Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Colleen Coble is CATRINA BRUNK ! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This week Nicole Seitz is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of her book, Beyond Molasses Creek, leave a comment on this post!
Share a little bit about yourself.
I live in the Charleston, SC area with my husband and two children and teach art at a local private school. When I have the house to myself, I get a little writing done, but these days, it’s getting harder and harder to make the time.
My writing is cross genre—Southern fiction with a touch of spirituality and occasionally, the supernatural. I write General mainstream novels, so I do not conform to the constraints of the Christian fiction genre, though that is my faith. Readers will find imaginative plots and characters, lots of originality, and usually a good twist or two, but always flawed, down to earth characters who fight the same struggles we all do. In the end, my books may not tie up neatly, but they always leave you with a bit of hope…which is my worldview.
After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?
I wrote my first serious novel (The Spirit of Sweetgrass) in five months and got an agent right off the bat. The book sold later that same year, maybe eight or nine months later. Those were the longest months of my life!
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?
When I started writing my first novel, I shared it with a group of like-minded people who met at a local bookstore every other week. That writers’ group encouraged me to keep writing, a priceless gift. Aside from them, my mother has always been my first draft reader and truly the one who gives me wings. She is an avid reader, and I respect her opinion on books. She’s also very honest with me, and I appreciate a good critique given in love. It always makes the book better. And of course, I could not do this without a supportive husband. The life of a writer is unconventional, to say the least!
Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be? (Explain your answer)
The writer’s life is nothing like what I thought it would be. I remember thinking that book signings would be the biggest thrill. They are not. Occasionally you have a nice turn-out, but mostly this life has been one of opposites—great praise and greater criticism, overwhelmingly successful events and depressingly pitiful others. You never know what one day may hold, and you must be okay with the insecurity of it all. The greatest surprise and blessing of the writing life has been the people I have met along the way. Certain readers support you no matter what, and that is a gift. I’ve met writers who have become very close to me. It is amazing what following this path of writing my heart has done. It has changed me. It has humbled me and made me more secure in my faith. I have become more comfortable speaking in groups and getting down to what’s important in life quicker. I am better for having written, and that is nothing I would have expected. It is not the glamorous life some think it is. You actually get tired of interviews and book signings and in the middle of it all, you just want to write. And sometimes the words don’t come, which is frustrating. But overall, I wouldn’t change a thing. This is the path I’m on!
What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?
The best moment in my career was when Pat Conroy called and offered to blurb my first novel. I felt like I’d won the lottery! The worst moment was when I turned in my fifth book to my publisher and they didn’t like it. I felt like the ground had shifted, or my train had jumped track. It was disconcerting and hard on the ego, and it took me a good long while to get the confidence to write a new story. Looking back, I’m glad I went through that and learned that I can pick myself up again after those pitfalls!
Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.
I write novels about the intricacies of life, how we’re all connected and affect one another and how God plays a hand in it all. I love to give voice to the voiceless and write from perspectives you wouldn’t expect. Readers tell me my books tend to seep into their spirits and leave them changed in some way. And then there are my trademark twists to keep you guessing till the very end!
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?
Readers can find my books at just about any bookstore, libraries, both print and ebooks. For more on me, visit my web site, www.nicoleseitz.com or find me on Facebook and Twitter!
Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)
Thank you! It was my pleasure. Now, off to write…