Joy After Noon by Debra Coleman Jeter

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About the Book

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Book:  Joy After Noon

Author: Debra Coleman Jeter

Genre:  Romance, Women’s Fiction

Release Date: February 26, 2019

Joy marries a widowed bank executive caught in an ethical dilemma and misreads his obvious frustration while struggling to integrate into her new family. This novel explores the challenges of second marriages and dealing with step-children during the crucial years of puberty and teenage angst. A college professor coming up shortly for the huge tenure decision, Joy finds herself falling apart as her career and her home issues deteriorate and collide.

Click here to get your copy!

 

Interview with Debra Coleman Jeter

1. Has writing fiction always been in your blood?

I’ve loved writing all my life. I attempted my first “novel” when I was about eight or nine after being captivated by Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon mysteries. In college, I studied everything from Theatre to Pre-Medicine. In an acting class, I received the highest grades in our class, not because my acting was superior but because I did the best job of describing (on paper) my “Inner Resources” for each scene. It dawned on me then that I was more a writer than an actor.


2. Why choose the genre you are writing?

I have trouble pinpointing my genre either as a writer or as a reader. I cross genres when I choose my favorite novels. My first published novel, The Ticket, has been categorized alternatively as “Young Adult” or as “Suspense.” I initially wrote it from multiple points of view, but my publisher asked me to rewrite it entirely from the point of view of fourteen-year-old Tray Dunaway. I did so, but most of the feedback I get comes from adult readers. Surprisingly quite a few of them have been male. I like to incorporate an element of suspense in my work, and I often lean on the characters’ back stories from childhood to motivate their actions. I co-authored a screenplay (Jess + Moss) with my son, and it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. I plan to write more screenplays in the future, and I am drawn to family dramas with a touch of humor.


3. Why fiction instead of non-fiction?

I believe I can sometimes convey a deeper truth through fiction, as I don’t feel compelled to stick to the facts. Facts, interesting as they are, may send conflicting signals and complicate (rather than enrich) the writing process and the character’s journey.


5. Where is your favorite place to escape to write?

I am fortunate in that I can write almost anywhere anytime. I have a knack for shutting out distractions. I believe I think best and consequently, write best early in the day. I prefer to scribble by hand in a spiral notebook (or whatever comes to hand, sometimes a legal pad) in my first draft. I aim for five pages a day. I usually write storyboards first; here I shoot for three storyboards a day prior to writing the scenes that I’ve storyboarded. I typically write either storyboards or five pages on a given day, not both. It takes me about a year to write the first draft.


7. Where is your favorite setting for a story you have written?

The Sugar Sands series, which includes Joy After Noon and Song of Sugar Sands, is set in the fictional town of Sugar Sands, Alabama. Based loosely on Gulf Shores, Alabama, where my family and I have vacationed for years, Sugar Sands boasts miles of beautiful white-sand beaches. I love the ocean in all its moods—sunny days, stormy days, calm waters, and turbulent waters. I believe the variety lends itself well to setting the tone for drama.  


21. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I have considered using a male pseudonym or initials because I suspect it’s easier for men than women in this industry (like so many others). I have not yet done so.

22. What book from your childhood has shaped you most as a writer?

I cannot remember how old I was when I read The Caine Mutiny (maybe 8th grade) and Herman Wouk became my favorite author. The Caine Mutiny fascinated me with Wouk’s portrayal of real, flawed but likable characters, each with his own manner of speaking. There were no beautiful heroines or handsome heroes, no good guys or bad guys. You could recognize a character by his dialogue even if Wouk didn’t identify him. Wow! I also marveled at the variability of Wouk’s work: Marjorie Morningstar, Herbie Bookbinder, and Winds of War, to name a few.


33. What are your hobbies besides writing?

I love to be in the water—whether snorkeling, water skiing, boogie boarding, or just floating around—which may explain the setting for my Sugar Sands series. My family suspects me of being a selkie, or so my husband tells me. Look it up—I had to.

About the  Author

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Debra Coleman Jeter has published both fiction and nonfiction in popular magazines, including Working Woman, New Woman, Self, Home Life, Savvy, Christian Woman, and American Baby. Her first novel, The Ticket, was a finalist for a Selah Award, as well as for Jerry Jenkins’ Operation First Novel. Her story, “Recovery,” was awarded first prize in a short story competition sponsored by Christian Woman; and her nonfiction book “Pshaw, It’s Me Grandson”: Tales of a Young Actor was a finalist in the USA Book News Awards. She is a co-writer of the screenplay for Jess + Moss, a feature film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, screened at nearly forty film festivals around the world, and captured several domestic and international awards. Joy After Noon is the first novel in her Sugar Sands series. She has taught at Murray State University, Austin Peay State University, and Vanderbilt University, where she is currently a Professor Emerita. She lives in Clarksville, Tennessee, with her husband.

