Royal Street Photo Album: Sweet Home New Orleans

Since the Preternatura Book Club is on hiatus until January, I’m taking this time to share some of the places that play a part in my upcoming urban fantasy, Royal Street.

The lead character in the Sentinels of New Orleans series is Drusilla Jane Jaco, aka DJ, who lives in an area in New Orleans called Uptown. Now, for those of you unversed in the NOLAsphere, New Orleans is actually a conglomeration of about 63 distinctive neighborhoods, each of which has its own personality, style, and sometimes even accent.

The area where DJ lives, at the corner of Nashville Avenue and Magazine Street, is a mixed business-residential area. On the corner where DJ’s house sits, in real life, a little shop called the Quilt Cottage existed at the time of Hurricane Katrina. I used to go in there a lot, and I remember going a couple of times after the hurricane when the owner had reopened it, but she had suffered a lot of damage to her home and, sadly, passed away a couple of years later. The storm had so many more victims than what the official records show. There’s a meat market on that corner now.

But in my book, that’s where DJ’s house is located. Her house is based on my neighbor’s house in New Orleans in a style called a Victorian Camelback. Here’s what the outside of DJ’s house looks like.

In the book, DJ’s house is painted a deep red color, and it’s on a corner, with a parking area in the back she shares with the house next door. The “camelback” name comes from a second story being added to the back part of a house but not to the front–like a camel’s hump.
Across the street from DJ’s house is the home of her best (human) friend, Eugenie Dupre–who doesn’t know DJ is a wizard because, you know, wizards don’t exist. She thinks DJ is a risk-management consultant for Tulane University, which is nearby. Eugenie is a hairdresser, and has a salon in her first floor called “Shear Luck.” She lives upstairs. In real life, the house across from where I located DJ’s house is Cafe Luna, and it does have a hair salon located in the building. Here’s the real Cafe Luna:
Across Magazine Street from DJ’s house is Marinello’s Pizza, which I named in honor of my friends Nick and Noelle Price Marinello. And Marinello’s such a great Italian name, eh? In real life, that spot is occupied by Reginelli’s Pizza (also a fine Italian name). And here’s Reginelli’s.
Catty-cornered across the intersection from DJ’s house at the time of Royal Street was a closed-down coffee shop. In real life, there was a Starbuck’s on that corner that didn’t have damage from the storm but didn’t reopen–we got so tired of seeing that empty building with graffiti-covered boards–seemed like it was that way forever.Β 
That’s it for this week’s tour. Next week, we’ll take a tour of the Lakeview neighborhood, where DJ’s mentor Gerry lives.
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

10 thoughts on “Royal Street Photo Album: Sweet Home New Orleans

  1. Now I have a clear picture πŸ˜‰ I have to remember these when I read the book, which I haven’t started YET! school is very hectic! going through it once on christmas break πŸ™‚

  2. Hope you like the book, JayJay–and enjoy your Christmas break! My day job is at a university, and I’m looking forward to our Christmas break, too πŸ™‚

  3. Sightings in the wild = Royal Street:

    At “A Great Book is the Cheapest Vacation”.

    “Most Anticipated 2012 Releases & Covers [Part 1].

    Check-out April.

  4. I meant to comment on my “official” blog last night, Roger–this is so cool! None of these things are showing up on my Google Alerts, so I need to hire you as my official “in the wild” spotter πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for passing these things along!

  5. This is so awesome! I feel like going out and taking pictures for my WIP, duh–who woulda thought of that? Well, maybe someone who knows what they are doing, I guess…

  6. You should do it, Teri Anne! I’m finding it’s a good visual reference point to writing, especially in a series, so I’m consistent in how I describe things. Especially if you’re setting your book in a real place.

  7. I love “visiting” the places of a story. It enriches the reading experience and helps me picture it better.

  8. @Na…I like seeing the places too, especially when they’re “real.”

    @Book Sake…New Orleans gets under your skin, doesn’t it? I still get homesick too.