Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I want to thank Dean C. Rich for inviting me to participate in “The Next Big Thing.” I was a little afraid I wouldn’t get this written. I’ve been sick with a cold for the last four days. It’s a minor cold, but it kept me in a loopy, cold medicine induced fog, and I didn’t touch the computer. Thankfully, I’m feeling better. So here you go.

1- What is the working title of your book?

I’m currently working on FIXED, the sequel to JUJU’S CHILD since it’s NaNo. I’ve never written a sequel before, and I didn’t know how tricky it would be to sum up the last story without info dumping. I want the readers who have read Juju’s Child to get a refresher but not be inundated with old material, but also, have new readers caught up.

2- Where did the idea come from for the book?

My father’s family is from Louisiana, and I lived there for three years (8th-10th grades). I enjoyed going “Down South” to visit my relatives in St. Martins Parish. My aunts can cook like nobody’s business. I also watched Swamp People, and my main character, Malaise “Mala” Lacroix evolved from there. Add in hoodoo, a riled up spirit, and a murder mystery for the character to solve and there you go.

Since this is a sequel, I’m continuing to show Mala’s evolution. She was a character who loved and trusted easily. Not anymore. Life has made her colder, but it hasn’t broken her. She’s older, wiser, and hopefully more mature.
If you're interested in some of the images I used for inspiration, I have storyboards on PINTEREST.

3- What genre does your book fall under?

It’s Southern Gothic.

4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I don’t have particular actors in mind. I’d want someone who could pull off a Creole accent without sounding fake. I think the accent is beautiful. My grandfather spoke French, and I’ve wanted to learn. Someday.

5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I’m not finished writing the book yet. I’m a panster, so I have no idea where this is going to go. I have a rough outline, but my characters are willful. They tend to go their own way.

6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary, LLC. She's awesome, and I love her to pieces.

7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I’m not sure how long this will take me, but typically about three months. I write two or three chapters a week. After writing a chapter, before moving to the next, I edit it. Then, I send it off to my critique partners. By the time I’m finished, it has already gone through a couple of rounds of edits. After that, I let the story sit while I start writing the next book.

I now firmly believe in letting a story sit without being touched for a few months prior to editing. It’s amazing what fresh eyes will find.

8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I compared Mala to an African-American Sookie Stackhouse with a little Veronica Mars thrown in for spice.

9- Who or What inspired you to write this book?
See #2

10- What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I’m enthralled with the beauty of the bayou, the people and culture of Louisiana. It’s unique unto itself. I wanted to write a book which entertains, but also celebrates this culture. I wrote what I like to read: a mystery which puts the main character in a dangerous situation, with a touch of horror. I like to be scared for the characters. I want to be emotionally invested in their journey. That’s what I like to read and what I write.

It turns out most of my AQC friends have already been tagged. If anyone is interested in being tagged for next week (Week 25), please let me know in the comment section.


  1. So that's which NaNo you picked to write. That makes me smile. I miss those characters and their Southern flare. Hope I get to read it soon.

    How does everyone manage to finish a first draft in 30 to 40 days?! Nuts. I need to work harder.

    1. It's a fine line when you say done:-)

      First draft finished. Many, many edits to go.

      I can't wait for you to read it, Critique Partner Extraordinaire.


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