November 22, 2011

Writer Wrangler: Deanna Chase

This week's Writer Wrangler is with Deanna Chase
author of the very exciting Haunted on Bourbon Street
set in the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisianna.

Hello Cimmaron, Braine, and all the readers here at Talk Supe. I’m Deanna Chase, author of Haunted on Bourbon Street. Thanks for having me over today for a chat.

It’s no secret most writers dream of being authors when they’re kids. I’m no exception. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have a love affair with books. As early as thirteen-years-old I can remember reading my mom’s Danielle Steel and Sidney Sheldon novels or anything else she brought in the house.

The thing I remember most about those books was being whisked away to exotic places or different time periods. I couldn’t get enough. Now that I’m a few decades older, I still love a setting of some place I haven’t been before. Mix in a new set of rules and I’m in heaven.

It probably isn’t a surprise that these days I read mostly paranormal and urban fantasy books. After all, Haunted on Bourbon Street is a paranormal romance (with a healthy dose of mystery). When I started working on the manuscript, it never occurred to me to set it anywhere else. You see the idea came to me one night while my husband and I were down in the French Quarter celebrating something (anniversary, birthday, just a night out on the town?). Heck, I can’t remember. What I do remember was having dinner at Muriel’s and watching a ghost tour walk by. That’s when the waiter started telling us all about the ghost that haunted the restaurant and how they left food on a table for him.

We were highly entertained, and after dinner we were walking along Bourbon Street looking for live music when the story started to form. If you’ve ever been to Bourbon Street, you’ll know immediately where the strip club inspiration came from. They’re on every corner with the dancers standing in the doorways trying to entice the party goers inside. It’s highly amusing in a only-in-New-Orleans kind of way.
Anyway, we finally found a live band and there I was scribbling notes on the back of a receipt I’d found crumpled up in my purse. My poor husband. He’s a good sport though. He’s an artist, so he understands. In fact we are both glass artists. That’s our day job. He makes collector’s marbles and I make glass bead for jewelry designers.

The glass art started as a hobby that quickly became a part-time job for us. Greg, my husband, would make glass bead and marbles, and I would sell them for him on eBay. We did that for about three years then we had the brilliant idea of selling our house, quitting our jobs and moving into an RV to travel full-time.

A sample of Greg and Deanna's creation
That was in 2003, and though I was sure we’d lost our minds, it turned out to be the best thing we’d ever done. For almost two years we worked seasonal campgrounds and made beads on the side. Surprisingly it was quite easy to make ends meet. But in 2005 we decided we were done working for other people and made our glass business our full-time job, all while still traveling and working out of our RV.

It was awesome!

However, by July of 2007 we were ready for a permanent home and studio. When we discussed where we wanted to live, New Orleans was always at the top of the list. We discussed Northern California and the Olympic Peninsula (both just gorgeous places to live), but ultimately decided Louisiana was our home.

Since then, New Orleans has been a reoccurring theme in our art for both of us. Greg makes amazing New Orleans marbles and even made one to go with my book. I, of course, write about the city of the dead.

It was right after we moved here that I started to write seriously. A friend of mine signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I thought, hey that sounds like fun. So in 2007 I sat down and wrote the worst manuscript ever. There was zero plot and lot of scenes that were just fun for me to write. It was a great exercise and got me writing. But from there I took workshops and joined writers’ groups and spent three years learning everything I could.

Then early this year I finally published my debut novel, Haunted on Bourbon Street. After having it thoroughly combed through by my critique partner and a few beta readers, I sent if off to my editors and a book was born. I couldn’t be happier with my experience or more grateful to the readers who’ve shown their support. It makes it such a joy to sit down and work on the next one.

My writing process usually starts with a thread of an idea. In Haunted it all started with the idea of a haunted apartment above a strip bar. From there I added the empath gift and a hot guy, Kane. And he needed his own gift, but that showed up later. He really surprised me with that one.

I’m not great at outlines. Every time I write one, the story never goes as planned, and they usually end up making me stall out. I’m more of a panster type. I love the joy of discovering the story as I go. Of course, that usually means lot of revisions to the beginning chapters, but that’s okay. I like that part too. Once I’m revising, I know exactly where I’m going and why.

Currently I’m working on Witches of Bourbon Street. In Haunted, Jade finds out—much to her dismay—she’s a white witch. In Witches, she’s forced to deal with that and the blurring lines of white and black magic.

I’m having great fun making Jade do things she doesn’t want to. In fact, today I’m finishing up the last two chapters before I start working on revisions and edits. My plan is for it to be out in late January. I hope you check it out. You can sign up here on my mailing list to be informed when it’s released.

Deanna is a native Californian, transplanted to the slower paced lifestyle of southeastern Louisiana. When she isn't writing, she is often goofing off with her husband in New Orleans, playing with her two shih tzu dogs, making glass beads, or out hocking her wares at various bead shows across the country. For more information and updates on newest releases visit her blog at

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For more info about her beads and glass marbles and other glass-art, visit their site


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