What Odd Things Writers Will Research!
by Marsha A. Moore
During the winter of 2008-9, I moved my mother from NW Ohio to Tampa. It didn’t take much to convince me to stay through the winter to help her get settled before I moved my own household the following summer. My first Florida winter inspired me to write Tears on a Tranquil Lake, which just released February 1. I was delighted to feel the tropical vibe seeping into the local atmosphere, and it inspired my writing.
From my first visit to the Caribbean, I was hooked. I love the culture, the sway of steel drum bands, the colorful cottages, the turquoise waters, soft sand, sun, delicious seafood, rum beverages…and spine-chilling vodou. (And that is the right spelling for the Haitian tradition.)
Several scenes in Tears on a Tranquil Lake involve the magic and mysticism of vodou, a longstanding Caribbean belief system. I enjoyed dipping into some fascinating research on the topic, through writings, as well as popular literature and movies. A few key movies piqued my interests:
* “Angel Heart,” with Mickey Rourke, Robert DeNiro and Lisa Bonet. This is an oldie from 1987, but crazy wild with voodoo.
* Wes Craven’s “The Serpent and the Rainbow.” Another oldie but goodie, from 1987.
* “Pirates of the Caribbean” character Tia Dalma. I actually studied YouTube clips of her speaking parts to create the dialogue of one of my characters in Tears on a Tranquil Lake, a Haitian vodoun Mambo named Teega. She’s my favorite character in the book, walking the line between good and evil. She’ll have an even bigger role in the sequel, Ciel’s Legacy: Tortuga Treasure.
I also seem drawn to fictional works with those themes to learn how other artistic minds explore and weave chilling scenes with vodou into stories. I really enjoyed reading Laurell K. Hamilton’s book Laughing Corpse, filled with dark practices of her character Dominga Salvador. Also, Secondhand Spirits by Juliet Blackwell contained plenty of creepy bits using dolls and a hand of glory.
Can you recommend other books or movies using vodou themes I might be interested in?
ABOUT THE BOOK: What a surprise for a young woman, to find herself suddenly transformed into a mermaid. Ciel’s first thought – track down the merman who changed her and make him reverse his magic.
Unable to find him, survival in her new world becomes paramount. She eagerly accepts help from a dashing pirate captain who takes a fancy to her, lavishing her with finery. When her merman does show up, he competes for her affection. One look into his eyes makes her life more complex — he is her soul mate. Which man will she choose – pirate captain or merman? Which life – human or mermaid? Caribbean adventures and dangers chase Ciel as she searches for decisions and the key to her happiness. Warning: This book contains Haitian vodou, sultry wenches, foul-mouthed scalawag pirates, overindulgence of fine Caribbean rum, and amorous encounters on deserted beaches.