More form Debra

Joy After Noon

With most of my novels, several forces come together to compel me to tell the story. This is definitely true of Joy After Noon. I thought I’d share a few of those.

Carl Jung says: “The afternoon of life is just as full of meaning as the morning; only, its meaning and purpose are different.”Jung goes on to describe life’s afternoon as the time when we begin to shift away from the ego being the dominant force in our life and move toward a journey that has real meaning.

I also like the following quote: In the afternoon of your life, you don’t do life. You do what resonates with the callings of your soul. When does the afternoon of life begin? I don’t believe the afternoon of life begins at a particular age, or even stage of life. In JOY AFTER NOON, Ray has been pursuing career success and material acquisitions, and experiences a significant change of direction. Some fairly disastrous events in his workplace precipitate the change—events that threaten not only his financial stability but the core of who he is.

When I was a kid, I watched a movie called Joy in the Morning, starring Richard Chamberlain and Yvette Mimieux.  This movie was about a young married couple, and the memory of it stayed with me for years. I remember thinking that whereas a typical romance ended when the couple got together or married, the really interesting story starts there. When I wrote Joy After Noon, I decided to focus on a couple that marry a bit later in life. He’s a widower with two teenage daughters. She’s an insecure college professor who has never been seriously romanced.

Initially, the idea for Sugar Sands Book 1 and the title of the novel, Joy After Noon, was that Joy’s life has been lonely (and joy has been elusive) since her parents died when she was sixteen, and she has about given up on finding love when she meets Ray. She comes into his ready-made family and, for a time, this seems like a mistake. However, in the afternoon of her life, she finds love and joy.

What inspired my characters:

There’s always a bit of myself in each of my characters from the least likable to the most. Here’s how I relate to some of the characters in Joy After Noon.

Joy Hancock

Joy is a college professor who has never been in love … until she meets the gorgeous widower Ray Jenkins. In the novel Joy struggles to adapt to her new family at the same time that she’s coming up for tenure as a college professor. I’ve been through the tenure process (with a husband and two kids at home), and I’ve seen a number of others struggle to balance career and family during this stressful process.

 Ray Jenkins

Ray, seemingly successful banker, finds himself facing ethical dilemmas as his associates negotiate a dubious merger and then try to hide the undesirable financial consequences. I’ve taught bankers, and I have coauthored a textbook on mergers and acquisitions. I’ve also seen former students caught in ethical crises at work.

Marianne Jenkins

Marianne has aspired all her life to please her demanding perfectionist mother, even after that mother’s death. She cannot live up to her own standards of perfectionism, either as a ballerina or as a cheerleader longing for popularity. I have not studied dance or cheerleading, but I remember being a perfectionist as a child taking piano lessons. I wanted to play a piece with no errors, and I almost never succeeded.

Jenny Jenkins

Jenny, the younger daughter, knows she could never come near to the example set by Marianne, so why try? Jenny plays clarinet in band. As she practices for tryouts, she has a loose pad, causing her horn to squeak rather than play properly. I was a clarinet player, and had this exact experience myself. Jenny becomes friends with a wild girl named Claudia, who leads her to trouble. I had a similar friend as a teenager, and she was even named Claudia. Claudia is a tragic figure in the novel, but not an unsympathetic one.

Although Joy After Noon is part of a series, each book in the series stands alone.

Song of Sugar Sands

Sugar Sands Book 2, Song of Sugar Sands, has recently been announced as a Finalist in the Christian Fiction category in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Blog Stops

For Him and My Family, August 17

lakesidelivingsite, August 18

Splashes of Joy, August 19 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 20

Artistic Nobody, August 21 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Inklings and notions, August 22

Simple Harvest Reads, August 23 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 24

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 25

Ashley’s Bookshelf, August 26

Tell Tale Book Reviews, August 27 (Author Interview)

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 28

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, August 29 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, August 29

Texas Book-aholic, August 30

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Debra is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link

below to enter.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marisela Zuniga
    Aug 19, 2020 @ 07:43:36

    this sounds really good, thanks for sharing

    Like

    Reply

  2. Debra Jeter
    Aug 19, 2020 @ 10:50:56

    Thanks Marisela and thanks for having me on your blog. I appreciate everyone who visits and reads about my book.

    Like

    Reply

  3. Rita Wray
    Aug 19, 2020 @ 10:53:48

    Sounds like a great read.

    Like

    Reply

  4. Beatrice LaRocca
    Aug 19, 2020 @ 18:10:35

    This sounds like a wonderful read. The book cover is lovely

    Like

    Reply

  5. Arletta Boulton
    Aug 20, 2020 @ 23:42:05

    I also loved the Trixie Belden books. My friend owned most of them and would let me borrow them.

    Like

    Reply

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