Wednesday, November 28, 2012


 Two weeks ago, award-winning author Sandra Humphrey interviewed me on this blog.  Today, I received the shocking and tragic news that Sandra and her husband Brien were killed in a house fire in their Minnesota home.   May they rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon them.
 Sandra's literary work touched the lives of many and inspired countless young people. I urge my followers to look at her blog.

 With prayer and heartfelt sympathy to her family,
 T.R. Heinan

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


  For those who are not familiar with a blog hop, it is a lot like a treasure hunt.  One you find something on one blog, you hop over to the next link for more treasure. In this case, the treasure is a wealth of new and exciting books. Some are still being written, some are just being released.  Either way, for book lovers, it is a treasure and I would like to thank author

 Sandra McLeod Humphrey for tagging me to participate. Visit her blog at

In this particular post, I hope to answer 10 questions and you get to learn about one of two powerful women and the role they played in shaping the history and legends of New Orleans.
Q & A:
WHAT IS THE TITLE OF YOUR BOOK?  L'immortalité: Madame Lalaurie and the Voodoo Queen.

WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM FOR THE BOOK?  Almost every day in New Orleans, hundreds of people pay and line up to take walking tours in order to see the exterior of Madame Delphine Lalaurie's haunted mansion and to visit the grave of Voodoo Queen Marie Laveau.  A few years ago, I took one of those tours and I loved the story so much, I wanted to read a book about it when I got home.  That's when I discovered there was no book.  Lots of blurbs on the internet, chapters in a few books, references in a couple more, but no book that told the whole history and legend.  After I began writing, two non-fiction history texts were published that covered the factual history of Delphine Lalaurie (lots of footnotes, genealogy, and documentation).  Great stuff if you are a historian, maybe not if, like the hundreds of people who take the walking tours, you're looking for suspense and entertainment.

WHAT GENRE DOES YOUR BOOK FALL UNDER?   It blends genres:  Historical Fiction and Horror.  On another level, it is an irreverent meditation on what people will do to persist beyond their earthly lives.
For Madame Delphine LaLaurie, Courteney Cox and for Marie Laveau, Zoe Saldana.  Sahara Garey would be ideal for the Lalaurie's runaway slave, Elise.  I think Robert Pattinson would make a good Philippe, the sacristan protagonist in my story.  Shaver Ross could play Bastien, Delphine Lalaurie's driver, and William Shatner should play Doctor Louis Lalaurie.

In this historical horror story set in antebellum New Orleans, a voodoo queen helps an elite slave owner, a cathedral sacristan, and runaway slave find immortality in ways both macabre and beautiful.


HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE FIRST DRAFT OF YOUR MANUSCRIPT?  The first draft took about 16 months, most of which was spent in doing research,  talking to sources, digging through libraries, and trying to get a feel for what it looked, smelled, and felt like in New Orleans in the 1830's.  It took another year to finish the story.

Seth Grahame-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer.

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK? 27 years ago, I founded a non-profit organization to provide for orphaned children and I spend most of my time working with our orphanage in Sonora, Mexico.  I wanted to find something to do on my free days that had nothing to do with seeing molested, abused and abandoned children.  I failed.  The book recalls the history of horrendous abuse of enslaved human beings.  I credit the guides at French Quarter Phantoms and Strange True Tours in New Orleans for giving me the subject matter and my two sons for encouraging me to write the book.

WHAT ELSE ABOUT YOUR BOOK MIGHT PIQUE THE READER'S INTEREST?  L'immortalité is based on a true story and nearly all of the characters in the book were real people torn from the pages of New Orleans history. Each of the title characters has had her own cult following for nearly two centuries.  Most of the places mentioned in my book still stand today and has been called a "must read" for anyone who plans to visit the French Quarter in New Orleans.  I am thrilled with all the reviews so far, especially  one  5 star review titled "Couldn't Put It Down" written by someone I met at a book signing. It said that a book "really has to grab me in the first few pages and Mr. Heinan did."

Here is my list of blog hop buds for next week:
They all write good stuff, so check out their blogs next Wednesday to read about their WIPs and New Releases. Thanks also to Sandra McLeod Humphrey for this interview.

Micki Peluso

Ronald Cherry

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.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Tucson Comic-Con was more fun than should be legal.  Thanks to all who visited my table.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

I'll be at the Tucson Comic-Con, Tucson Convention Center, Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.