Posts Tagged ‘Charles Suddeth’

My picture book, Spearfinger, and I have been invited to the 2017 Kentucky Book Fair. November 18, 9 am to 4 pm. I will have all 4 of my books available.

The 7th Annual Kids Day at the Kentucky Book Fair will be held on Friday, November 17, 9:00 am2:30 pm.  Free, but registration is required.

Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington.


Meet over 175 authors from Kentucky & beyond, attend author talks & panel discussions. Support reading, writing, & books in the Commonwealth!


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My picture book, Spearfinger, traditionally takes place in the Snowbird Mountains/Nantahala River valley of North Carolina, but I like to think Spearfinger could have haunted many places where the Cherokees lived, even in Kentucky where I live. Kentucky means “meadowlands” in Cherokee. Whiteside Mountain, in the Snowbirds, is her rumored home.

Bilingual Cherokee/English picture book: SPEARFINGER / ᎦᏘᏍᏗ ᎦᏰᏌᏗ / GATISDI GAYESADI . Spearfinger the witch terrorizes the Cherokees. Can Chucha discover her secrets & end her rampages? Bilingual, 60 pages of full-color illustrations. Author: Charles Suddeth. Illustrator: Carrie Salazar. Translators: Lawrence Panther and Tim Nuttle. http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/charles-suddeth.php


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Spearfinger, a witch, terrorizes the Cherokees of the Smoky Mountains. No one can stop her. A little boy named Chucha battles her. Can he discover her secrets? Can he put an end to her rampages? Bilingual Cherokee/English picture book paperback: ISBN 978-1-940310-56-5: $14.99. Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-940310-57-2; $21.99. 4RV Publishing

Contains 60 pages of full-color illustrations and text in English and Cherokee. Spearfinger can be found at http://4rvpublishingcatalog.com, other online bookstores, and through brick and mortar bookstores.

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I have almost finished my YA urban fantasy, Lupus Rex: Blood on the Moon. Seventeen-year-old Will discovers that he is unique and has two werewolf genes, Double Alpha, which makes him Lupus Rex. He is not sure he wants the title or the werewolf life, and someone is stalking him to prevent him from becoming Lupus Rex.

I have taken the Arthurian myths, added Lupines (werewolves), and transported them to the present in the real world.

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BOOK: Louisville author plots ‘Murder on the Cherokee Reservation’

Jun 10 2015


By T. E. Lyons

Eighth Mask by Charles Suddeth
(Library Tales Publishing (Library Tales Publishing; 317 pgs., $18.99)

This Louisville author has already delivered a variety of tales: historical suspense novella “Halloween Kentucky Style,” YA tech thriller “Experiment 38” and now a novel subtitled “Murder on the Cherokee Reservation.”

The story is launched with an apparent (though not certain) murder that becomes a mystery due to its time and location — at the climax of a bawdy-but-spiritual Cherokee tradition called a Booger Dance. The eponymous dancers are masked — so the discovery of a body afterwards leads to questions such as who might have been posing as a dancer merely to have an excuse for a disguise. These questions are asked by the local sheriff’s office, but walls of silence (and what may be worse — surly half-truths and omissions) are what greet the interviewers when the dancers and potential witnesses claim they have the right to keep this matter private within the tribe. Gradually the interactions of the expanding cast of characters resolve into a form that’s familiar to fans of Hitchcock films: the innocent man sent on the run by a false accusation.

Best considered as a quick read with some slow buildup, this is a mystery-adventure that both offers and requires a certain, steady focus. Suddeth establishes his style early on: short chapters that gradually accumulate character and backstory, but are filled with point-of-view detail. The dynamic that’s most typical of today’s thrillers — with splashy sections of exposition that show off the author’s research on the background topic — is here muted, as the past and present of Cherokee customs and beliefs is given out a thimbleful at a time.

Suddeth understands the stars that guide this type of rural and natural mystery-thriller that’s infused with Native American lore and culture clashes: Tony Hillerman was a Mt. Rushmore-quality figure who wrote just this kind of novel. In recent years, Nevada Barr has been a go-to figure of very strong consistency (but with an emphasis on landscape/environment description that verges on travel-writing). Suddeth seems to be a more cautious writer than either of these, as he conveys his plot largely through the methodology of a procedural — albeit with some twists based on personal and cultural conflicts.

It’s surprising that with Suddeth’s experience he feels the need to confirm that the reader is sure of where suspicions are still open. His plot is tight enough that he doesn’t give away too much prematurely — yet he seems very cautious about confirming attributions and roles in accusations and personal clashes. The tight paragraphs are perpetually working to make sure the reader is in a very certain place with the heroes and villains. This is the deal Suddeth seems to make with the reader: I’ll get you involved with the characters at a steady pace — any smoke and mirrors will be in the plot, not the writing style. So the voices of Deputy Sheriff Charlie Yuchalla and murder suspect Lyle Gibbons aren’t as far apart as you might suspect, even as one claims to be merely the catalyst for the actions of a supernatural soul-stealer of Cherokee legend. When action scenes crop up, they move well and convincingly. If you can handle an especially-careful pace as the story proceeds, there’s entertainment here.



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Whistle Pig Down

Sally slips into James’s isolated cabin in the middle of the night, claiming to be fifteen, but he suspects that she is the twenty-one-year-old who killed a grocery clerk during a robbery. After she learns he is accused of murdering a couple over a lover’s triangle and of World War 2 war crimes, she is afraid he will kill her, but she has no place to go. They plot to attack each other in self-defense. After someone kidnaps Sally, James has to choose whether to rescue her and confront his own past or assume she’s also a murderer. Whistle Pig Down is a completed and edited 82,000-word literary mystery, which takes place in 1955 along the Kentucky-Tennessee border. (Subtitle: Ferry to Hell) My grandmothers’ families come from this part of Appalachia, and it is under-served literary wise.


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April is National Poetry Month. While most of my writing is fiction, I dabble in poetry. Here is my humble offering:

War and Peace

By Charles Suddeth

Tell me how wonderfully brave was he,

How ferociously and skillfully he fought,

How heroic his death surely must be,

How with his blood, freedom was bought.


Children who will never know Dad,

Songs that can never be sung,

Lives that must always be sad,

Forever silent his stammering tongue.


If I could give life to the dead,

If I could swiftly drive sorrow away.

If I could see the hungry ones fed,

I might be king for most of the day.


To a grieving heart, I would give a smile,

Give comfort to those who live in fear,

Give a soul sunshine for a while,

And carefully wipe away each tear.



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