I’m glad to announce we’re having an interview with Holly Bush, the author of Reconstructing Jackson, a novel I previously reviewed on our blog today. Welcome, Holly!
1) Describe Reconstructing Jackson in three to five sentences.
1867 . . . Southerner, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation after the Civil War in a wheelchair. Schooled as a lawyer, he moves west to start again after his father deeds the Jackson holdings to a younger brother. Circumstances bring Reed and Belle Richards together, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle’s courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.
2) Why should everyone read Reconstructing Jackson?
Reconstructing Jackson is the story of a man conflicted and most of us have been conflicted at some time in our life or another. I think most of us like to read a story about a man that overcomes circumstances to do the right thing, who rises above his past and finds joy in his life.
3) What is your favorite historical fiction novel?
There are quite a few beginning with The Bastard by John Jakes. I loved that entire series. Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh, historical romance, is always near the top of my list.
4) How come you decided to write historical fiction?
I’m a history nut! I just love to read about why people did what they did back then and sometimes it explains why we are doing the same thing right now. I think we tend to romanticize historical circumstances or events and try to forget all the uncomfortable or frightening. I just try to find where love fit in the everyday lives of folks who were still growing their own food and making their own clothes.
5) Can you tell us something about you?
I’m married and the mother of two daughters. I’ve served on my local library board for years and love to garden!
6) Can you tell us something about the main character of your novel?
Reed Jackson is Confederate Civil War veteran who comes home to his plantation in a wheelchair, having lost part of his leg to an injury. His father deems him unfit to manage what’s left of the family holdings and passes the property onto Reed’s younger brother. With his mother’s encouragement, Reed moves west to Missouri, to practice law and live with a cousin who owns a hotel there. Reed is southerner in era when racial views and practices were rapidly changing and in conflict with everything he knows.
7) What’s your favorite part about writing?
There’s a really great feeling when the story is coming faster than I can type and I know exactly what is going to happen next. It’s a rhythm or a mojo that is just wonderful.
8) Can you tell us more about your current projects?
I’m writing a women’s fiction novel that is yet untitled. It is about a middle-aged newspaper reporter in a conservative southwestern Pennsylvania county with a teenage son acting out and a new assignment from his editor. He’s to begin writing his newspaper’s love advice column. Thank you so much for having me and Happy New Year!
Happy New Year and Merry (late) Christmas, Holly!
Find out more about Reconstructing Jackson
1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran, Reed Jackson, returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit, and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.
Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off, and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans, and risks her life to reach them.
Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle’s courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.
About Holly Bush
Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.
Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written four romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800’s. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group.
Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.