Monday, October 19, 2015

Charles Suddeth, Eighth Mask

AUTHOR: Charles Suddeth
BOOK TITLE: Eighth Mask
GENRE: mystery
PUBLISHER: Library Tales Publishing

Please tell us about yourself. 
Widowed. I live alone (2 cats) a quarter mile from Tom Sawyer State Park, near Louisville, Kentucky. I write full time and sneak to the park whenever I can. I was born in Indiana, grew up Michigan, and I’ve spent my adult life in Kentucky. I’m a graduate of Michigan State University. I belong to the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), International Thriller Writers, and Green River Writers (also their Contest Chairman).

What was the toughest criticism given to you? T
he original title was The Eighth Booger Mask. Booger is an old word meaning ghost or evil being, but women hated the word and the title. 

What was the biggest compliment?
My girlfriend loved Eighth Mask. She’s not afraid to speak her mind.

Did those change how or what you did in your next novel? 
I run my titles past at least 2 critique groups. 

Compliments and hates? 
I only use them for the final drafts to see if I’ve done my homework.

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
I always learn from writing a book. I learned about the enduring power of grudges. And how history affects generations afterwards. And how courage comes in different forms.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them? 
Library Tales Publishing. I found their advertisement in Publisher’s Weekly, which impressed me. I sent them a query and they connected with the storyline.

What do you plan for the future?
I write whatever genre that interests me. If I don’t feel the emotion for a storyline, my writing falls flat and will never see daylight.
What genre do you write in and why? 
I write mysteries, but not regular mysteries. Mine are dark with touches of magical realism. I don’t write who-dun-its, because I like to explore/discuss issues without preaching or teaching.

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting. 
Eighth Mask: After being accused of a murder he did not commit, Deputy Sheriff Charlie Yuchalla plunges into a mysterious world of supernatural giants, ancient priest orders and Cherokee mystics as he attempts to uncover the true identity of the person responsible for murdering a masked dancer at a Cherokee Booger Dance.

What gave you the idea for this particular book? 
I contacted some third cousins, who gave me a family genealogy, but they deleted my great-grandmother’s branch. Her father was a Union Civil War veteran, but she had the audacity to marry into a Confederate family (20 years after the war ended). I realized that people can hold onto grudges for an incredibly long time.

Did your book require a lot of research? If so, what kind? 
Yes, but I have researched Cherokees for years, including learning some of the language. I have dozens of Cherokee books, and I made countless trips to Cherokee North Carolina. Online language lessons helped.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I write mysteries and thrillers, but writing about the actual deaths is hard emotionally, because the characters are real to me.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process? 
Sometimes I outline, which takes longer, but it saves time editing. It takes me about a year, if I outline. Editing takes anywhere from six months to two years before I feel confident enough to show it to an agent or an editor.

What advice would you give a new writer starting out? 
Write what you want, but get help: critique groups, workshops, courses, writing books.

What books have most influenced your life?
John Steinbeck’s books. Dr. Doolittle. Michael Crichton’s books. Tony Hillerman’s Navajo books. Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse books
What seven words would you use to describe yourself?
Impulsive, mathematical, dreamer, experimenter, patient, poet, funny.

What has been your favorite part of being an author? 
Making stories that people enjoy reading. 

What has been your least favorite? I hate pushing my books. If you meet me in person, I’ll probably recommend a writer-friend’s books.


  1. Sounds like a good read! I like psychological mysteries but we also have some Cherokee ancestors so it's doubly interesting to me!

  2. Cheryl, good to hear from you. I hope the reader will learn & appreciate Cherokee culture, but yes, I do explore psychological issues as well.

  3. Hi, Chuck! Letting your readers know I posted a review of Eighth Mask on Goodreads! I enjoyed it.

    Virginia, GRW

  4. Hi Virginia, thanks for posting on Goodreads. And thanks for visiting.