Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Guest: Cynthia Cooke

Please welcome a great friend, and long-time critique partner of mine, Cynthia Cooke.  Though I think our critique group stopped actually critiquing each others' work a few years back, we've all remained friends thanks to the Internet, and it's a treat when we get to meet up at a conference!  


Getting Lost (and found) in New Orleans
By Cynthia Cooke
Who doesn’t love New Orleans?  Any time of day of night you can hear the lonesome notes of a Jazz horn, or stomp your feet to Zydeco.  The mouthwatering smell of garlic and onions and all things Cajun drift on the air to make your mouth water.  Beautiful iron work, and soaring white columns, and the soft scent of flowers fill the almost reddish purple air.  Everything about New Orleans pleases the senses, sometimes shocking them.  It’s no wonder people flock there by the thousands all to get a taste of all that is New Orleans.
I have visited there twice, and have fallen in complete love with the city.  


My latest book, Black Magic Lover, takes place in an old estate house nestled in the Atchafalaya swamp.  The estate has its own gothic cemetery and a voodoo priestess.  With each turn of the page you will step into a world rich with the mystical.  What looks like a quaint Louisiana bayou town filled with simple good folk is anything but simple.  Its companion story, a Nocturne Bite called His Magic Touch, is set in the same small town. 

Yes, I loved New Orleans for its exotic inspiration.  While there, I did the swamp tour, a river boat tour, a tour of the police station, the morgue and, of course, a voodoo shop.  But most of all, I ate.  And ate.  And ate some more.  Especially Beignets.  Sometimes I dream of Beignets.  In fact, just looking at these pictures is inspiring me all over again.  I think I might need to write another book set in my favorite city!  


So tell me, what inspires you?

18 comments:

lois greiman said...

Welcome to the covert, Cynthia. And thanks for sharing. Inspiration is a funny thing, I think. Sometimes it's a scent or a memory or a glimpse of another world that strikes up my imagination. I remember watching a tight-rope walker at our local Renaissance Festival years ago. The act only lasted a few minutes, but it inspired one of my favorite series that took me years to write. As authors, we always have to be open to being touched by outside elements, I think. It's a part of the creative process.

Cynthia Cooke said...

Hi Lois,
I love Reanissane Festivals! The costumes, the arts and crafts, the making of those chain thingies medieval warriors wore (sorry not a historical writer) and the food. There is always the food!! I think it's important that as writers we get out from behind the computer and experience life. I always get a "lightbulb" moment when I do!

Cynthia Cooke said...

Sorry, first post in the morning, should have checked spelling!!! ;-)

Helen Brenna said...

Hi Cynthia and welcome!

Travel is what inspires me most, but music and movies are a close second. The food is amazing in NOs. But your book sounds even better! Love the title and cover! Congrats on the new release.

Cynthia Cooke said...

Thanks, Helen!

Kathleen Eagle said...

Welcome, Cynthia!

Ohh, I'm getting "Black Magic Lover" today! I love NO! My first memories of visits to NO go way back to that time when memories are really vivid bits ot scenes. Aunt Agda and Uncle Dan lived there with their 3 daughters. I remember riding the streetcar with my cousin Kate all by ourselves to her music lesson. Can you imagine? She was probably 13 or 14. And I remember having cafe au lait in Aunt Agda's elegant dining room. I felt so grown up. My parents would never have allowed me coffee, but Aunt Agda was Daddy's oldest sib--about 20 years older--and she knew how to make a little girl feel special.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Inspiration...

An item in the news, a story from one of the Eagle relatives, a memory so vivid I can still smell it or taste it, a bit of irony (an Indian graveyard in the middle of a golf course)...

Cindy Gerard said...

Welcome Cynthia and I love your New Orleans inspiration story.
The book looks great!

As for inspiration for me - I never know. It strikes when i least expect it. A photograph. A song. A line from a movie ...who knows? All I know for certain is I hope I never have to worry about finding it :o)

Michele Hauf said...

Hey, C!

I use music and movie and pictures a lot for inspiration. I need to get out more and travel, though. Like you! Go, scuba-diving girl!

Cynthia Cooke said...

Wow, Kathleen, that must have been so awesome. How many places are there where you can ride a street car and then sip fancy coffee in an old elegant dining room. And an indian burial ground in the middle of a golf course -- now there'a a story in the making!! LOL!

Cynthia Cooke said...

You do need to travel more, Michele! With me!!! LOL. I'm still so bummed I didn't go with your to Paris, so count me in on your return trip! ;-)

Keri Ford said...

Congrats!

I'm not limited on inspiration. sometimes it's a story, a clip from a movie, song, or a picture. whatever happens to trip my story bone, I'll take.

Leanne said...

Welcome Cynthia! Your book sounds great! And I'm with you on those yummy beignets! YUMMMM. What inspires me? Something that affects me emotionally or makes me curious -- a song, learning something new, history. Thank goodness, LOTS of things!:)

Cynthia Cooke said...

I know what you mean about songs, especially if they are emotional. Every now and then a country song will hit me just the right way and I'll think, now that would make a great romance. :)

Christie Ridgway said...

I love New Orleans as well! Thanks for being with us here today, Cynthia.

I'm writing a scene and was searching for inspiration and to make a long story short...Italian glass beads. A bracelet of 'em. Now I have to write them into the book. And maybe go to the local bead store...or would that just be procrastination?

Cynthia Cooke said...

That would be a new hobby that puts you into a zone where you can think about your story while making beautiful things. So it can be written off, too, right? :)

Melody89 said...

I love this city too! When I read the books about New Orleans, I know what is looks like, how they are traveling the city. I have been there more times than I can remember. My family travels there alot. Also, the UMC has a young event there, and I think I went every year I could, and/or with the choir. I have tons of menories there and love the beignets and chiory coffee. Which by the way I am drinking!

Cynthia Cooke said...

LOL! I've seen that coffee and World Market and have been meaning to buy a can. Will have to give it a try!! Thanks for having me ladies! It's been a blast!