Monday, April 1, 2013

North Carolina's Stephanie Sellers

With a history in Language Arts, pottery, sculpture and military service, Stephanie Sellers has a diverse view. As a writer she interprets the world around her. Her works include short stories, full length fiction and non fiction. She enjoys researching human behavior, sociolinguistics and psychohistory. Aside from writing for her children she has written stories for the non profit group, Wild Horse Rescue Center which is assisted by the environmental non profit, The Abraham Foundation. Visit online at Fiction on Fact with Stephanie M. Sellers.

Welcome to the blog, Stephanie.
Where do you live, and how has your environment affected your writing? 

 I live in North Carolina’s Sandhills. When our family first moved here from the Midwest we took a trip to the beach and passed through a small town with Cherokee trading stores like we had seen in North Carolina’s mountains. I asked my dad if we could stop. He told me no. He also told me something so deeply intriguing I never stopped wondering. My dad had learned the townspeople who identified themselves as Native American Indian had a link to The Lost Colony and that their effort to attain full federal recognition as NAI was controversial. Our family also went to see the famous outdoor drama on the Outer Banks, The Lost Colony.

That small town was Lumberton. That first intrigue was over forty years ago. And the book inspired by America’s longest ongoing mystery is titled, The Gamecocks. (A full list of references and credits are listed.)

Encounters with the Lumbee people are like bouquets of wildflowers due to their warm aura and charming vernacular. Anyone who has heard them speak will tell you the same. There is no other language like theirs and it is now an endangered language. A guide to the Lumbee vernacular is included in The Gamecocks.

Wow, as a North Carolina native myself, I find this intriguing.
How many books have you written?

 I have written eight books. Here are the most recent:

Mustang Seeds Paperback Creative Non Fiction, Ages 8-12, Inspirational story on real Mustang from America’s wilderness preserves. ('Mustang Seeds' ebook )

 Romeo's Story Paperback Creative Non Fiction, Young Adult, Inspirational story on real Mustang from America’s wilderness preserves. ('Romeo's Story' ebook )

What to Do When a Chick Loves You Paperback Creative Non Fiction, Ages 5 and up.

Sweet Trees Don't Scream Paperback Informative Fiction, Ages 3 and up, A Read-to-Me-Book.

Black Purse Paperback Southern Suspense. Adult. ( 'Black Purse' ebook )

 Most recently published book:

The Gamecocks Paperback

Jake Wilkes has ownership of his best friend’s bank account and winery and is engaged to the woman of their dreams. But he doesn’t have the highly coveted proof of North Carolina’s Lumbee Indians’ true origins.

It was stolen it from his best friend, Bruce Black. His death made headlines. So Jake bravely directs his first presentation, ‘Lumbee Indians and America’s First Christians,’ which seems like a fiasco, and receives death threats and a proposition by an unassuming wordsmith. When Jake shares his true life tale of growing up with a Lum as his best friend he reveals a secret subculture and life on the swamp becomes a jubious ride to live to tell the tale. While a world away a second chance at love rides in on a turbulent tide. 
Set in rural North Carolina where moonshine, conjuring, church and fifty five thousand Lumbee Indians truly are as much a part of the beloved culture as America’s largest ongoing mystery, The Lost Colony. The Gamecocks ebook

 Do your characters take on a life of their own? If so, which is your favorite?

Absolutely. Bruce Black in The Gamecocks has to be my favorite. When an underdog overcomes it’s like reliving The Lone Ranger’s triumphs. And Bruce is so hot and exciting he’s definitely the character I’d love to meet in real life. Here's a link over to Stephanie's giveaway! 

What challenges did you face while writing this book?

The biggest challenge was finding time for research and rewrites while working.

 Do you travel to do research or for inspiration? Can you share some special places with us?

 Horseback trail riding in North Carolina’s Sandhills leads to contacts and inspiration.

What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give new writers?

The greatest lesson about writing came to me first as a lesson about sewing from a determined grandmother, “Rip it out and start over.” So the best advice I can give is to not give up, even if you have to rip it out and start over ten times before your proof reader stops clenching teeth. Never give up.

Where do you store ideas for later use: in your head, in a notebook, or on a spreadsheet?

On napkins, used envelopes, anything I can get my hands on and cram into a pocket.

Can you tell us your future writing goals/projects?

There is a pile of notes on a romance project kept in a briefcase.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

My website is Fiction on Fact with Stephanie M. Sellers.

Thanks for coming by, Stephanie. Continued success. Maybe we'll meet soon.
Thank you for this opportunity.