Monday, August 20, 2012


Recently some fans have sent in a few questions.

MF in Florida wants to know, "Did Marie Laveau and Delphine Lalaurie actually know each other?
One of the things that led me to write this story is that it deals with a time when the two most influential people in New Orleans were both women.  Because of their social influence and the fact that they lived within walking distance of each other, there can be little doubt that each was well aware of the other.  On the other hand, at that time it would have been most unlikely that a woman of Delphine Lalaurie's social standing in the French Creole community would associate with a free woman of color such as Marie Laveau.  Still, the fictional connections in my book are not entirely impossible.  The fun part of historical fiction is the "what if "factor and my goal is to entertain.

TB in Arizona asks:  Most accounts I have read say that Delphine Lalaurie was killed by a wild boar in France.  Is that what happens in your book?
The jury is still out as to the date, place and manner of Madame Lalaurie's death, but there is some evidence to indicate that she may have returned to New Orleans and died in her bed.  I won't reveal what happens to her in my book, but telling fans of this legend that she just died in her bed is, to me, a bit like standing in Macy's at Christmas time and telling kids there is no Santa Claus.

RJ in Louisiana said:  I had a chance to read an advance copy and on the second read, I discovered that your story appears to be written on multiple levels.  Am I right?
Well, that is at least is what I tried to accomplish.  On the surface, it is a new spin on an old horror legend.  It is also a meditation on the question of life after death as witnessed by a man whose mother's rosary beads serve as an uncut umbilical cord that prevents him from maturing spiritually.  I have a personal hang-up about how some writers tend to overuse the word "turn" and so there are only two "turns "in my book. One is when my protagonist "turns" into Pirates Alley at the beginning of the story and the other when he "turns" out of it as he reaches the final plot point.  Pirates Alley becomes his "yellow brick road" as he moves through the various "monomyth" steps of his hero's journey.  A clue to this is that he lives in a yellow brick house (which in the real world is located about where the yellow brick building that once was home to William Faulkner now stands).  Since my protagonist is a bookworm, I think he would have liked that touch. The occasions when he offers bread, and later wine, to a runaway slave also have symbolic significance in the story.

Got a question of your own?  Tweet me at

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