Sunday, March 18, 2012

From the ROYAL STREET files: The Historical Undead

Weekly book winners announced below!

Royal Street, or Rue Royale, is a well-known thoroughfare in New Orleans' French Quarter, but the title of my novel came not so much from the street itself as from the concept of the Historical Undead. The idea is that the dead are never truly gone, but that they live on in our memories. Except in my magical world, famous people LITERALLY live on through the magic of collective human memory, although they live in a shadowy half-world across the metaphysical borders from the place where they earned their fame.

In Royal Street, New Orleans has a lot of famous former citizens, and they all live across the borders in Old Orleans. They can only be brought into the modern city when someone with magical abilities summons them...unless, of course, a massive hurricane tears down the barriers between the modern city and its magical counterpart, which is exactly what happens when Hurricane Katrina barrels through.

So, I had the enjoyable task of bringing such figures as voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, jazz great Louis Armstrong, and the pirate Jean Lafitte to life. (And Jean, who was originally supposed to be in only one scene and disappear, refused to leave and ended up a major series character...but that's a topic for another day. Stubborn pirate.)

Several of the Historical Undead who appeared in the original manuscript of Royal Street got diminished or cut during revisions. I have one entire deleted scene involving Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, Lillian Hellmann, and William Faulkner--famous New Orleans-related authors--that I'll run here on the blog after the book launches.

So, that's the Historical Undead. And I think you're gonna love getting to know Jean Lafitte!

Now...on to the business of the day...

There's still time to enter the big giveaway from urban fantasy author Dakota Banks--contest ends midnight Tuesday. You can enter HERE.

Congratulations to TIM'S BOOK REVIEWS--you won a copy of E.C. Myers' Fair Coin.

Congratulations to BN100--you won Deborah Coates' Wide Open.

Congratulations to REBE--you won the Reader's Choice this week, and you chose Cat Adams' The Isis Collar.

Winners: please email me HERE with your snail-mail info!

See you all tomorrow with another list of new releases and a Reader's Choice contest. Also coming this week, interviews and giveaways with Elle Jasper (Dark Ink Chronicles) and Julianna Baggott (Pure).


  1. Great - deleted scenes, love them. Look forward to reading those, soon now.

  2. I was in New Orleans, pre-Katrina, and after falling in love with the city I would have to say that they are all there, still enjoying their favorite places, watching from behind a veil as others go about their day and revelling in the day to day.
    I'm looking forward to the book. Can't wait to read it. And I'm there with Roger. I love deleted scenes. Can't wait! Here's to many, many glorious book sales!

  3. Love your concept of the historical undead, and I definitely understand a character that just won't behave!

  4. The more snippets I read, the more I want to read the book! Thank Suzanne.

    Congrats to the winners!

  5. I'm so in love with your premise, Suzanne! Can't wait to read it, and the more pirates the better :-)

  6. Thanks, everyone! I have to give Jean Lafitte all the credit for this idea. Once it became clear he wasn't going to leave the series, I had to find a way to explain his continued presence!!