To complement my daily blog interviews I recently started a series of Author Spotlights and today’s, the twenty-sixth, is of historical, romance, paranormal novelist and writing guide guru Smoky Trudeau Zeidel who guest blogged for me recently.
Smoky Trudeau Zeidel is the author of two novels, The Cabin and On the Choptank Shores; a recently-released collection of stories, Short Story Collection Vol. 1; and Smoky’s Writer’s Workshop Combo Set, a newly released book containing both her writer’s workshop book and collection of 366 writing prompts, previously published as separate books.
She taught fiction writing and creativity workshops at community colleges and other venues in the Midwest for many years before packing up her daughter, dog, two cats, and guinea pig and moving to California, where she swears the climate is much more conducive to creative work and the men are, too. (She met her husband and soul mate, Scott, shortly after her move.)
Smoky and Scott live with a menagerie of animals, both domestic and wild, in a ramshackle cottage in the woods overlooking the San Gabriel Valley and Mountains beyond. When she isn’t writing, they spend their time hiking in the mountains and deserts, splashing in tide pools, and resisting the urge to speak in haiku.
Smoky is, metaphorically speaking, the salmon who swims downstream, not up. When the invitation says “black tie,” she’ll more likely show up in tie-dye. If there’s a tree, she’ll climb it. A rock, she’ll scramble up it. A creek, she’ll splash in it. When the neighborhood coyotes howl, she tends to howl back. Her husband calls her “eccentric.” She prefers the term “quirky.” But then, she’s a writer, an artist. What else would you expect?
And now from the author herself:
When I was a child, my grandparents had a farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, a place of sheer magic to me. There was magic in the mountains and the valleys of Virginia. I had proof: I had fairy stones.
Fairy stones are rare mineral crystals found in only a few locations worldwide. What makes them so wondrous is they are formed in the shape of a cross. Oh, some are less perfect than others, but to a child of six, the age I was when I found my first fairy stone, they all held magic.
Fairy stones are an important part of my novel, The Cabin. Young James-Cyrus Hoffmann is as enthralled with them as I was as a child. As an adult, he finds one particular fairy stone that has the power to change his life forever.
James-Cyrus has just inherited his grandfather’s farm, and with it a mysterious cabin deep in the woods on Hoffmann mountain; a cabin he has dreamed about since childhood. When he enters the cabin, he is vaulted back through time to the Civil War era, where he meets Elizabeth, the brave young woman who lives in the cabin, and Malachi, a runaway slave. James-Cyrus realizes his dreams of the cabin were visions of the past, and that Elizabeth is his great-great aunt a woman who vanished without a trace from the family tree. He also learns of his ancestors pivotal role in the lives of runaway slaves who were offered a safe haven at the cabin, a station on the underground railroad.
Cora Spellmacher, James-Cyrus’s elderly friend and neighbor, begins to unravel the secret of how he is able to make his fantastic leaps back and forth through time. In doing so, Cora begins to hope a tragic wrong from her own past can be righted, and that she can regain something precious that was lost to her many years earlier.
James-Cyrus realizes Elizabeth and Malachi are in terrible danger. With Cora’s help, he undertakes a daring plan of rescue that promises to rewrite his family history and change all of their lives forever.
The Cabin has received critical acclaim:
Mysterious and masterfully crafted, Smoky Trudeau Zeidel’s The Cabin draws the reader into a world in which reality swims, and truth is a thread of love through time. When protagonist James-Cyrus Hoffman inherits his grandfather’s farm, he discovers he has inherited more than land, his lineage bearing the passions, transgressions, and scars of his ancestors. A thoughtful, provocative, satisfying story that challenges not only the protagonist’s sense of time and place but the reader’s as well. — Patricia Damery, author of Snakes, and Farming Soul: A Tale of Initiation
Smoky Trudeau Zeidel brings to this magical and compelling historical fantasy an obvious and highly detailed love of plants and animals, mountains, dreams, and the old wisdom of one attuned to the mysteries of the natural world. — Malcolm R. Campbell, author of The Sun Singer and Sarabande.
Read The Cabin. Experience the magic.
Yes, please do. Thank you Smoky. You can find more about Smoky and her work via…
her blog http://smokyzeidel.wordpress.com where you can read about her blog tour (yours truly kicks it off!), editing service, books and short stories. Smoky returns for our interview on 14th November. A link, when it’s live, will be here too.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with romance novelist Joselyn Vaughn – the one hundred and sixty-ninth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks here.