Sam Newsome was raised on a farm in rural King, North Carolina. During his childhood on the farm, he learned to appreciate nature and family. He developed the work ethic that continues to benefit him.
He received a bachelor of arts in American history with premedical courses from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971. He received his Medical degree from Bowman Gray School of Medicine (now Wake Forest University Medical School) in 1975. He completed his family practice residency and board certification in 1978 and geriatrics certification in 1992. The patience and perseverance learned from his parents during his youth on the farm were valuable contributions to Dr. Newsome’s educational success.
In 1978 Dr. Newsome returned to his hometown to establish his medical practice and fill gaps in the medical care. During the last thirty-eight years of medical practice, he has staffed the local hospital, Stokes County Health Department, Jail health services, and the local nursing homes. He has served as a county medical examiner since 1978. He married his childhood sweetheart, Betty Jo, in 1971 and they have resided in King since 1978. They have two children. Carlton lives in Raleigh and shares a love of words, while Justin, an engineer at B/E Aerospace, resides in Winston-Salem.
His first novel, Jackie, explores the miraculous life of a disadvantaged youth with autism spectrum who is destined for heroism. His new novel, explores Joe Peas’ and his local doctor’s similar quests to remain individuals in a world that increasingly rewards conformity. It celebrates family, friendship, faith and healing. It also gives Dr. Newsome an opportunity to entertain and educate his readers about long term care and good health habits.
Joe Peas was a five-year old war orphan. As a displaced person following World War II, he was given the given the opportunity to immigrate to America. In present day King’s Mill, North Carolina we meet Joe Peas as an elderly itinerant house painter. He becomes a patient of family doctor, James King. They develop a bond even though they have completely different backgrounds. Later Joe recovers from a hip fracture in Doc’s rehab center.
There he meets interacts and is emotionally affected by the other residents and staff of the facility. He plays a meaningful role in the lives several residents and staff until circumstances occur that forces him to suddenly leave.
After leaving the rehabilitation center, Joe hatches a plan to help Doc with his struggles. The plan is as colorful and vibrant as Joe himself, but threatens to expose Joe’s enigmatic past.
Welcome to BloggerNews! Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about your writing background?
My writing career since 1978 has included many volumes of clinical notes– Dry factual monotonous notes. I have written the occasional short story, but only for myself. My first novel was published in October of 2013. Jackie is the story of a young man with autistic spectrum who, without formal education is discovered to have a supernatural talent to influence a broadcast audience as never before possible. This ability enables him to fulfill a heroic destiny.
Jackie received a good response and won the Garcia Memorial Prize sponsored by Reader’s Views for the best fiction of 2015.
Joe Peas is about a colorful itinerant Italian house painter that arrives in King’s Mill, North Carolina and bonds with local doctor, James King. Doc’s staid life is in sharp contrast to Joe’s vagabond existence. Joe rehabs a fractured hip in Doc’s long-term care facility where he makes an impact on the staff and residents.
My son Carlton and I began comparing writing projects a few years ago. Since then fatherhood and career have taken much of his time. I have not been able to give up jotting down my thoughts that have led to two novels.
Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
Yes, I read every thing possible. I got into the Hardy Boys series and Hie to the Hunter by Jesse Stuart. When I was a bit older, I began reading Isaac Asimov that led to other science fiction. Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Treasure Island are books I remembered so fondly that I read them to my young children.
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
Joe Peas is set in a rural King’s Mill, North Carolina. An itinerant Italian house painter becomes a patient of Dr. James King. Dr. King has been having problems dealing with a society bent on conformity and Joe’s vagabond existence draws them together.
When Joe fractures a hip, he rehabs in Dr. King’s long-term care facility. There he experiences family he had never known before. He finds ways to aid and befriend them with their struggles, and in turn, benefits from a family life he had never known. Circumstances threaten to reveal the secrets of Joe’s past and he elopes from the facility. After leaving, he hatches a plan to help Dr. King with his problems. The plan is both outlandish, unusual and very typical of Joe.
Joe Peas is meant to entertain, but it’s also a celebration of the individual, family, friendship, faith and healing. It shows long-term care in a positive sympathetic manner.
How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline?
Joe Peas was begun as five character studies. I suppose that on some level I knew they would eventually interact, but that came later on. As I considered the themes of the struggling individual in a world bent on conformity, Joe Peas’ relationship with Doc was automatic. His interaction with the other characters gave me a chance to explore the characters in more depth and educate along several topics including long-term care and health issues.
After intertwining the initial character studies, I did resort to an outline to help keep some sense of organization.
Did your book require a lot of research?
Unfortunately, research time is a rarity. The Battle of Cassino is well documented and information is readily available. The characters in my story are based on and inspired by patients I have treated and learned from over the years.
What was your goal when writing this book?
Fame, fortune, general literary acclaim would all be great! But realistically, my first goal was to entertain my readers with characters inspired by patients. Also, I wanted to educate regarding multiple health issues and long-term care.
Who is your target audience?
Writing the book was a joy, and I think it will be enjoyed as general fiction. It will deliver some education with along with humor, and a look into long-term care.
What will the reader learn after reading your book?
Statistically, one half of us will spend time in long-term care. The book humanizes the facility including residents and staff. Someone with relatives or friends who have experienced long-term care will appreciate this book.
It educates regarding several health topics and affirms the role of faith in healing and illness. It may not give answers, but perhaps it can give insight or comfort. .
They say authors have immensely fragile egos… How would you handle negative criticism or a negative review?
I like adulation. That’s one reason I write. I don’t like bad reviews and try to put them away and forget about them–for a while. Then, inevitably, I take them out and re-read them with a more open-minded attitude.
I likely can’t correct the item they reviewed, but I can consider their advice in the future.
As a writer, what scares you the most?
I am always concerned that I’ll have a wonderful idea that works well in a story, then, after publication I am told that the idea wasn’t original at all; that I had stolen it. After all, is anything totally new? How can I be sure that some idea I used now was not really something I heard forty years ago and remembered now, considering it a fresh memory?
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?
Do you have another book on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
Don’t look for it soon, but I’m thinking of a story for young folks ages eight to sixteen. It involves modern day pirate treasure and children with big imagination and illustrations. The child characters accidentally resemble my grandchildren with the same names.
Anything else you’d like to say about yourself or your work?
I started writing at an older age than most, and I still am more than fully employed. I want my writing to have a positive message and leave the reader with uplifting feeling. Jackie succeeded on that count and I hope Joe Peas will have a similar effect.