Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Linda Stewart Henley | Researching ESTELLE
Author Guest / August 26, 2020

Research for writing a novel is like opening a message in a bottle. Of course, all the material isn’t nicely folded up containing everything you wish to know about the subject, but each new piece is a surprise nugget adding to the richness of your story. I became interested in writing about Edgar Degas after I bought a travel guide to New Orleans as I was considering re-visiting the city. I had attended college there and had only returned once in the intervening years. I needed to know about places to stay and which favorite places were still around. I’d no idea while I was in college that Degas had spent five months visiting his Creole relatives there in 1872-73, and I was intrigued by the discovery. From there I began my research. Much has been written about Degas the artist and some historical novels have been written about his life, but I couldn’t find any that related to his time in New Orleans when he was thirty-eight and not yet famous. So I had the good start for a story: you need a protagonist or main character who’s in trouble, someone who wants something badly. With historical fiction writer’s…

Tracy Wolff | Why I Love New Orleans
Uncategorized / September 4, 2009

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…