Native New Orleanian novelist and author of the wildly popular "The Casquette Girls", Alys Arden, recently took time out to walk around her favorite part of the city, chat about her work, and pose for a few photos along the way.
There could not be a better place to develop, write, produce, and set a novel then New Orleans. Its lush, inviting, and mysterious backdrop and creative landscape has inspired so many over the years. Aly Arden, who successfully self-published "The Casquette Girls", has taken full advantage of the creative benefits Nola has to offer. Here's the inner dust jacket synopsis as well as the official trailer for the book.
"After the Storm of the Century rips apart New Orleans, Adele Le Moyne and her father are among the first to return to the city following the mandatory evacuation. Adele wants nothing more than for life to return to normal, but with the silent city resembling a mold-infested war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal will have to be redefined.
Events too unnatural – even for New Orleans – lead Adele to an attic that has been sealed for three hundred years, and the chaos she unleashes threatens not only her life but everyone she knows. Caught suddenly in a hurricane of eighteenth-century myths and monsters, Adele must quickly untangle a web of magic that links the climbing murder rate back to her own ancestors. But who can you trust in a city where everyone has a secret, and where keeping them can be a matter of life and death – unless, that is, you’re immortal."
The brief background and description of the book actually seems not very far from the reality of what is possible in New Orleans. I think that's why people have truly connected with the book and have become such ardent fans of her work.
I had such a great time shooting around Esplanade Ave. and getting to know Alys. Below you'll find our profile Q&A with Alys as well as some info about her upcoming signing event this weekend.
1) What do you love most about New Orleans?
The people. I've had the good fortune to live and work all around the world, and no one holds a candle to the crazy in this town – for better, for worse and everything in between. You kind of have to love it all because it all belongs together, like a gumbo.
2) How has New Orleans inspired your writing?
I’m not really sure there is a way in which New Orleans has not inspired my writing. It’s where I was born and raised. It’s in my blood. It’s in my breath. It’s in my soul. Surely that influences and every decision I make, thought I have, and word I write.
3) When did you know New Orleans was a special place?
This might be a bit cliché, but it’s the first thing that came to mind… one of the first times I ever went to NYC, we were at this college bar up by Colombia and I walked outside to get some air, drink in hand. I’ll never forget the way people freaked out – like freaked out. You would have thought I said bomb on an airplane. And not employees of the bar – the people I was with. I just remember feeling like an alien who had just been beamed down from outer space, trying to comprehend that the entire rest of the universe was different than where I was from.
4) Favorite New Orleans dish?
If we exclude crawfish, cause that's a given, I’d pick stuffed mirlitons. Mmm... now, I might have to go to my grandmaw's this weekend.
5) How does it feel to be published, and what drives you to write?
I'm still in shock over being published. Every day when I wake up to fan mail, the shock resets and I have to believe everything all over again. It's kind of like seeing a unicorn every morning. Then I have coffee with Adele and Desiree and Isaac and Nicco and they are what drives me to write. They are very persistent about their stories being written.