Monday, February 13, 2012

BEYOND MOLASSES CREEK - Nicole Seitz - Free Book

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I never try to write myself into my characters. My characters simply show up and present themselves fully or else I get to know them slowly, but I never try to base them on me. That would be terribly boring. What is interesting is that at the end of a book, usually when I’m out promoting it, I will get a better look at a character and realize there was a bit of me in there. Usually, I add little facets of people I know or have loved to craft a character. The best characters, while wholly unlike me, teach me something about myself and my world.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
When I went off to college my freshmen year, I was blown away by the freedom of thought and all of the activities one could participate in. My first week of school, I had heard about a Walk for Peace, and that sounded exciting and right up my alley. However, I set out to find the walk and could not on the new large campus. Undeterred, I went back to my dorm room, drew a peace sign on my forehead and walked my own “Peace Walk” alone on campus. My sister was a senior there, and when she found out what I did, she nearly disowned me. I’ve been walking my “own walk” ever since.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I discovered I was a writer when my first character, Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins, of my first novel, The Spirit of Sweetgrass, began to write her story through me. I have not looked back.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love reading books in which I can travel to foreign places and see universal qualities in people who are very different than myself. I’ve enjoyed Khaled Hosseini, Amy Tan, Lisa See, but also wildly different authors such as Harper Lee, JK Rowling, Elizabeth Kostova, Sara Gruen, River Jordan, Sue Monk Kidd. I also enjoy the books that I blurb as they are not always something I might normally pick up for myself. Right now, I am reading a legal thriller that takes place in the Lowcountry, and finding it lots of fun.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Lately, I’ve started running literally, and I’ve found that the slow pacing and endurance I’m learning on the road is a nice metaphor for my life. But daily you will find me in prayer. As my grandmother used to tell us “Always go first class,” meaning, put Jesus at the wheel.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
I often change the original names that I give my characters. It’s sort of like naming a pet. You’ve got to get to know them a little before a name will fit. Often, somewhere in the writing of the book, I will hear a name or read one that seems to fit my character better and then do a Find and Replace on the whole manuscript. In my new novel Beyond Molasses Creek, my character Vesey Washington was named after a man who attempted a slave rebellion in Charleston, Denmark Vesey. I wanted a name to capture the strength and courage of a man who ultimately must face hardship.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
One of the best things I ever did was to try to put God first in my life. After doing this, he gave me a wonderful husband and two children. I am most pleased with being a mom and husband to the people I love the most in the world.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would definitely be a cat. I love them, understand them, and as a child I would daydream about being a cat and being able to nap and have my back rubbed instead of going to school.

What is your favorite food?
I love ethnic foods of all kinds—sushi, Indian, Mexican—basically anything that I can order SPICY!

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
When I wrote my fifth novel, I turned it in to my publisher and they had issues with it, one of them being the age of my characters. Up until then, there had been no real issues with my other books. It shook the ground beneath me. By this point, I thought I knew what I was doing. I had to pick my self-confidence off the floor and find the courage to write a whole new novel—with the same characters. Thankfully, I persevered and The Inheritance of Beauty was published the following year. I have learned to never get comfortable or rest on my past experience. Every new book is a challenge, and honestly, that’s pretty exciting.

Tell us about the featured book.
Beyond Molasses Creek is the story of love and friendship in the confines of social barriers. It’s about captivity and freedom, running away and coming home. Ally Green has been running away as a flight attendant her whole life but must now come home to the Lowcountry of South Carolina to bury her father. When she discovers his last wishes for her to finally stay put on Molasses Creek and rekindles a deep friendship with Vesey Washington, the black man across the creek, once her childhood friend, she wrestles with staying or fleeing again. In alternating points of view, we dive into the story of Sunila, a young woman a world away in Nepal who has just escaped a stone quarry where she has worked her whole life in indentured bondage. She has taken a sketchbook that she believes holds the key to her future and questions from the past. These three lives become intertwined and weave together a tale of redemption on the banks of Molasses Creek.

Please give us the first page of the book.
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michaelangelo


When I was a girl, I would lie on the banks of Molasses Creek with soft green grass beneath my back and look up into the sky, dreaming of being there. In my upside-down world, the clouds were pieces of land that I would hop to and the vast blue sky was the river, the ocean that would beckon to transport me far, far away. That vast blue sky has taken me to all sorts of foreign lands since then. Sometimes the most foreign place is home.

I’ll be flying again in just a few minutes, cloud-hopping back to a city I never thought I’d see again.

I close my eyes and imagine myself feeling weightless again, my body traveling at five hundred miles and hour yet perfectly still. Someone clears a throat. I open my eyes and see a woman before me in uniform, standing at the podium. She’s holding out her hand. “Oh, yes,” I say. I reach in my bag and pull out my wallet. Through the airport window, a jet leaves the wet runway and rises into thick gray rain.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to connect with readers. You can visit my web site at or find me on Facebook at!/pages/Nicole-Seitz/121816365611 and on Twitter,!/nicoleseitz . Hope to see you soon!

Thank you, Nicole, for the interesting peek into your life and writing.

Sue Duffy The Sound of Red Returning Giveaway

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Beyond Molasses Creek - paperback
Beyond Molasses Creek - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Coolestmommy said...

Love your "Peace Walk". Sounds like you and I would be BFF's. :-)
Can't wait to read Beyond Molasses Creek. Thanks for sharing.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Aspiring Mom2three said...

Oh I love the prologue for your book!!! I could literally see myself lying on the bank and it took me back to my childhood, unlike life here in AR. Great interview! I appreciated what you said about naming your characters!

Wendy Newcomb said...

This story sounds great, the book is on my wishlist.

Wendy from FL


Unknown said...

Don't enter me... i read and reviewed this novel. You did a great job

Anonymous said...



Kaila's Grandma said...

Would love to win this the cover....Kaila's Grandma/Ohio

Nicole Seitz said...

Robyn, So glad you related to my "peace walk"!

Mom2three, thank you for your sweet words about my writing. It means a lot!

Wendy from FL, thank you for adding my book to your wishlist!

Marianne, God bless you :)

Angela from KY and Kaila's Grandma in Ohio, best of luck to you both in winning!

Pam K. said...

I've read a couple of Nicole's books and enjoyed them. They are always a bit different; they make me think as I read.
I would very much like to win a copy of her new book, "Beyond Molasses Creek." Thanks.


Book Like and Sinker said...

wow looks like such a great book.... (california)

Sharon said...

Would love to win a copy of "Beyond Molasses Creek". Thanks for the give away.
smoore at tcq dot net

Mary Preston said...

How wonderful of you to take your own PEACE WALK. Thank you for the prologue. I look forward to reading BEYOND MOLASSES CREEK.

Mary P


apple blossom said...

sounds like a book I'd love to win thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

live in ND

karenk said...

i love nicole's novels...thanks for the chance to read her latest :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com
(from PA)

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book it sounds like a great story! Thanks and God bless.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Joanna Richmond said...

sounds very interesting. I would Love to read it. thanks for the chance to win Thanks
Joanna Richmond
Blanch NC

Tom Blubaugh said...

Very nice interview. I've never been to either of the Carolinas. It will be interesting to learn about the area and the inhabitants.


Tom Blubaugh, Author
Night of the Cossack
Springfield, MO

Nicole Seitz said...

Thank you all for entering. Best to you!!

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing.
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Unknown said...

Sounds like a very good book. Please enter me!

Krista from Oregon

Abigail Mitchell said...

Enter me.
Blanch, N.C.

Ingrid said...

Thank you both for the Interview, loved the "Peace Walk" I could see myself doing this lol.
I would love to win your Book, it sounds wonderful.
Blessings to you and Lena.

I live in S.Illinois


Karen G. said...

Love the name of this book. Saw it at the library but didn't grab it then, went back and someone else checked it out. Now I have to wait for it to come back or win a copy. Would love to win one.
Karen from NY.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for highlighting this book. It sounds really good!!


Kristie said...

I would love to read the part about Nepal. My husband's aunt and uncle and their kids were there for 10 years as missionaries. I'm glad that you march to your own drummer. A unique voice is always appreciated. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

Angie Adair said...

Looking forward to reading this one! Angie in IL

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book....Please enter me...Thanks Jackie Tessnair from N.C.

Susan H said...

New author for me. Look forward to reading Nicole's book.

I'm from Texas.