Guest Author Interview – Eric Wilder

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Title: Sisters of The Mist (French Quarter Mystery Book 6)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Paranormal

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?

Eric Wilder, Author

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:

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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Guest Author Interview – Eric Wilder

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Title: River Road: French Quarter Mystery Series Book 5

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Paranormal

Synopsis: A new client wants paranormal P.I. Wyatt Thomas to find his mother’s killer. The problem is the fifty-year-old murder isn’t just cold, it’s frozen solid. Events happen fast when Wyatt accepts a large retainer from a new client wishing to keep his identity secret. Shortly after agreeing to find the person who killed the man’s mother, Wyatt’s client is himself murdered. The killers shoot Wyatt as he attempts to intervene. He awakens in a New Orleans’ hospital only to find they have yet to finish with him. The mysterious men want him dead. He escapes and learns they’ve somehow managed to pin his client’s murder on him. But why? Determined to find out, he enlists the aid of Lucy Diamond. Lucy is a beautiful though cynical reporter in town to film a story on the same murder his client paid him to solve. He marks her for death when they discuss the case. Though different in every possible way, they go on the run together. Wyatt and Lucy soon learn more than a single person participated in the murder. The ensuing chase drags them through the gritty backside of New Orleans where everyone has a dark secret and a bloody motive. What’s the connection between the N.O.P.D., Krewe of Rex, and southern mafia? How are the Russian Special Forces, C.I.A., and U.S. Public Health Service involved? Why is the Cuban army trying to kill them? And, what’s up with the mysterious and secret satanic sect that practices human sacrifice? Wyatt and Lucy must learn the answers or die. River Road is a paranormal thriller based loosely on an actual murder.

Eric Wilder

Eric Wilder, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Eric Wilder. He grew up near Black Bayou in Louisiana, and began listening to his grandmothers’ tales and ghost stories at an early age. He was destined to write thriller/suspense stories about New Orleans. Welcome to my blog, Eric.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

EW: You should read River Road, if you love New Orleans because it will transport you to the Big Easy without having to leave your house.

CH: Since this book is about a true 50+ year old murder mystery, why did you decide to write this book on this topic?

EW: I read Edward T. Haslam’s book, Dr. Mary’s Monkey, that chronicles the murder of Dr. Mary Sherman in great detail. Still unsolved after 50+ years, the gruesome murder intrigued me. It coincided with a dark period in U.S. history that included Russian missile bases in Cuba, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Dr. Mary worked in a secret laboratory in New Orleans purportedly funded by the C.I.A. Her murder occurred the day she was supposed to meet with the Warren Commission investigating President Kennedy’s assassination. I wondered if my fictional French Quarter P.I., Wyatt Thomas, could have solved the case and I decided to write River Road to learn the answer.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book and/or including the history of the murder mystery?

EW: The biggest challenge was having the protagonist, P.I. Wyatt Thomas, solve a fifty-year-old mystery in three days, while on the run, with only a single clue—a solid gold Mardi Gras doubloon with a satanic emblem engraved on one side.

CH: Since this book is about a true murder mystery and an old one, did you have to do any special research to write this book?

EW: River Road is a work of fiction loosely based on the Mary Sherman murder. To keep the storyline similar, I poured through numerous books, including Dr. Mary’s Monkey, newspaper articles, and obscure publications, such as the transcripts from the trial of Clay Shaw. I did this because I wanted to retain the tone of that fascinating period in U.S. and New Orleans history coinciding with the murder.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues to mingle with the real situations?

EW: Creating a villain that had plausible reasons for continuing to keep the murder unsolved, even after 50+ years, wasn’t easy. Weaving the present-day storyline with facts of an event that happened many years ago was indeed difficult.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

EW: My favorite character was retired homicide detective, Edna Callahan. When she enters the story, she is suffering from the last stages of grief brought about by the death of her longtime lesbian partner. Though seventy-something, she is fit and attractive, intelligent, tough as nails, but with an understanding and forgiving heart. She’s also a fanatical Elvis Presley fan. She became a very real person, vulnerable; yet, strong, to me.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

EW: For me, the bad guy is always the most difficult character to write. It’s easy to think of a villain as the embodiment of all things evil. In the real world, that is rarely true. To be believable, the villain must have positive human qualities along with strong desires and needs that don’t coincide with those of the protagonist. That is never easy to write.

CH: Since you’ve told us about the main characters, do you have anything to share about the supporting characters?

EW: Readers of the first four books in the French Quarter Mystery Series will recognize many of the supporting characters in River Road. Voodoo Mambo Mama Mulate is back along with French Quarter bar owner Bertram Picou, and ex-homicide detective, Tony Nicosia. All these characters are very real to me, and every one of them helps advance the storyline. I hope my readers enjoy them as much as I do.

CH: This is book 5 in the series, which book was hardest to write?

EW: Big Easy, the first book in the series was the hardest for me to write because I met the cast of characters for the first time. They are now like old friends that are always revealing new facets of their lives and personalities.

CH: You seem to be an expert on writing paranormal and suspense books in the New Orleans location, have you ever considered writing in any other genre?

EW: I’ve dabbled in other genres, but I’ll probably stick with what I’m most comfortable with.

