Thursday, March 20, 2014

Susannah's Hope

I am honored to have Katt Anderson on my blog.  I have known her for years and she is an awesome lady and writer. 

** Katt Anderson is drawing for a free copy of "Susannah's Hope." Please leave your address in the comments by this Saturday March 29th. I

Do you remember the first story you ever created? And do you mind to tell us about it?

The first story, I don’t remember. I told a lot of stories, both to my parents and family. I can remember telling a story to my grandfather about “Poor Tom.” Tom was a cat that had no home, poor Tom. I was probably in the first grade. When my children were small, I told them all kinds of stories about my pet dinosaur that lived in the cave with me. My daughter even insisted that her mom lived in a cave with a dinosaur when she was in the first grade. It must have been a good story. I never put anything on paper until much later.


Do you have a favorite story that you have written?

Since I only have two books out, I’d have to say Callie’s Mountain is my favorite. I do love Susannah’s Hope, but Callie is special being the first.


How does your family feel about your writing?

We decided early on that I would use a pen name. After all, with my last name being Cretsinger, no one could say or spell it. My husband and children seem to enjoy the fact that I write. My grandchildren think it’s neat. My husband’s siblings and my sister think it’s unbelievable that I could write a book. They have enjoyed the first book and I think they will enjoy the second.


Now, I want to discuss Susannah’s Hope.  What inspired you to write it?

Susannah was a wild child in the first book. I wanted to bring her down to earth and teach her about life. I wanted to be true to the time and have a Melungeon marry a white person. I loved Val Minor when I introduced him in the first book, but he was a mixed-race, not Melungeon. They were both attracted to each other, but Susannah was a snob and a brat. He had to see her change into a caring person. Isn’t that the way life is? We are all changing every day of our lives. That’s what I wanted to show.


Writers usually put a little of their selves into the main character.  What of you is in Susannah?

I guess I’m a little like Susannah, but more like Callie. I care about people, as Susannah finally learned to do. I can also be a snob, but I was never a brat like she was. I want people to realize God loves us no matter what the color of our skin is. There is always good in all people, even those we think could never change.


Susannah’s Hope takes place in the 1800s.  Most people don’t realize how difficult life could be at that time.  Are there any examples of this in your book?

Oh, yes, there are plenty of examples. Cooking was a major chore for women with only a fireplace to cook in. Think of the strained backs. I saw a chair in Scotland that was low to the ground and it was in front of a fireplace in Robert Burns home. That would have made cooking easier. Then if you owned a store, you had to go miles to get supplies. Sleeping arrangements were different at that time, also. Susannah and Val had to go by stage to get married in the North. They were a mixed couple, marriage was not allowed in Tennessee or the South at that time.


I know you have an interest in the Melungeon people.  Do you mind to expand on them and the role they play in your books?

From what I have learned in research, the Melungeon race was a lost race. No one knows how they came to the mountains of Tennessee. They lived in an area called Newman’s Ridge in what is now Hancock County. I’ve read a lot of things about them and have come to my own conclusion. DNA shows a Mediterranean heritage. There are other races that show up in DNA, Negro and Indian are also prominent. In the 1790 census there were 900 “free people of color” in the area. I know there could not have been that many free slaves and probably not that many Indians. I believe part of the number were Melungeons. Since their coloring is a mixture of Spanish, black and red, it’s a strange color. Their skin is not real dark, but lighter than a black person’s and with an olive tint. They were so hated by white people, and isn’t that the way we are? We fear something we can’t understand.

I became interested when my family began doing research on the family tree on the McGinnis side. My great-great grandmother was Barbra McGinnis. She never married but had five children. We found out they were fathered by a Melungeon man. So, I have Melungeon blood in my veins.



What is the one thing you want readers to get out of Susannah’s Hope?

Prejudice is not good. We should love and accept every race of people. It’s hard sometimes, but if we are a Christian, we have to.


Fun Question: If you could have superpowers, what would they be?

That’s hard because I’m happy as I am. I would like to have the energy to get everything done that I need to do. To whiz through the housework, cook and write would be wonderful. I’d like to be able to remember more of the research I do and write better. Really, I’m happy as I am with all my not superpowers.


Thanks, Brooke, for having me on your blog. You can find my book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble stores and other book stores. You may also visit me at and My publishing company is Mantle Rock Publishing. We are looking for Christian authors who want to make a difference with clean Christian books. You may visit our website at I’ve enjoyed being with all of you. Have a wonderful day.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Patti's Porch

Hey everybody, I’m so excited to be a guest on Patti’s Porch.

She is an awesome lady and fellow writer.


Please feel free to stop by and check out my interview at the link below.


‘This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)