney Creek?

LOUISA: No ma’am, I grew up in Maple Hollow, a good distance from Caney Creek and the town of Newton.

JO: Tell me a little about where you grew up, please.

LOUISA: Well, I’ve lived my whole life in Maple Hollow. Our house wasn’t much to look at but it kept us dry and a little warm in the winter. We never had much company. You see, the road we lived on was the only way up into the hollow. The road went a little past our house and then you had to turn your buggy around and come back, going by our house.

JO: You say you lived in Maple Hollow. What is a hollow?

LOUISA: Well, I’m sure you know what a valley in the mountains are—a place where the mountains dip down, form a flat stretch of valley, and then rise back to their height of a mountain. I love my home, my sister, and parents. But I wish I had lived in a valley. Things are beautiful in a valley in the spring and summer, green and crops grow well there. Branching off those pretty valleys are hollows. They are not as flat and wide as a valley, just a cut out piece of rough land that meanders up and away from the valley. We don’t see much sunlight at home.

JO:  How many were in your family?

LOUISA: Four of us. There were me and my sister, Callie. Then my dad and mother. But when I was about fourteen years old, my mother died when she tried to birth her stillborn baby. We all missed her awfully bad. Callie and I were saddened and aggravated when Dad married a year after Mother died.

JO: How did you feel about another woman to take your mother’s place?

LOUISA: We didn’t like it. Mother had barely been dead a year when Dad married again. He married an old maid school teacher from town. She was nice, I guess. But she wasn’t our mother. Nobody else could take our mother’s place. We didn’t tell Dad how we felt. He didn’t seem to mind another woman in our house.

JO: Louisa, you seem unhappy living in Maple Hollow. What's wrong?

LOUISA: I’m sorry but I’m just not satisfied now. My sister, Callie, moved into town when she graduated high school. With school out for the summer, I don’t have anybody my age to talk to, to tell secrets to. Dad and Mavis, that’s my stepmother, don’t go into town much. Dad has never worked on a public job. So I’m just stuck here in a place I used to love when Callie was here.

JO: As dissatisfied as you are with Callie being gone, what can you do to remedy your situation?

LOUISA: I don’t know. I’m just trying to figure out what I can do. Callie doesn’t come home much now that she’s working in town. The next time she comes home I'll try to get Dad to let me go back and stay with her for the rest of the summer. Callie lives in a boardinghouse in Newton. I hope I can share her room and maybe she can pay for my meals there. She makes good money working at the hosiery mill. I might try to get a job there too.

JO: Callie, do you have a boyfriend you can talk to?

LOUISA: I think I have a boyfriend.

JO: You think you have a boyfriend. Why don’t you know whether you do?

LOUISA: Well, country life is not like it is in town. I’m not saying either one is better. They’re just different. Anyway, I met a boy at the county fair. He looked at me a lot and I sure looked at him. He’s handsome. We talked some. Living in the hollow like I do I can’t get out and see him again. But I think he might be my boyfriend.

Till next time … keep on smiling.


  1. This was an interesting interview you had with Louisa, Jo. I felt so sorry for her tho, being alone way out in the Hollow. especially with Callie gone. Doesn't sound like they got to go to school. Or, she should have had a friend. I hope she gets to go live with Callie. Maxie

    1. Maxie, Thanks so much for reading my character interview blog and leaving a comment. Did she get to go live with Callie? The only way you or others will find out is to read the book, That Summer. Thanks again for stopping by.

    2. Maxie, P.S. because you commented on this blog you will have an extra entry in Thursday's book giveaway blog.

  2. I loved this interview. I grew up very poor - a four room house and 9 people in it. We had lots of yard space though. My house didn't look like much but it was clean and warm. Kids at school used to make fun of me because we were poor.
    jrs362 at hotmail dot com

    1. I'm sorry you still have memories about kids making fun of you because your family was poor. I went to a county high school where we were all poor. Except maybe for one boy whose daddy owned a school bus. Our raising probably helped to make us a stronger adult. Thanks for commenting on my character interview blog. You'll get an extra entry on Thursday if you comment on that blog.

  3. Louise is certainly at loose ends without Callie but hopefully, she will decide that she truly does have a boyfriend!

    1. Louisa, thanks for commenting on my character interview blog. You'll get an extra entry on Thursday if you comment on that blog. We can all hope she has a boyfriend. Read That Summer and you'll find out.

  4. If your hollow is as pretty as the rest of TN then it is beautiful! I'm feel sorry for you being all alone without Callie!I am a subscriber and follower!e-mail is! Shelia Hall

    1. Shelia, thanks for speaking with Louisa on my character interview blog. Because you commented here you'll get an extra entry if you comment on Thursday's blog. I appreciate your being a follower of my blog.

  5. Louisa sounds a bit lost, doesn't she? It can be lonely out in the country during the summer with no one to hang around with. When I was growing up, we moved the summer before my senior year in high school. It was pretty lonely for me until school started.

  6. Kay, thanks for telling us how you can relate to Louisa's situation. I appreciate you coming by to read my character interview and leaving your comment.