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Character Interview: Joe Peas from Sam Newsome’s ‘Joe Peas’




joe-peas-jpegWe’re thrilled to have here today Joe Peas from Sam Newsome’s new novel, Joe Peas. Joe Peas is a 75 year old house painter recently living in King’s Mill, North Carolina.

It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so for this interview, Mr. Peas. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

“Im’a happy to be in the book with my bes’ friend, Doc King. Hesa some good doc but he lives in this little town. Itsa nice little town, but hesa stuck there like a post in the ground. Me? I’ma what you call a spirit, a free spirit. I’ma like a rolling weed.  You know, a tumbleweed. He’sa good guy, and he got good family, but he got problem. That place he live in. They no like him. He too different. Me I think different is good.”

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

“Me, I’ma Italiano. We piazano, we bes’ painter and we bes’ lovers. You ask Doc, He’ll tell you. You know, I no r’member my familia because of the war. I still r’member the war for sure. At night, in my dreams, I r’member that war and other war too. Doc know I hide things, but now I ‘merican and I love USA. He know me good and he tell my story OK.”

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

“Im’a painter, bes’ house painter, like all Italians, But I tell you secret, I paint more than houses. But my best trait, that’s amore, at 75, she’sa gone, gone years ago. My next best trait is my good friendship. You call it what, loyalty, you call it loyalty.”

Worse trait?

“I’ma alone. I make myself alone on purpose, but I’ma alone, an’ I tell youa something. Alone is not what you want to be. Those people at The Center. Now they not alone. They make ol’ Joe miss Italy, miss mama and miss papa.”

If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?

“That so easy, Mr. Al Pacino”

Do you have a love interest in the book?

“I lova life, ‘merica an’ if I younger I love that nurse Dawn. She’s bellisima.”

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

“Man, I got secrets. I no want be seen on TV. That not good for Joe, so Joe leave. I miss Doc and my friends at King’s Mill, but time for Joe to go.”

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

“That Professor Watley, he some more mean fella, an’ he no like my bes’ friend, Doc.”

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

“That author, hesa pretty good guy. He tie up all what you call, ‘loose ends’ an’ leave ol’Joe jus’ where he wants to be.”

What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?

“Hey make Joe thirty years younger. I’ll take care of being handsome on my own”

Thank you for this interview, Mr. Peas. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

“Well, You needa a good paint job on you’ house.  Jus’ call Joe Peas. I do you’ paint and I treat you’ house like it beautiful lady.”

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 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 thirty­eight 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 Winston­Salem.

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.


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