Writing my newest novel, Tie Me Down, was a bittersweet endeavor, because it took me back to a city I know intimately well, a city I love and miss and despair will ever be the same.
I went to New Orleans when I was twenty years old because a tug deep in my belly told me that that city was where I was meant to be. I’m not usually one to change my whole life around on a feeling, but no matter what I did, the niggling sensation wouldn’t go away. It kept bothering me—all spring and into the summer, until finally a letter came from one of the grad school’s I’d been accepted to offering me a last minute teaching assistantship that paid all of my tuition and gave me enough to live on. That was the sign I needed and I sent a letter to the grad school I had originally decided to go to asking to be removed from the list of incoming students, packed up my car (with the help of my dad) and headed to New Orleans to take the university up on its very generous offer.
And I have never, once, regretted it. Within a few months of moving to New Orleans, I met a man, fell desperately in love with him and married him—three months after we met. He is currently my husband of thirteen years—and the father of my three children. New Orleans is alsothe city where I first learned how much I love to teach, it is the city where I turned 21, the city where I first became pregnant—and became a mom, the city where I learned what it really means to be a grown up. The city where I really, truly, learned how to write.
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