Is there any place so mysterious or provocative as New Orleans? A place where les bon temps roll right alongside the menace of dark spirits both dead and alive. A place so steeped in history and so culturally faceted that when I feel inclined to wander, I find myself headed east towards it. No wonder the characters in my novels gravitate there as well.
On one of my trips to the Big Easy, I visited an actual Voodoo Temple. Coming from a small rural town in Georgia, raised in the Church of God and, later, the Southern Baptist religions, I learned that fooling with dark magic would damn my soul. And though Voodoo was viewed as a false religion, we all had a healthy respect for its power over us. Those things remained ingrained even as I learned more about the religion and assumed an intellectual disregard for superstition. So when I stepped inside of the Temple, I was filled with awe, curiosity and the heebie-jeebies. It was wonderful and I knew I had to write about this place.
Thus inspired, I created a fictional Voodoo Temple filled with the details I came across in my real-life exploration. My temple is run by a Voodoo Priestess called Kayin Medeaux. It figures rather prominently in the narrative of The First Daughter.
Now, my husband and I are heading back to New Orleans to celebrate our 22nd anniversary. And as I work on my second novel, I’m wondering if my characters will find a reason to return there. I hope so