John Ray Who?

No, I’m not name challenged. I can pronounce and spell correctly today’s guest blogger, so welcome with me Jo Huddleston…

When writing was only a
secret dream, I slipped into room 213 to attend a meeting where an editor and
an agent from New York would speak. Like a squirrel, I checked my space for
predators before moving farther inside. Sure enough, here came one, closing in
like she’d picked me up on radar.
After introducing herself,
she said, “Which is your favorite genre?”
Well, I’d lived my whole life
in the South. I knew plenty of guys named Billy Earl, Bobby Joe, or Jimmy Lee but
I hadn’t met a John Ray.
“I’m sorry but I don’t know
any John Rays,” I said. She marched off in a huff, her literary nose tilted a
few degrees closer to the ceiling than before.
My greeting committee of one
caused me to wonder: Maybe this event wasn’t for me but for someone else—someone
who knew John Ray better than I did.
The editor spoke first, then
the agent. For an hour, I seldom heard more than two sentences strung together
that I understood. The program ended with a question-and-answer time. Ah ha!
Now if I just listen, all my potential writing questions will be answered.
To most of the questions, the
two women answered with one of the following sentences: “Make sure you know
your genre.” “Query them.” “Identify your POV.” “Include your SASE.”
Query? SASE, POV? And I was
wondering how I would ever meet this John Ray person everyone had such high
regard for.
Since then, I’ve lined my
bookshelves with writers’ magazines, reference books and annual volumes of
market guides. After numerous bylines, I still haven’t decided on a favorite
John Ray. Perhaps several could query me, so I can choose one. I hope each
includes an SASE.

Jo Huddleston is a
multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut
novel, That Summer, released in
December 2012, as 
the first book in The Caney Creek Series. Book 2, Beyond
the Past
, released in April 2013 and book 3, Claiming Peace, is
scheduled for release in September 2013. Visit with Jo and her books at her website www.johuddleston.com.