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Saving Cicadas by Nicole Seitz

Book Description

A novel of unconditional love and the freedom of letting go.

When single mother Priscilla Lynn Macy learns she's having another child unexpectedly, she packs the family into the car to escape. Eight-year-old Janie and Rainey Dae, her seventeen-year-old sister with special needs, embark on the last family vacation they'll ever take with Poppy and Grandma Mona in the back seat.

The trip seems aimless until Janie realizes they are searching for the father who left them years ago. When they can't find him, they make their way to Forest Pines, SC. Priscilla hasn't been to her family home in many years and finds it a mixed blessing of hope, buried secrets, and family ghosts.

Through eyes of innocence, Janie learns the hard realities of life and the difficult choices grownups make. And she must face disturbing truths about the people she loves in order to carry them in the moments that matter most.

About the Author

photo courtesy of The Post & Courier

Nicole Seitz grew up on Hilton Head Island, a small town off the coast of South Carolina, where she was surrounded by palmetto trees, marsh grass, sandy beaches and unique Southern characters. As an author, artist and speaker, Nicole's work is deeply influenced by her faith and the mystique and charm of the Lowcountry. In 1989 she went to the U.S.S.R as a student ambassador through People to People Organization, and the trip opened her eyes to the struggles, beauty, and universal qualities of other cultures--things she likes to explore in her work.

Author Spotlight

First, Nicole, thanks for taking a few minutes from your writing to be with us.

Tell us something interesting about you that most readers don't know.
I'm a seat-of-your-pants writer and cannot write something until I am "inspired" to do so. Otherwise, I don't like my work. This a good and bad. I get "inspired" in all sorts of places--the shower, bed, driving--and only have time to write in the AM when kids are in school. I wouldn't do it any other way, though. It's fun writing a book and not knowing what's coming next.

You've been writing for a while, was this something you always wanted to do? Who inspired you to want to write?
I've always wanted to write a children's book. I had no idea I would write adult novels until I was expecting my second child and the inspiration to write a book about a sweetgrass basket maker hit me while driving down the road. I grabbed a receipt and started writing the idea down in the car. Next morning at 4 AM, my main character was telling her story. The rest is history. I've just released my fourth novel.

You also paint, (double talented, I'm jealous!) the covers of you books are your own work, did the story inspire the art or were they art pieces you already had?
The story inspires the art. When it comes time to talk book covers, I paint what I'm inspired to paint. Sometimes it takes a few tries, and for other covers, we get it right on the very first painting. So much fun. I think people really respond to the paintings.

Which one of your four books; The Spirit of Sweetgrass, Trouble the Water, A Hundred Years of Happiness and Saving Cicadas, was the easiest to write? Which one was the most difficult?
The easiest to write was The Spirit of Sweetgrass because I knew so little about writing and market and what people expected of me. My head wasn't in the way either. I let my heart do all the work. I simply let my character tell her story. Within 5 months, the book was written AND I'd been on bedrest and had a baby. The hardest book to write was my latest, Saving Cicadas. It took an emotional toll as it deals with heavy topics and I turned it in a month early just to get it off my plate. Structually, it was also difficult, but I can't tell you why. You just have to read the book!

Where do you get your inspiration for your characters and stories?
Life, people I've known, things I observe or wonder about or are afraid of or must work through, or--well, you see there's a never-ending supply!

What you working on now? When can we expect to see it in stores?
I'm working on a new novel right now, but it's not finished yet, so I can't really talk about it. I usually don't know what it's about truly until after it's done, but I will tell you it explores how God can redeem us at any age. Once I turn it in, should be a year after that until it releases, God willing!

Who's you biggest cheerleader(s)?
My family. I couldn't do this without a supportive husband, mother, father, mother-in-law, etc.! I also have some readers who've become very loyal and send me encouragement along the way. It helps so much in those dry times!

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Khaled Hosseini, Elizabeth Kostova, JK Rowling, William P. Young, CS Lewis, Amy Tan...

Who is Jesus to you?
He's Everthing to me. He is Freedom and Creativity and Joy and Belonging. He is my Source and the Answer to all my questions.

Thanks again Nicole for this opportunity and for sharing with us a little bit about you.
Thank you for having me!

My Review
I started reading Saving Cicadas in December but due to other commitments had to put it on hold. I picked up again just a few days ago and was re-wrapped in this story as it is told through a child's eyes.

Nicole's writing style is very flowing and easy to get caught up in. I was taken chapter by chapter into the family life of Janie, her sister Rainey (who has down syndrome), her mom, Grandma Mona and Poppy as they take a road trip to the unknown. Only Mom knows where they are heading, but Janie so learns that they have set off to locate her dad, who ran off so long ago.

The journey, viewed through the eyes of young Janie, is told with the simplicity of an eight and a half year old. The simple way life seems to such a young child, yet Janie has grown so much in the realization that being an adult and making adult decisions isn't so easy.

Saving Cicadas keeps your attention until the end. The characters are so believable and real and the story takes many turns and is so mysterious that you don't really know it al until the end.

This is a great read. Everyone who loves family, a mystery and looking through the eyes of a child should read Saving Cicadas. You won't be disappointed.

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*This book was provided by Thomas Nelson Publishing free of charge in exchange for my honest review. This did not sway my review and opinion of this book in anyway.

1 comment:

Nicole Seitz said...

Thank you for the review and interview, Verlina!

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