John M. Cunningham, Jr visits with us today. John is a Southern boy, professional writer, and former history teacher. He writes both nonfiction and historical fiction. His articles have appeared in numerous publications. He’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Gather ’round for a delightful chat with this intriguing author. John is offering his book of devotions–Reflections of a Southern Boy–as a giveaway to someone who joins the chat below.
John M. Cunningham, Jr: Roots
My family roots are deeply Southern, and I do mean Deep South. I grew up in Mobile, Alabama. Like many Southern boys, I learned how to hunt and fish at an early age. My older sister and my father were the real athletes in the family, my father an avid golfer and my sister a tennis player.
Because I possessed no athletic gifts, I developed a love for reading. Dreams of becoming a writer often entered my thoughts.
One Christmas my parents gave me a present that changed my life’s trajectory: The American Heritage Picture History of the Civil War. Pulitzer-prize winning historian Bruce Catton wrote its narrative, and it sparked my interest in that conflict which soon broadened into other historical eras.
Though I’ve never served in the military, I have a military background that’s helped me with my novels.
In the late 1960s and early 70s, I attended high school at Marion Military Institute, an ROTC-sponsored military academy in Marion, Alabama. At the time, it had both a high school and a junior college. Though it has since discontinued its high school program, its junior college continues. Many graduates go on to a military career.
Also during my high school years, I participated in the Naval Sea Cadet program sponsored by the Navy League of the United States. My father, a World War Two Navy veteran and dentist, served as our medical officer. This program gave me many wonderful experiences. I spent two weeks at a Canadian Forces military base in Nova Scotia, two weeks at Navy boot camp in Orlando, Florida, went on a turnaround cruise in Boston Harbor aboard the USS Constitution, spent another two weeks on the training carrier USS Lexington (based in Pensacola, Florida), and even spent the day on patrol in the Gulf of Mexico aboard a Coast Guard cutter. Many a time, I’ve drawn on these memories when writing my historical novels.
John’s Professional Life
Upon graduation from the University of Alabama with a degree in history, I moved to the New Orleans area where I taught high school. Here, the Lord launched me into a professional writing career with my first published article, a devotional I sold to The Upper Room in 1983.
During my time in New Orleans, I taught a writing class, sold numerous articles to Christian magazines and Sunday school publications, and contributed to a men’s devotional series published by Broadman & Holman.
My devotional book, Reflections of a Southern Boy, was published in 2019 under the byline Jack Cunningham. My three Civil War novels are published under the byline John M. Cunningham, Jr. The third novel is a dog story set during the siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana (1863) titled Squire, A Mascot’s Tale.
John M. Cunningham, Jr: Present
Currently, I’m working on a novel set against the backdrop of Thoroughbred racing in antebellum Mobile. Horse racing was a huge sport in this era. I do not have a definite title for the book yet.
What do kudzu, fiddler crabs, and an undeserved trophy have in common? They’re all part of Mister Cunningham’s experiences growing up in the Deep South. He compiles these stories and others into a series of devotionals and Bible studies. A few stories, though, just have a Southern theme. Some are humorous and others more serious, but all teach life lessons readers can apply to their own faith journeys.
https://bit.ly/3eFGsMg or https://amzn.to/2Xl6vSU
John M. Cunningham, Jr.
At the outbreak of the Civil War and against his wife Rachel’s pleadings, Captain Jesse Webb takes his beloved dog Squire to war as his regiment’s mascot. Will Squire survive his ordeal and find his way home while the Union army battles the Rebel garrison? https://amzn.to/3gGXbAz John M. Cunningham, Jr.
Southern Sons ~ Dixie Daughters
A sweeping saga of the Civil War’s western naval campaigns, with a large cast of characters, Book 1 in the Southern Sons-Dixie Daughters series follows four Southern families living on the Gulf Coast—the Westcotts, the Jessups, the Soileaus, the indomitable and devout slave Danny who escapes bondage and finds service aboard a Union warship and his wife Nancy, cruelly whisked out of his life decades before the war. https://amzn.to/2XTH7CK John M. Cunningham, Jr.
While Moxley Westcott flees to Mobile to escape arrest by the Union army his brother Ben, a critically wounded prisoner, hovers at death’s door. Their parents and their sister Annie return to their plantation upriver, unaware that danger lurks very near in the person of the evil Xavier Locke, who plans their demise.
This second installment of Southern Sons-Dixie Daughters continues the triumphs, conflicts, and tragedies of these four Southern families against the sweeping saga of the Civil War’s western naval campaigns. Who will live to see the end of the war? Who will die? And who will choose change rather than a hardened heart?
https://amzn.to/36QQRlB John M. Cunningham, Jr.
John M. Cunningham, Jr: Links
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Dear Lord, please bless each word John M. Cunningham, Jr. writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake