Sunday, October 6, 2019


~Post Includes:  Book Spotlight, Author Bio,
Unique Author Interview & Giveaway~

Stone Man
And the Trail of Tears

By Charles Suddeth

Driven to Stone Man’s trail...

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?

Release date – October 8, 2019
$12.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 162 pages
Print ISBN 9781939844620 / EBook ISBN 9781939844637
$3.99 EBook available in all formats

~ "I enjoyed how the story accurately conveyed the historical attacks against the Cherokee tribes, and this book could be a useful educational tool." {Goodreads Reviewer}

~ "I found this story enjoyable, educational, and inspiring. It made me want to learn more about the Trail of Tears (which I’ve read some books about in the past but not recently). . . . By the way, this book is nonstop action." {Goodreads Reviewer}

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Charles Suddeth loves to tell stories of all sizes and shapes and flavors. He draws inspiration from hiking Tom Sawyer State Park. Of Cherokee heritage, the author teaches in Louisville, Kentucky. Charles 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.


Welcome to 'Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic', Charles. I'm delighted to have you as my special guest for Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday today. Congratulations on your newest release, 'Stone Man: And the Trail of Tears', officially releasing tomorrow, October 8th, 2019!

June: Please tell us how you created your setting and developed the characters for this novel. Are any of the characters or their personality traits or physical descriptions based on people you've come across in your own life? If yes, what prompted you to include them in 'Stone Man'?

The setting:
Over the years I have hiked, ridden horseback, and driven in the Smokey Mountains and Snowbird Mountains. I also used a detailed North Carolina map/atlas. Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, North Carolina introduced me to the types of dwellings Cherokees used. The Museum of the Cherokee, also in Cherokee, North Carolina, has a 200-year-old dugout canoe that could have been in the story. For the Nantahala and other rivers, I relied on Google Images.

People: I did not consciously model any of the characters after anyone. I do meditate and let my inner self decide and develop characters. I generally try to avoid using characters too close to my life.

June: Who is your favorite character in this story? Why is this person your favorite? Without spoiling the story, is there anyone in the story who you do not like? Why not? Do you plan a follow-up or is this book a stand-alone?

Charles: My favorite character is the Main Character, Tsatsi, twelve-year-old Cherokee boy. His sister, Sali, is my favorite female character. I usually have male and female favorite characters. (it is not always that way. I have a manuscript where the leading lady is not my favorite female character) There is a person in this story that I definitely don’t like, but again, saying more would spoil the story. This plot has lots of twists and turns, so I do not want to say too much.

Follow up novel? At the present, no. But my devious mind might just surprise me.

June: This book is historical fiction based upon a Native American legend. What inspired or prompted you to write about this legend?

Charles: Stone Man and the Trail of Tears is based upon the 1838 Trail of Tears which is not a legend. Yes, Stone Man, Nunyunuwi, is an ancient legend, but I don’t want to spoil the story and comment further.

What inspired me to write this story is another matter. My great-great grandfather, Bill Pennington was born in a Cherokee mountain village, possibly in Kentucky. He was born about 1830, and the family moved north of the Ohio River around the time of the Trail of Tears. I believe most of the village moved with them to a rural area north of Charlestown, Indiana, 30 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky. A mixture of whites and Meti (French/Shawnee mixed-bloods) lived there. Many of the Cherokees in eastern Kentucky were chased out by whites. Since they were not officially involved with the Trail of Tears, they lost their Cherokee citizenship.

June: What types of research did you perform before or while writing this book? Did you visit any historical sites, museums, or archives in the course of your research? Did you speak with any experts about the subject matter?

Charles: I visited Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, North Carolina several times. Many times, I visited the Museum of the Cherokee, also in Cherokee, North Carolina. I used a long list of books, museum journals, tapes, and some You-Tube for the Cherokee language. While I did not speak directly with any experts, I subscribed to the museum’s journal, which published extracts of 1838 documents.

June: When you write a book, do you outline the entire story, or do you have a different way of organizing your plot, characters, etc.? Do you always know the ending of your story before you begin putting things down on paper, or into your computer? Do you have any particular organizational tips that you'd like to pass along to other authors and aspiring authors?

Charles: I do not outline, though I knew where I wanted the story to go. I like to be surprised—I write using the old saying: Take your reader where they are not expecting to go. I like to write in a linear fashion so that each chapter ends with a bang, compelling the reader to keep going.

June: Are there any hobbies or interests you would like to pursue in the future?

Charles: I found out a couple years ago that I have Shawnee blood on my mother’s side and possibly my father’s side, too. I would like to write a book about the Shawnee.

I am very interested in DNA, and I have enough education to read some technical papers and not get too lost. I want to keep abreast of developments. DNA research has made great leaps in the last 20 years. In the next 15 years, I expect dinosaurs to come back to life. (they have found dinosaur fossils with intact tissue trapped inside, so….)

I have also become very interested in astronomy and physics, though my education in them is at the undergraduate level. They just obtained the first photo of a Black Hole. And they just synthesized Negative Matter—it does not obey Newton’s Laws of Physics. Writer fodder.

June: Thank you for sharing with us today, Charles. I appreciate your taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us about your writing journey and other topics! Best wishes for you continued success in your writing endeavors.

 📖 📖 📖 📖 📖 ~ GIVEAWAY ~  📖 📖 📖 📖 📖 
NOW CLOSED -------- Dancing Lemur Publishing, LLC, has graciously offered to give away one print copy of Stone Man to one lucky US resident! Please complete the below Rafflecopter entry form shown below for your chance to win.


Learn about more great middle-grade reads by visiting Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' blog to find the links to other blog posts celebrating Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday!
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  1. Sounds like a great story about a time period in our history that I know nothing about. Looking forward to reading it.

    1. Thanks, Natalie. I spent years learning the background, but it was truly a labor of love.

  2. Thank you for featuring Charles and his book today!

  3. So glad Charles was your guest today and supplied some background to a book I thoroughly enjoyed. My review is live today. Thanks for the giveaway, too.

    1. Hello Greg,
      Glad to meet you, and thanks for the review. I really enjoyed bringing this story to life.

  4. Is it a coincidence you both reviewed the same book? I really enjoyed the interview because it gave me greater insight into the story and Charles' reason for writing the book. Look forward to finding a copy.

    1. Hi Patricia,
      I cannot answer about the reviews--that is up to my editor--but I really do thank you for your interest.

  5. This book sounds fascinating. And it is getting some buzz. Thanks for the author interview. I always like to read those.

    1. Rosi, thank you for replying. I love to know people are interested. And thank you for the encouragement about the buzz.

  6. Great interview! Thank you for going into the background of the book.