Synopsis: It’s Halloween in the French Quarter as P.I. Wyatt Thomas traces his missing girlfriend to a mysterious convent hidden deep in south Louisiana’s Honey Island Swamp. Even if he manages to find her and they both survive, will their relationship ever be the same?
CH: Today’s Guest Author is Eric Wilder. He is a master of Louisiana mystery writing. Welcome back to my blog, Eric.
CH: Can you sum up this New Orleans paranormal mystery in 20 words or less?
EW: It’s a diverse mixture of fantasy, reality, and the paranormal set in arguably the most haunting and exotic city on earth.
CH: Why did you decide to write this book on this topic?
EW: There is nothing normal about New Orleans. Its culture, religion, cuisine, etc., is a complex mixture of many people from all over the world. In New Orleans, voodoo and Catholicism are inextricably intertwined. In writing Sisters of the Mist, I wanted to explore this connection and do it by adding a dollop of fantasy to see what flavor I could achieve.
CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing about a convent?
EW: I once lived across the street from a Catholic convent where the nuns stayed cloistered for life. No one, neither friends nor family, ever visited them, and once they entered the compound, they never left it. Questions percolated in my brain for many years, until it became too much for a fiction writer not to probe the ether for answers.
CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues to mingle with New Orleans history?
EW: The complex cultural history of New Orleans is what makes the city so haunting and mysterious. Numerous plagues, slavery, killer hurricanes, and Civil War has shaped its history and made it unique. Because of this, I find it easy to use the Big Easy as the canvas upon which I apply the layers of color to create my stories.
CH: Which character was hardest to develop?
EW: Because of his intense family tragedy and the ensuing events leading to his spiritual development, Lando Impeke was the hardest character to develop. There’s a thin line between the complex, tragic character Lando is and the cartoon figure he could have become, if not portrayed correctly. I only hope I succeeded.
CH: Which characters experienced growth and change over the course of the story?
EW: Abba Gigoux experienced the most growth and change—her views on life, self-perception, and religious beliefs evolving dramatically.
CH: There were multiple themes in the book, how did they relate to each other and to the plot?
EW: I usually have two storylines intertwined throughout my books. Tony Nicosia, former N.O.P.D. homicide detective, turned P.I., is usually hot on the trail of a New Orleans’ mystery. This storyline is always related to a third person narrative and mostly lacks paranormal shadings. The primary storyline always involves Wyatt Thomas. It’s told in the first person, from his perspective and always involves fantasy, voodoo, and the paranormal.
CH: You have captured your readers when writing about New Orleans, and most of your readers come away from your books wanting to read more. How have you perfected this hook?
EW: I try to make the characters real, complete with warts including bigotry, racism, biases, and flaws. I also try to place the reader firmly in the Big Easy by using my knowledge of the city and its citizens to paint a vivid and very real picture of the place.
CH: Is there a special attachment that you have to New Orleans and this genre?
EW: New Orleans is one of the most interesting, complex, and mysterious cities on earth. I want my readers to feel as though they are actually there, and I always strive to make the city my main character.
CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?
EW: After reading The Exorcist many years ago, I didn’t sleep well for a month because it seemed so real to me. I do my best to bring my stories to life and make everything, no matter how unbelievable, believable.
CH: From a feedback perspective, and without a spoiler, did most readers find the ending to be satisfying and met their expectations of the plot?
EW: I wanted to leave a cliffhanger at the end of the book that no one was expecting. So far, everyone I’ve talked to that has read the book likes the ending.
CH: This is book 6 in the series, how many more books are there in the series?
EW: I honestly don’t know how many books this series will ultimately have. I love the characters and the setting, and I think I could go on forever. Guess I’ll stop when the readers stop asking for more.
CH: What is your next writing project?
EW: I’m working on French Quarter Mystery #7, which is tentatively titled, New Orleans Dangerous. It’s about an NBA player that gets traded to the New Orleans Pelicans and begins to learn he has a connection he didn’t know about that involves voodoo, incest, and murder.
CH: How to Find Eric Wilder:
- Eric’s Website: http://www.ericwilder.com
- Eric’s Amazon Link: http://tiny.cc/gktpqy
- Eric’s Author Page: http://tiny.cc/fltpqy
- Eric’s Facebook: http://facebook.com/louisianamysterywriter
CH: Can you tell my audience where they can purchase your book?
EW: My books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords. Paperbacks can be ordered from your local bookstore.
CH: Any closing remarks?
EW: Thanks, Cheryl, for spotlighting my new book. You are a great author in your own right. Your blog is a wonderful platform for authors, and your interviews are astute, intelligent, and illuminating.
CH: Thank you so much, Eric Wilder, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers. It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience. And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book. I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience.
Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Eric Wilder and Cheryl Holloway.
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