Monday, October 31, 2011

The Black Purse by Stephanie Sellers Answers to Questions

If you remember, the giveaway ended for The Black Purse by Stephanie Sellers, and as part of the giveaway, author questions were posed.  So here are the responses.

What do you find the hardest p[art of writing a book? Beginning the story or deciding when to end it?

1.The beginning of a book sells the book, hooks the reader and like a carriage ride, defines the demeanor. So definitely the beginning. Been known to rewrite and overwrite and undo so many times that the flavor changes and have to seek out editing eyes.
It's not like a salty soup where you can just toss in a cut tater and take out the bitter. It's more like cleaning fish.

 What is your favorite genre to read?
2. Suspense. Because it mocks life. You never know what you're gonna get. (Romance just makes me ornery. Those hunks on the front covers usually have baggage that'd fill a driveway ditch and it's usually called another woman. Haw!)

how has your life inspired your writing?
3.Watching people inspires my writing more than personal experience. But some of that people watching becomes personal when it affects me or loved ones whether positive or negative.
On the negative, I used to wonder why God allowed suffering. Now I know. So we'll cling tighter to Him and be able to tend to others as they really need. Or write about it in a way that gets their attention.
And on the positive, all the good stuff in life is for a reason to live another day in an imperfect world.
Seems dramatic and it is. Life is one big piece of sweet and sour candy on a stick. The stick is for poking your eye out when you do what's called a mistake. And that's what inspires me, the real thing, not what I wish life was like. That's what made 'Black Purse' so disturbing. It's from real life drama.

How much time do you put into research and do you include real historical events and places in your story? I have always found historical fiction that takes into account real history to be much more exciting to read and relate to.

4.  While there are many facts in ‘Black Purse’ it is centered on one major fact: North Carolina’s Lumbee Indians are recognized only by the State. This has led an entire group of people to behave like they must either excel or die trying, (substance abuse is rampant), to prove themselves worthy of simply existing as God’s beloved children. Sadly, the tragedy continues as they instruct new generations that they won’t stop trying to prove themselves ‘authentic’ Native Americans until the Federal Government gives them full recognition.
I applied the study of psychohistory to ‘Black Purse’. Psychohistory is the science of historical motivations. It studies why people do what they do. And it usually leads to a debate of what, if anything, one single individual can do to change history. And as noted from the beginning of the story, ‘The only way to change something is to bring it into the light’.
And there are factual locations that are near and dear to my heart. North Carolina's Sandhills are home and referred to as horse country. There are equestrians of all types living here year round and seasonally. This is also the home of Lumbee Indians, Southern cultural conflict, the good ol' boys' network, and women who have been put back and shut up for generations. And these are 'facts'.
In the seven years of writing ‘Black Purse’ my chief sources for information were personal observation and online. Here are few of my sources for Lumbee research, horses, psychohistory, and sexual brokenness, listed in like sequence.
•    Observation
•    Online Encyclopedia
•    Lumbee Indian Websites
•    ‘The Only Land I Know: A History of the Lumbee Indians (Iroquois & Their Neighbors) by L. Adolph Dial &David K. Eliades
•    ‘Talking with Horses’ by Henry Blake
•    Years of experience
•    Lloyd deMause’s website on Psychohistory 
•    Pure Passion’s website on healing sexual brokenness
•    Observation

If you would like to purchase this book, check it out here.


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