Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Stone Man and the Trail of Tears
Take it away Charles...
My Three Inspirations behind Stone Man and the Trail of Tears
I often vacationed in Cherokee, North Carolina and attended the outdoor drama, Unto These
Hills, about the formation of the Cherokee Reservation. Although it wasn’t strictly factual, it
introduced me to Tsali who escaped with his family into the mountains after rescuing his wife
from soldiers assaulting her during the Trail of Tears. This was my introduction to those who
escaped the Trail of Tears.
A few years later, I met my triple-great uncle who told me the story of his father, Bill
Pennington, my great-great grandfather. Bill was born around 1830 in a Cherokee village in the
Kentucky mountains. His family moved north in 1838, avoiding the Trail of Tears. Most of the
village moved with them to a rural area north of Charlestown, Indiana, about 30 miles north-east
of Louisville where a mixture of whites and Meti (French/Shawnee mixed-bloods) lived. It
changed Bill Pennington’s life and made me ponder the Trail of Tears.
Later, I learned about Nunyunuwi, Stone Man, a giant with stone skin. Arrows could not
harm him. After many attempts, Cherokees captured him and tossed him into a bonfire. As he
slowly died in the flames, he taught the Cherokees magic songs for healing and hunting. When
the fire burned down, his body was gone, leaving in its place a magic healing crystal and a lump
of healing red paint. I was fascinated with the contradictions of a story about a monster who
sacrifices himself for the good of Cherokees.
With these 3 inspirations in mind, I wrote Stone Man and Trail of Tears. I hope you
enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Wado ᏩᏙ (thank you).
And thank you for sharing.
Bio and Links:
Charles Suddeth has published poetry, picture books, middle reader’s books, young
adult thrillers, and adult mysteries in English, Cherokee, and Turkish. He is active with
Green River Writers and leads a monthly SCBWI Social. He lives in Louisville and
teaches for the Jefferson County Schools.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr
After U.S. soldiers attack twelve-year-old Tsatsi’s Cherokee village, his family flees to
the Smokey Mountains. Facing storms, flood, and hunger, they’re forced to go where
Stone Man, a monstrous giant, is rumored to live.
His family seeks shelter in an abandoned village, but soldiers hunt them down. Tsatsi
and his sister Sali escape, but Sali falls ill and is kidnapped by Stone Man. Tsatsi gives
chase and confronts the giant, only to learn this monster isn’t what he seems.
Their journey is a dangerous one. Will Tsatsi find the strength to become a Cherokee
warrior? And will they ever find their family?
Print ISBN 9781939844620
EBook ISBN 9781939844651
Release date – October 8, 2019
Find Stone Man: And the Trail of Tears at:
Amazon | ITunes | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads