Discipline! Writing is fun and exciting when the muse takes over and the words flow. Sadly that's not always the case! Fighting off all the distractions and excuses-- getting down to the page-- that's the hardest part for me.
Can you give us a short synopsis of Lalin Bonheur?
Absolutely. Lalin, a young and beautiful free woman of color, heals her people with supernatural gifts. The story is set in 19th century New Orleans. Her magic allows her to shape shift into feline form to search for secrets in the city.
At a Quadroon Ball, Lalin meets French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre, and the two fall in love. The mystery begins when Etienne must marry another woman. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he's accused of her murder.
Lalin and Etienne sail up river to escape the police and try to prove his innocence. The young couple must battle many evils as they travel along the river. The loup garou, wolf men of Louisiana, attack them on their journey. A giant bird also threatens as they try to solve the mystery.
What Lalin learns about this winged creature may hold the key to the mystery of her lover's wife's murder.
What inspired you to write this book?
Some years ago after graduating from college, we found a place to live in the New Orleans French Quarter. The small apartment that we moved into had once been part of the home of a quadroon mistress, supported by a young man, her lover and protector. I've always been fascinated by that period of history, and that house I picture as my character's home.
Also I found myself researching voudou and the practice of healing with herbal potions. The house and the research inspired Lalin's story.
How many hours a day do you spend writing?
If I can get at least one or two good pages, I'm happy. Believe it of not that takes two or three hours and those hours also include some editing.
Name your top five favourite books.
That's really a hard question! Since my novel falls into the paranormal category, I'm going to start with three of my paranormal/science fiction favourites. The others are two literary choices.
Silva by Vercors
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke
Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner
The Goldfinch by Donna Tarte
What are you working on now?
At this point I'm into a draft of the sequel. A few questions remain at the end of Lalin Bonheur. The loup garou, wolf men of Louisiana, still roam the French Quarter. Other characters reemerge to haunt the magical heroine. And she must fight the advances of another woman. In addition, I want to find time to rewrite a science fiction novel that I've temporarily set aside.
Title: Lalin Bonheur
Author: Margaret O. Howard
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Romance
When Lalin Bonheur shape shifts, she roams the Vieux Carre as a sleek tuxedo cat to learn the secrets of her city.
But on her debut at a Quadroon Ball in 1830 this octoroon beauty meets and falls in love with French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre. Etienne becomes her protector and he soon learns that his mistress leads a second life as a healer and voudou priestess.
Their story takes a bizarre turn after Lalin’s protector marries. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he is charged with murder. Lalin concocts a zombie potion to assist him in his escape from jail.
The couple sail upriver to hide until they can prove his innocence. But their struggles only become more challenging, when they face the fearsome loup-garou (wolf men of Louisiana) and then a giant bird. Lalin must use her magic to battle these monsters. But it’s what she learns about the vicious feathered creature that brings the story to its climax.
Margaret O. Howard is a writer and former dancer, who grew up in the Deep South and currently walks the gulf beaches of Florida every morning, She adores her two sons, three rescue cats, cool weather, travel, photography, ballet, books, and mermaids. Her novel, Lalin Bonheur, is set in the city of voudou queens, New Orleans. You can visit her at margaretohoward.wordpress,com, Margaret Howard Trammell on Facebook, or @howardomargaret on Twitter.