Local Color and Vampire Inspiration: The Big Easy

I’ve talked previously about the inspirations for my vampire novel series, The Matriarch Vampires. The central West Virginia locations, Glenville State College, and the character nods. After shelving the original first drafts of the book two decades earlier, why did I feel it was time to dust them off and finally finish the story?

One of those reasons was certainly Jonathan Weiss.

neworleansjacksonsquarenight2010My wife and I enjoy walking through old cemeteries and taking local ghost tours. There are many haunted places around the U.S., often in old cities like Birmingham, Alabama, Savannah, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida. Back in 2010, we traveled to New Orleans and took such a tour, and our guide to the city at night was none other than Jonathan. He looked the way I imagine a time traveler might, combining a classic appearance with a modern sensibility, a person whom has long since reconciled the old and new ways with a natural ease, elegance, and an eagerness to share his experience.

Not having given much serious thought about fiction writing for twenty odd years, Mr. Weiss captured my attention and filled my imagination with stories and embellishments as we toured the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, recounting local legends with intriguing details and playing to the crowd… and yes, much was said about vampires. He and other occupants felt like a necessary part of the city, a piece of its soul that would be lost forever if abruptly cut out.

Yet, as I understand it, that’s exactly what some are trying to do.
Continue reading “Local Color and Vampire Inspiration: The Big Easy”

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Vampires by Gas Light

For those who don’t know, two of the biggest tourist attractions in New Orleans were never under water: the French Quarter and the Garden District. Everything on the east side, specifically Slidell, was what was hit (and is still mostly abandoned).

But the “Big Easy” is open for business and wants everyone to know it. Whether you’re into ghost and vampire tours, old architecture, cemetery tours, or just enjoy several different parties nightly from bar to bar, New Orleans is filling up with people again (and is a bargain right now.)

Stay in a haunted hotel, peruse the voodoo shops, and drink your fill even in the streets (as long as your poison isn’t in a glass container.) Here’s a few snapshots from our recent long weekend: New Orleans French Quarter And Tours.