CH: Take us through your writing process. You get an idea, do you map out the book beforehand, or do you allow the characters to write their own story?

EW: As in River Road, I start out with a basic premise I want to explore. I construct a preliminary outline of how I think the novel will proceed and conclude. Once I begin writing, the characters take over, often radically changing the ending and everything in between. I am frequently amazed by truths that seem to pop up out of the ozone. In River Road, for example, P.I. Wyatt Thomas learns who killed JFK. Is it true? Don’t know, but I’ve never heard a better explanation.

CH: As far as accolades or achievements, what would you say has been your greatest achievement? 

EW: I always wanted to be a writer and write a novel. I’d say reaching that goal is my greatest achievement.

CH: Last but not least, why do you write, and what do you want readers to take from your novels?

EW: I write because something deep in my psyche compels me to do so. I want my readers to take a trip to New Orleans, rumble down St. Charles Avenue in an old streetcar, taste a bowl of spicy gumbo, hear a voodoo drumbeat pulse through the Quarter beneath a full moon, and experience the very real mystery and danger of the world’s most exotic city.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

EW: My website is http://www.ericwilder.com. I’m also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/louisianamysterywriter and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/@ericwilderok.

CH: Can you tell my audience where they can purchase your book?

EW: River Road is available online on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple iBooks and Kobo. It is also available as a trade paperback at Amazon.com and bn.com, or your local bookstore can order them for you.

CH: Any closing remarks?

EW: Thank you so much, Cheryl, for allowing me to bandstand about my newest novel, River Road. I appreciate it very much.

CH: Thank you, Eric Wilder, it has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Eric Wilder.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Eric Wilder

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Please, join us for Guest Male Authors Month! We had so many responses that we will have two Guest Male Authors each week—on Tuesday and Friday.

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Title: Black Magic Woman

Genre: Murder/Mystery/Ghost

Synopsis: Burdened by spring floods, malaria and yellow fever, citizens of New Orleans often turned to voodoo practitioners-African Rosalie, Sanite Dede, Bras Coupe-for protection. None was more powerful, or feared, than Doctor John or Marie Laveau. After P.I. Wyatt Thomas encounters a ghost during a hospital visit, he tells the story to his sometimes business partner, voodoo mambo Mama Mulate. She puts him in a trance and channels the ghost, soon learning a curse connects him and a long-dead French aristocrat. They are doomed to remain connected forever, unless Wyatt can return to old New Orleans and lift the curse before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Eric wilder

Author: Eric Wilder

CH: Eric writes interesting books about the bayou. Welcome to my blog, Eric.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

EW: A time twisting trip to New Orleans, both old and new.

CH: Since you are familiar with voodoo, did you have to do any special research for this book?

EW: Few people know much about voodoo. I have read every document about the subject that I could find, piecing together the accumulated information along the way. The subject is complex and no easier to explain than the history, say, of Catholicism.

CH: Born in a Louisiana hill town, how much influence does your background have on this book?

EW: Growing up in the decade before wide-spread air conditioning, my family spent many sweltering summer nights sitting on lawn chairs in the backyard. By the time I was ten, I’d heard more tales of voodoo, zombies, and ghosts than I can ever recount.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

EW: Mama Mulate and Tony Nicosia are two of my favorite characters. They are both complex with many flaws, though good hearts.

CH: Where do your mystery ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

EW: My stories usually begin with a simple idea. In Black Magic Woman, I wondered what would happen if I could travel back in time and visit the most powerful voodoo mambo that ever lived. What would I ask her. What was New Orleans like when she was alive? The story grew from that strand of thought.

CH: Do you read in the same genre that you write?

EW: I read mysteries and other genres. I also read lots of non-fiction, newspapers, magazines, cereal boxes and soup cans.  🙂

CH: What are some of your aspirations as far as the writing profession?

EW: I’ve adapted a few of my novels as screenplays and someday I’d like to have a movie made of one of them. Just a dream!

CH: Do you have plans for a new book?

EW: A new French Quarter mystery tentatively titled River Road is presently about half finished. It involves an unsolved murder that occurred fifty years ago in New Orleans, and the Kennedy Assassination. Wyatt, hopefully, will solve the crime.

CH: How long did it take you to write your first novel? And to write a novel now?

EW: My first novel took about a year to complete. Primal Creatures only took six months from start to finish. I think I could finish River Road by New Year’s if I had no distractions. That, however, is a big if.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

EW: So far, reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble are positive. Most of my readers love New Orleans. Since I set my mysteries there, I seem to reap a lot of their love.

CH: Have you always wanted to write?

EW: Yes, I have always wanted to write, even when I was very young. I wrote a five page, handwritten story when I was about ten.

CH: Are you self-published?

EW: I’m a proud Indie writer, deciding to go it alone after giving up trying to find an agent or publisher. I’ve never been happier with my decision.

CH: Where can my audience find your website?

EW: I’m on facebook.com at Eric Wilder – Lousiana Mystery Writer and my website is http://www.ericwilder.com

CH: Where are your books sold?

EW: My books are sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, and many other places on the web.

CH: Any closing remarks?

EW: Thanks so much, Cheryl, for the opportunity to share my story on your blog.  I am grateful.

CH: You’re quite welcome. Thank you, Eric, for sharing your book and your writing with my readers.

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net