“In her seventh novel, The Cage Maker, Nicole Seitz has crafted one of the most original and fascinating stories I’ve read in ages. With elaborate settings, mysterious characters, impressive illustrations, and tons of suspense, Seitz has delivered a captivating timeslip novel that escapes the confines of genre and enters that sacred space of darn-good storytelling.”
~ Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling novelist of The Feathered Bone
"Moving fluidly between both literary forms and time periods, and in prose as gauzy and beautiful as its illustrations, Nicole Seitz's The Cage-maker is, like the birdcage at the novel's heart, something both timeless and completely new. This gorgeous and deeply moving novel is part tomorrow's blog post, part Balzac, reborn in the deep South."
~Mark Powell, author of Small Treasons and The Sheltering
"Nicole Seitz's The Cage-Maker, takes us on an always riveting journey through the lives of a family a century ago. Using their letters we begin to understand the complications of both their lives and their times. She has given us a wonderful story, the gift of a worthy tale for sure."
~ Robert Hicks, author of The Widow of the South and The Orphan Mother
Bringing the New Orleans of the late 1800s and early 1900s vividly to life, Nicole Seitz’s latest novel unfolds as a series of letters, journal entries, and newspaper articles discovered in the secret compartment of an enormous and exquisitely detailed birdcage that Trish, a twenty-first-century blogger, has inherited from a heretofore unknown relative. As she peruses the documents, Trish finds herself irresistibly drawn into the history of her family―a tale that is, as one letter puts it, “part love story and part horror and madness.”
In 1906 Dr. René Le Monnier is ready to retire after a lengthy career as the New Orleans coroner and physician for the insane asylum. Still mourning his wife’s death, the Civil War veteran wants nothing more than finally to write his account of the Battle of Shiloh. But when a sixteen-year-old girl, Carmelite Kurucar, enlists his aid in saving her brother from a death sentence, the good doctor has to reckon with old ghosts and dusty, long-forgotten files―in particular the case of a patient to whom he may not have given sufficient treatment and consideration.
Le Monnier’s efforts to help Carmelite lead him to Bertrand Saloy, one of the richest men in all New Orleans; to the Le Monnier mansion, which still haunts him; and down a dark family lineage “cursed” by a succession of wealth. Amid the mysteries and suspenseful intrigue, a French birdcage maker’s obsessive love for Madame Saloy emerges at the heart of the story.Based in part on real people and events and featuring illustrations by the author, this engrossing epistolary novel offers fresh twists on the Southern Gothic genre. It reveals much about criminal justice, about early-twentieth-century notions of care for the mentally ill, and, most important, about the many ways in which the weight of history hangs over the present from one generation to the next.
"Seitz...[gives] the reader a deep, spiritual experience blended with excellent storytelling." - Deep South Magazine
"Nicole Seitz plunges into worlds and situations that are not always the most comfortable for us or for her...it makes for important reading. - Huffington Post
"[Seitz] gives her work an imaginative spin...seldom seen in contemporary Christian fiction this side of C.S. Lewis." - Wilmington Star News
Nicole Seitz grew up on Hilton Head Island, a small town off the coast of South Carolina, where she was surrounded by palmetto trees, marsh grass, sandy beaches and unique Southern characters. As an author, artist and speaker, Nicole's work is deeply influenced by her faith and the mystique and charm of the South. In 1989 she went to the U.S.S.R as a student ambassador through People to People Organization, and the trip opened her eyes to the struggles, beauty, and universal qualities of other cultures--things she likes to explore in her work.
The Spirit of Sweetgrass, Nicole's debut novel, was selected as the March 2007 FaithPoint Book-of-the-Month for Books-a-Million. Her second novel, Trouble the Water (Mar 2008), received a starred review and was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2008 by Library Journal. It was also seen in Southern Living, Sandlapper Magazine, and was an editor's pick in the May 2008 issue of Charleston Magazine. The book went into a second printing within two weeks of it's release date. A Hundred Years of Happiness (Mar 2009), was featured in the January 2009 edition of Charleston Magazine and the July/Aug edition of The VVA Veteran, was a Summer Reading Pick on CBN.com, and was nominated by independent booksellers for the 2009 SIBA Book Award. Saving Cicadas (Dec 2009), was an Indie Next List Notable pick for January 2010, was featured in the November 2009 issues of Charleston Magazine and CBA Retailers+Resources, and was selected as a "favorite pick for readers on your Christmas list" in the December 2009 issue of Southern Living. The Inheritance of Beauty (Feb 2011), was a SheReads March 2011 Book Club Selection, a Pulpwood Queens April 2011 Bonus Selection, and the May 2011 FaithPoint Book-of-the-Month for Books-a-Million. Her most recent novel, Beyond Molasses Creek (Feb 2012) was a Romantic Times Top Pick for March 2012 and a Pulpwood Queens 2012 Book Club Selection. In November 2012, Nicole's essay "Kahlua Unleashed" was published in the Hub City project, Literary Dogs & Their South Carolina Writers. In May 2014, she was a castmember of Listen to Your Mother: Charleston, a live production at the Footlight Players Theater in which she shared her original monologue, "The Longing".
Nicole received a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.F.A. in Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Her freelance articles have been in The Island Packet, The Bluffton Packet, and SouthCarolina Magazine. Nicole is also a published illustrator, and her artwork has been exhibited in Southern art galleries. Her novels feature her paintings/illustrations on the covers.
Nicole Seitz ran her first full marathon in December 2012. She was named "Best Local Author Who Also Paints" in Charleston City Paper's Best of Charleston 2009, and in 2007, she was named one of Charleston Regional Business Journal's "Forty Under 40" for her professional successes and community involvement. Nicole enjoys meeting her readers and book clubs and often speaks to groups on writing, art and faith. In 2009, she spoke as part of the Southern Literary Festival during Piccolo Spoleto. In 2008, she gave the Baccalaureate address for the College of Charleston. An artist at heart, Nicole enjoys painting pictures with words and bringing her characters to life through detail and dialect. She lives in the Charleston, South Carolina, area with her husband, Brian, and their two children, and is currently writing her next novel.
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 4, 2007)
Paperback: 311 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 30, 2012)
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 7, 2011)
Paperback: 314 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (November 30, 2009)
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 2, 2009)
Paperback: 289 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 11, 2008)
To learn more about the anthology Nicole edited in response to the Great Floods in South Carolina, When You Pass Through Waters: Words of Hope and Healing from Your Favorite Authors, visit https://waterbooks.net/
Nicole is also an artist and illustrator. To view her portfolio, visit https://nicoleseitzportfolio.wordpress.com/
Marketing Director, Story River Books
University of South Carolina Press
1600 Hampton Street
Columbia, SC 29208
* If you would like Nicole to speak to your group/book club/organization, please fill out the form on the left. If within driving distance or if Nicole is in your town, she will make every effort to visit your group in person. Otherwise, teleconferences can be arranged.