This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Author Interview - Nicole Seitz

I would like to welcome Nicole Seitz, a native of Hilton Head, South Carolina, she is not only an author, but a talented artist as well. Nicole has offered to give away one free autographed copy either Trouble the Water or The Spirit of Sweetgrass. Winner's choice! All you have to do is leave a comment at the end of this post.

Q: Describe yourself for our visitors. (ex. hobbies, favorite music, ministries).
I'm a happily married mother of two children, ages 3 and 5. I work from home, enjoy reading, cooking and eating ethnic foods, and I love to make time for writing and painting. I paint the covers for my novels and find inspiration all around me. I sit on the board of a wonderful non-profit called Operation Home, speak to various groups, and enjoy meeting readers, authors, and interesting people in general. My head is a playground, and I'm never bored.

Q: How do you find time to connect with God?I talk and pray whenever I can. I don't have a set time of meeting with God (except at church), but from the moment I wake up till I lay my head down at night, I have an ongoing conversation with Him.
Q: Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?I love The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, The Kitchen God's Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses and The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon and Keeper of the House by Rebecca T. name a few!

Q: Tell us about your journey to publication.I was struck with the idea for my first novel when I was six-months pregnant with my second child. I had just driven by a sweetgrass basket stand in Mount Pleasant, SC and had to start writing it down on a scrap of paper while driving! After some internet research, I awoke at 4 AM the next morning with my main character, Essie Mae, telling her story. About a month later, I began having problems with the pregnancy and soon was put on bed rest. My son (now almost 4!) was born early under emergency circumstances, and when I came home with a healthy child, I felt a new purpose in life. For some reason, I would wake at all hours, writing The Spirit of Sweetgrass. I finished it in 5 months, got an agent from, and the book sold within eight months in a two-book deal to Integrity Publishers, which was bought by Thomas Nelson. I've since entered another 4-book contract with Thomas Nelson. God is good!

Q: Tell us about your current book?Trouble the Water came out in March of this year. It's a novel about hope, healing and learning to live again even in the most dire circumstances. Set in the South Carolina Sea Islands, the book delves into the mysteries surrounding life and death, following the stories of a capricious widow and two middle-aged sisters. When their lives collide in a secluded Gullah community, each woman will discover what threatens to destroy her. One will seek healing in the face of dying, another will be forced to re-examine all that she knows to be true, and one woman will choose to keep hidden the long-buried ghosts of her past--just a little while longer. Narrated in three distinct voices, Trouble the Water is all at once heart-wrenching and humorous, giving glimpses of island life and unique Gullah/Geechee culture. The title is based on the lyrics of an African-American spiritual about healing and freedom, "Wade in the Water," and on John 5:4 (KJV): For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
Q: How did you come up with ideas for this book?The novel was inspired by my mother's and aunt's close relationship as sisters. My aunt passed away in 1996 from breast cancer and my mother and I were with her then. She chose to keep her illness a secret from her family, and I wanted to explore the reasons why a person might keep a secret like that. The book had a healing effect in my own life--after I wrote it, there was no more anger, just peace and compassion. The book came about because I had written a letter to Pat Conroy asking for advice for a new writer when my first book was coming out. In the ensuing conversation, he told me that my aunt would make a fascinating character, and a couple weeks later, I found myself cooking up this story about a woman who has hit bottom and falls into the loving arms of a group of Gullah nannies.

Q: List your three most recent books (if applicable).
The Spirit of Sweetgrass
Trouble the Water

Q: What's next for you?My next novel, A Hundred Years of Happiness, will be released in March 2009 from Thomas Nelson. It's a story inspired by some events that happened with my stepfather last year, and it explores the lingering effects of war on families and next generations. I'm very excited about this book. It crosses genders, generations and genres, and I think it's timely and pertinent to anyone who has a war veteran in his or her life. I just turned in the manuscript for my fourth novel, and I'm under contract for two more after that, so I better get busy!

Q: Where can visitors find you online?You can visit my website at to find my upcoming events, details about books, photos, guestbook, and even paintings for sale. I have a mailing list you can subscribe to and a blog called Occasional Murmurings at Please come by and visit!

And thank you, Jennifer, for your questions!

Nicole, thank you for being with us today! I enjoyed the interview.


I was fascinated to read about Nicole's books. As a part-time resident of Hilton Head for a number of years (we flee there to escape Pennsylvania winters!) I find so much to write about there. I'll certainly be looking for your books!

Marta Perry

Trouble the Water is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read - the imagery is still with me months after reading it.

Great interview!

Jennifer, the interview was very interesting. I love visiting those places Nicole talked about. I have read a lot about Sea Island and would love to go, maybe one day. The books sound like something I would buy and I will have to look them up.

Hi Jennifer, I really do intend to come to the Carolina meetings. I enjoyed your interview. My daughter lived in Mt Pleasant while attending MUSC and we loved the area. We camp down in the Gullah country usually 2 times a year. We actually just got back from there. I'm looking forward to Nicole's book. It sounds like a great read.

I really enjoyed your interview and look forward to reading Nicole's books. They sound a little different than what I have been reading.


The cover of your book is really lovely. Congrats on the book deal :-)
And kudos for getting the writing done with little ones running around.

Both of her books sound great - as does her upcoming one. She gave me some ideas/ways to think of for future stories and novels!

Please enter me in your contest. My email is tabby2004 [at] hotmail [dot] com

I will read Nicole Seitz's works as they sound so dramatic, profound and deep. I love many, many of the same authors as she. That she conversed with Pat Conroy(on my top ten list of authors of all times) envokes chill bumps. I love he and Anne River Siddons accounts of that cultural area.

Thank-you for conducting this interview as you have just opened me to a new author I am excited about.

Gayla WY

I loved reading the interview with Nicole Seitz.

Both of her books sounds wonderful!!

Please enter me in the contest.

Thank you,

Becky C.


Rebecca, your cover is gorgeous! You're amazingly talented.

The books sound wonderful, too. Jenn, great interview! Please enter me in the drawing.

missytippens [at] aol. com

Nicole, I'm sorry I called you the wrong name!! Don't know where my brain is. :)

Thanks for the interesting interview, and another new author for me to read!

Please enter me in your contest, I'd love to read either book.


Thanks for the interesting interview, and another new author for me to read!

Please enter me in your contest, I'd love to read either book.


Thank you for reading and writing in, folks! It was a joy to be here.

Great interview, Jennifer. I enjoyed reading about all Nicole's books and future books and how she got the inspirations for her stories. I was on an authors' panel with Nicole at the SC Book Festival last year and was impressed with her sweet nature and great talent. And you're right, Jessica, it's not easy writing a book with little ones underfoot. I wrote my first novel while Captain Kangaroo entertained my youngest. That's been a few years ago. The interruptions are different now, but still there.

Wishing Nicole much success with her new books and the same for all of the writers visiting your blog.

Congratulations, Nicole, on the 4-book contract!!! That's so wonderful! It's great to hear what's going on with you ... blessings!

Ann, Shannon, all of you...thank you so much for the well wishes. I'm praying now for inspiration for the next book.

Many blessings to all who visited today. Keep writing!