I always have fun coming up with an author’s note for each of my books.
Today I’ll share my website note for Bayou Midnight, which will be at all the major online bookstores on Sunday. (It’s available for preorder, right now using that link, too.) And yes, there will be a paperback available, too. On the fifteenth you can find that at Amazon, who makes it possible to create one.
Meantime, here’s a little fun background of the story, which is Book Two of the New Orleans Nights series.
Picture this if you will: Two authors in a canoe on a swamp south of New Orleans. One, who has never set foot or bottom in a canoe. The other, who usually only paddles from the front when needed. (That would be me.) We arrive at our destination, find our canoe and paraphernalia, and wait for instructions.
“Enjoy yourselves,” say our guides as they push away from the shore and glide across the water to disappear from view for the rest of the trip, leaving us to stare at each other in dismay. Then, with no choice, we get in, push off, and have the time of our lives.
As with all my books, when writing Bayou Midnight I knew I needed more than a trip to the library to get the true feel of the Louisiana bayou country. The swamp trip was one of my answers. Karen Young, the author who accompanied me, recently told me that when I said canoe trip, she’d pictured herself lazily trailing her fingers through the water while a chatty guide paddled us through swamp and marsh. Instead she got me, guiding the canoe just the way I’d learned a million years before at Camp Oklawaha as a young teenager. (And relearned that day.)
Karen also says our trip is one of her fondest memories. Mine, too. We saw snakes hanging from tree limbs, gris-gris bags, trot lines, alligators, and nutria. We also fell more deeply in love with the state we both called home.
A few years ago Lady of the Night (book one of the New Orleans Nights series) and Bayou Midnight (book two) came back into my loving care. I was so glad to become reacquainted with my characters and stories, and I wanted you to enjoy them again, too.
Now what to do?
Both books needed to be updated and revised. Even more important, in order to finish the series, they needed the companionship of a third book, Night Magic. Unfortunately, Skeeter, the third of three childhood friends who grew up on the streets of New Orleans, had been just a bit too much the bad boy for my publisher, who had declined the idea. Skeeter’s book languished.
Now I was faced with a decision. Was publishing these stories as a trilogy so important to me that I was willing to drop everything else, write the third book and dip back into romantic suspense? Darned right. I still had everything I needed in my files, as well as the conviction that this story wanted to be told. Clearly it was time to get moving.
So welcome to New Orleans Nights, complete at last. Welcome to the seamier side of The City That Care Forgot, to the bayous of Southern Louisiana and to the underworld of New Orleans voodoo. Most of all to the stories of three men whose friendship never wavered.
While the first two books were updated and revised, and the third book written in the same time frame, the books are still set before Hurricane Katrina, which changed the city so drastically in August 2005. This is the New Orleans I remember and love so well.
Laissez les bon temps rouler! (Let the good times roll.)