Friday, November 9, 2012

Writing a Mixed Genre Story

  When I first heard the history and urban legends surrounding Madame Delphine Lalaurie, I knew I had to write the book.  She was a colorful piece of New Orleans history and it was important to gather as many historical facts about the woman, the times, the culture and the physical locations as I could.  The research took eighteen months (after which, two very good history books were published that would have saved a great deal of duplicated efforts if they had come out just a bit sooner.

  People pay for tours and line up every day to see the Lalaurie Mansion, to visit the grave of Marie Laveau, to walk down Pirates Alley. I knew it was more than just the (sometimes-boring) historical facts that draw all these daily visitors to see the places where my story takes place.  Nearly two centuries of urban legend add to the fun, the thrill, the motivation to visit these historic sites, and if my book was to entertain, the best of that legend needed to be included. 

  L'immortalité: Madame Lalaurie and the Voodoo Queen is both historical fiction and horror…and something else.  Fans of historic fiction tell me that I captured the times, what things looked, smelled and sounded like in 1833.  Horror fans will find the macabre, a mad scientist torturing people in his attic, the mystery of voodoo and a smattering of ghosts.   A closer look will, I hope, reveal the book as a meditation on the various ways people seek to persist beyond their mortal lives.  Even those who do not believe in the existence of the soul seek to live on in the minds of others.   I believe the real value of the book is in its reflection on immortality. Let me know what you think.

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