15 October 2011

The answers to your questions and Black Purse giveaway winners

A big thanks to Stephanie for so willingly answering the questions you all submitted to enter the giveaway! The winners are posted after the interview. You all asked some great questions and Stephanie has returned some great answers. I hope you enjoy! If you haven't yet and want to read my review of the book 'Black Purse', you can find it here.

1) My question is where did you come up with the idea for the story line for this book?
While horseback trail riding in group which included a broken spirited middle aged man. He is a North Carolina Lumbee Indian who lives outside traditions while his sister and parents live very traditionally. His suffering spurred the idea years ago.

2) Do you know the ending of the book before you write it?
To a degree. End was defined in final outline as 'moment of empowerment'.

3) When you began writing for fun and then when did it turn into an occupation?
Began writing for fun with letters to doting grandparents. Then poems and short stories and then at a Christian college I wrote and distributed an unauthorized campus newsletter. Was 'claimed' and told to start up and edit an authorized paper or leave. I edited. (But unauthorized was more fun.)

4) What breed of horse is your favorite?
The pleasing, graceful and gentle Tennesee Walking Horse. They make my heart swell.

5) Ok. I suck at titles and such. It took forever to write my thesis. So any advice on how to do it?
A thesis is a battleground of analytical statements. Find your ground. Know your subject matter and write. Put it in a drawer for a month. Edit it. Put it away again. Then pull it out and read it. As soon as you are done write what you are feeling. Write one sentence that sums your thesis. From that sentence you should discover a profound title.

6) What is your favorite thing to make for supper? (the recipe would be welcome)
Sauerkraut Sandwiches! Because that means my children and grandchildren may be near. (Even with four dogs I suffer from empty nest syndrome.) When my children were small I often lied to them when they caught me eating a treat that I didn't want to share. I told them, "It's a sauerkraut sandwich," and they'd quickly leave with 'sour' expressions, when it was actually one of those expensive indulgent cookies! I do this now with my three year old grandson. But there's something about grands. I always give him one. Oh, well. My favorite sauerkraut sandwich recipe for supper follows: Heat oven to 375 degrees Combine dry ingredients: 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/2 cup oats. Combine moist ingredients: 1 cup crunchy natural peanut butter, 1 egg, 3 teaspoons vanilla Then combine dry and moist. Chill till stiff. Place rounded tablespoons of dough onto greased sheet. Press 3 to 4 whole salty peanuts into top of each. Bake 8 to 12 minutes. I like them slightly underbaked on top of a scoop of Bryer's vanilla ice cream. And I usually have seconds!

7) Do you read one book at a time or do you, like me, read several at a time?
Time for reading is precious so I savour one at a time and will keep it near to flip to favorite scenes to envision and relish.

8) Is your story factually correct and, if so, how did you conduct your research?
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.
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’.
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.
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

9) I love to write, but whenever I start I get bombarded with so many ideas. Is it the same for you? And if so, how do you choose which idea to use?
Occasionally inspirations are clustered. Write everything down as it comes. Form it into a list. Then use the process of elimination, which is individualized for each writer. I choose the ones that make me feel something to the highest degree.

10) I was wondering if Stephanie has written other books.
Oh, yea.
https://www.createspace.com/3676064   ‘Oginalii is Cherokee for My Friend Like
Horse is to My Heart’

Young Adult Short Story
 ‘Grant Me’

Young Adult Christian Fiction

‘‘Facts of Life’ in
Accordance with the Natural World’s Universal Truths’
Fun Young Adult Primer
promotes environmental outlook and responsibility. Check out its sketches!

OK Winner time:

Paperback winner: Kim

e-copy winners: Alaina and singingndreamin

Congratulations to you all. Let me know what you think of the book!


  1. I loved the questions. Congrats to the winners.

    BTW Tennessee Walkers are amazing. I totally agree.


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