Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Interview with Nicole Seitz

I was so thrilled that Nicole agreed to answer some questions for me. I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did!

First of all, I have to say that the cover of the book really grabs your attention. I love that it's your painting! Did you do the painting specifically for the book?

I'm so glad you like it! Yes, I did this one specifically for the book. We were using another one of my paintings for the cover, and if you run across an advanced copy of the book, you'll see it was a deep blue marsh scene that I had done a while back for my husband's office. I wasn't happy with it for the book cover. It felt too dark to me. Yes, TROUBLE THE WATER deals with some dark topics, but the overall feel is one of hope. So, I set out to paint one day, asked God to paint through me, and came up with this woman in the water. Originally she had a different dress on and at the publishers suggestion, I modified it to look a little more modern and timeless. I'm pleased with the change overall.

From a creative standpoint, what are some of the differences between creating a painting and writing a novel?

Well, the novel takes months of your life and an acrylic painting only takes hours! Other than that, the process for me is pretty much the same...approach a blank canvas or sheet of paper, pray for what to put there, then do your best work. I'm always surprised at the final outcome of both my novels and my paintings because feel I'm just a vessel, not the true Creator.

Honor is also a painter and creating plays a role in her healing. In your opinion, why is creativity a means of healing?

The creative process occurs when you have let go of yourself and tapped into something much larger. We are all given gifts from God, whether in personal relationships, administrative abilities, or creatively. To a believer, each is a form of ministry. To acknowledge that you have a gift is the first step. To actually use your gift is the next. In forgetting herself and creating paintings in order to help Duchess, Honor learns her place in this world. When we do this, we find our purpose and life has more meaning. There is much healing in the creative act because we learn who we are in God's kingdom. To need healing is to be broken. Painting, for self or for others, helps to mend the seams.

The relationship between Honor and Alice is a very close and important one. Do have a relationship like this with a sister?

I am very close to my sister, though we have extremely busy lives with work and family. Too busy! We live just a mile from apart, but we don't get to see each other as much as we would like to or should. My sister is my heart. She knew me from the very beginning. She was my rock, my wild card, my home base. I'm very blessed to have a sister, someone who knows be before, after and always.

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

My beloved aunt Bonnie passed away in 1996. This book is very loosely based on her character. She never had children, but was always there for us, my mother's best friend. She moved to Florida and a few years later, became ill. She didn't tell us she was sick until the very end. My mother and I were with her at her passing--it was a profound moment in our lives. The inspiration was that I needed to explore the reasons why a person might keep such a devastating secret. In the process of writing this book, my mother (my reader) and I found much healing ourselves.

Who are some authors you enjoy?

I enjoy Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, Pat Conroy, JK Rowling, Harper Lee...oh, and so many more!

Are you currently working on another novel?

Yes. I'm editing my third novel which will be coming from Thomas Nelson next spring, A HUNDRED YEARS OF HAPPINESS. It was inspired by my stepfather who is a Vietnam veteran. I realized that the war never really goes away for those it has touched, and I wanted to explore the effects of war in the next generations. I am also under contract for three more novels and am trying to begin my fourth now!

What is something you want your readers to know?

With my writing, I want to make the world a little bit better place. I don't know how long God will give me a voice in this world, but I know what a privilege it is to have one. I feel He asks me to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is an honor and a privilege to be a writer, and I take the responsibility seriously. At the same time, it's fun! This is my joy, my passion. My greatest moments are when I hear from readers who have been touched in a certain way by something I've written. It is then that all the hard work makes sense. I am blessed to have readers and hope they stick with me through whatever God calls me to do!

And finally...what is your favorite Southern food?

Mmmmm. Cheesy, creamy, macaroni and cheese. True comfort food!
Thanks so much for these creative questions, Amy. It's been a pleasure!

Thank you Nicole! Check out my review of Trouble the Water. Also, be sure to visit Nicole's website!

(I am submitting this post to Randy Elrod's Watercooler Wednesday. Be sure to visit for more great posts on art and culture!)


Nicole Seitz said...

Thanks for the fun interview, Amy. Boy, I wish I'd proofread a bit more. Ah, well. That's what great editors are for!

Amy said...

Thanks again Nicole. It was my pleasure! :) I need an editor myself's amazing what you can miss!

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