12 October 2019

Saturday Spotlight | Author Interview With Charles Suddeth

In addition to the usual blog posts every Monday and Wednesday about our travel adventures and day-to-day life living aboard a sailboat, I also occasionally post on Saturdays, focusing on things related to writing such as cover reveals, book launches, reviews, interviews with authors etc. So if you're a bit of a book nerd like I am, check in on Saturdays - you never know what might pop up.

Today, I have an author interview with Charles Suddeth to celebrate the release of his book, Stone Man and the Trail of Tears. Sit back, grab a snack, and find out what Charles has to say about writing, penguins, and cookies.

1 - What inspired you to write this book? 

My great-great grandfather, Bill Pennington was born about 1830 in a Cherokee mountain village, possibly in Kentucky. The family moved north of the Ohio River around the time of the Trail of Tears to a rural area north of Charlestown, Indiana, 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky where a mixture of whites and Meti (French/Shawnee mixed bloods) lived. Many of the Cherokees in eastern Kentucky were chased out during this period.

2 - Do you have any writing rituals? 

I do love my coffee. After coffee, I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and clear my mind. My inner self takes control.

3 - What's more important - character or plot? 

I think they are equally important. A fantastic plot will generate great characters. And complex, conflicted characters will get in trouble and generate great plots.

4 - What do you like best about being an author? 

I love writing stories that people cannot stop reading. What do you like the least? I am a humble person. I hate telling editors and readers that my books are a great read. I would rather tell them about my friends’ books.

5 - What's your favorite cookie?
If you don't like cookies, what's wrong with you? Oops, sorry, scratch that. My follow-up question was meant to be far more polite - "Why don't you like cookies?"

The one in my hand. I never met a cookie I didn’t like! If pressed, I might mutter about oatmeal raisin cookies. I will answer both ways. I don’t like food that fits in my hand and contain infinite calories.

6 - A penguin walks through your front door wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why did he come visit you?

“Que tal, yall?” says penguin. He has come to beg me for oatmeal cookies, but he is out of luck.

7 - What else would you like us to know about you? 

I love learning about DNA research, though I am not an expert. Dinosaur tissue has been discovered, and T-rex may come back to life. I want to write about the resurrected dinosaurs!

Editor's Note: Thanks for participating in the interview, Charles. Oatmeal cookies are a great choice! Too bad the penguin got there too late :)

About Charles

Charles Suddeth has published poetry, picture books, middle reader’s books, young adult thrillers, and adult mysteries in English, Cherokee, and Turkish. He is active with Green River Writers and leads a monthly SCBWI Social. He lives in Louisville and teaches for the Jefferson County Schools. 

You can connect with Charles on his Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr

About Stone Man

After U.S. soldiers attack twelve-year-old Tsatsi’s Cherokee village, his family flees to the Smokey Mountains. Facing storms, flood, and hunger, they’re forced to go where Stone Man, a monstrous giant, is rumored to live.

His family seeks shelter in an abandoned village, but soldiers hunt them down. Tsatsi and his sister Sali escape, but Sali falls ill and is kidnapped by Stone Man. Tsatsi gives chase and confronts the giant, only to learn this monster isn’t what he seems.

Their journey is a dangerous one. Will Tsatsi find the strength to become a Cherokee warrior? And will they ever find their family?

Print ISBN 9781939844620
Driven to Stone Man’s trail...
EBook ISBN 9781939844651

Release date – October 8, 2019

Find Stone Man: And the Trail of Tears at: Amazon | Apple Books | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


  1. Replies
    1. Elizabeth, I am honored that it interests you!

  2. Coffee always starts my morning.

    Thank you for hosting Charles.

  3. Cynical Sailor, thanks for hosting me! May you have smooth seas. (by the way--i am out of oatmeal cookies--perhaps a penguin gobbled them)

  4. What a fascinating idea, it sounds like a time in history about which you are passionate, and i don't blame you.

  5. Excellent interview. And I am seriously tempted to read this book!

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