Oh, What the Heck: A Q&A with Myself for a Royal Street Prize Pack


At least two days a week, I put other poor authors through the mill with my ridiculous author questionnaire. So, today, I’ll be self-indulgent and interview myself. But there is a giveaway…there’s always a giveaway, right? Today, it’s a signed copy of Royal Street. Note: If you’ve already preordered Royal Street, THANK YOU. Publishers really pay attention to that sort of thing, and I appreciate it greatly. And since you’ve already ordered a copy, I have special goodies for you, so read on…

Give us the “elevator pitch” for Royal Street.

When Hurricane Katrina destroys the borders between modern New Orleans and the preternatural world beyond, it’s left to one junior-level wizard to find her missing mentor, avoid a vengeful undead pirate, cope with a new assassin partner, and figure out who’s committing voodoo-related murders around town.


Describe your favorite scene from the book–and why is it your favorite?

Okay, my real favorite has a spoiler in it, so instead I’ll say it’s when my wizard, DJ, meets her new partner Alex for the first time. She’s in the middle of a fight and has just gotten the upper hand (or so she likes to think) when he comes in with guns blazing and proceeds to order her around. None of this goes over well. I like it because DJ gets to butt heads with someone who is her true opposite in many fundamental ways—and they both make assumptions about each other that prove to be mostly false in the long run.


What was the hardest scene to write?

The scene where DJ comes back into New Orleans the first time after Hurricane Katrina and sees what has happened to her city. Because it was my city, too, of course, so I had to dredge up a lot of painful memories and draw on things that still hurt. The scene where DJ and Alex have to take a boat into still-flooded Lakeview was also really hard because I lived in that part of town when I first moved to New Orleans and had a number of friends who lost everything there.


What’s on your nightstand or top of your TBR pile?

Holy cow, my TBR “pile” is up to six double-stacked shelves. But I really, really want to read The Hunger Games trilogy, which I haven’t gotten to yet.


Favorite book when you were a child.

Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden, but I also loved The Five Little Peppers and Heidi. I used to pretend to be Heidi and try to drink milk out of a bowl until I finally realized I disliked milk.


Book you’ve faked reading:

Like most of the authors who’ve done this questionnaire, it’s Moby Dick, for a college class. I should change this question to: Have you read Moby Dick?


Book you’re an evangelist for:

A series, actually: JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. Not very original, I guess. I keep buying the first book for friends and get so frustrated because they won’t freaking read it! What kind of friends are those, I ask you.


Book you’ve bought for the cover:

I don’t think I ever have bought a book just for the cover—the back cover blurb or reviews or word of mouth is how I decide what to buy. However, I’ve refused to buy books because of covers I thought were distasteful or amateurish.


Book that changed your life:

Probably Stephen King’s The Stand. It’s a very complex bit of storytelling with a huge cast, a supernatural element, big themes.


Favorite line from a book:

Okay, this is cheating a bit because it’s from a poem, but it feels very relevant today: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” –From “The Second Coming,” WB Yeats


Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Gotta go with The Stand again, although I am reading the Dark Tower series for the first time right now, and it’s the next-best thing.


Most horrifying moment while reading a book:

In terms of story: KISTEN. Enough said.


Favorite book about books or writing:

Stephen King’s On Writing, but James Scott Bell’s Revision and Self-Editing comes in a close second. For sheer entertainment, you can’t go wrong with Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds blog.



That’s all, folks! Here’s the deal. To win a signed copy of Royal Street, hot off the presses, leave a comment and tell me you’re entering for the book. If you have preordered Royal Street, you can have your choice of another copy, signed to you or to someone else, or a signed bookplate and a box of assorted Royal Street swaggishness, including a poster of the new River Road cover, which is totally cool. You can see it HERE


You know the routine…one entry for a comment, one for following the blog, one for following me on Twitter @Suzanne_Johnson, and one for a Tweet or RT.

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban and paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense, currently living in Auburn, Alabama. Author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, and Belle Chasse (Nov 2016). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the upcoming Wilds of the Bayou series (Book 1, Wild Man's Curse) releases April 2016).

48 thoughts on “Oh, What the Heck: A Q&A with Myself for a Royal Street Prize Pack

  1. An interview with you! How cool. Really enjoyed it. My youngest daughter is trying to get me to read Hunger Games before I see the movie.
    Kisten – how fun it is that he still shows up.

    Have pre-ordered.
    +1 comment
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  2. Oooh. A prize pack. I love your covers!! Congrats on the upcoming release of Royal Street.

    My son recently made a diorama for Moby Dick… out of Perler Beads.

    Comment +1
    Following the blog +1
    Following you on Twitter +1
    RT +1

  3. Ofcourse I have pre-ordered the book months ago, how could I not being a loyal follower of your blog.

    But you make it very hard for me now, a signed book is ofcourse the best, but I love bookswag and bookmarks also very much. Let’s just hope I win and then I will choose 🙂

    +1 comment
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  4. I really can’t wait for your book! I have heard so many good things about it. It has been pre-ordered for a while. What should I be reading while I am waiting? Any suggestions?

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  5. Thanks, Heather! Two of the short stories tabbed on this page, “Pirate’s Alley” and “Intervention,” take place about a year before ROYAL STREET, so you meet some characters who’ll become familiar (but no spoilers): Jean Lafitte and Gerry St. Simon in “Pirate’s Alley” and Alex Warin, Jake Warin, and Ken Hachette in “Intervention.”

    For a “mood” read, I can’t recommend Chris Rose’s “One Dead in Attic” highly enough–it’s a collection of his columns that ran in the Times-Picayune after Hurricane Katrina. His daily column was a lifeline for all of us trying to get through that time–it was must-reading. His very public nervous breakdown, told through the pages of these columns, was a mirror of what everyone who came back was going through on some level.

  6. You so should’ve done a video with you asking and answering yourself! It would’ve gone viral on youtube in no time:))

    Loved the self-interview!

    ccfioriole at gmail dot com

  7. I’d love to win the book!
    I used to drink milk from a bowl like Heidi, too. I love milk, though. And, I agree with the Moby Dick comment. I tried to read it, and just gave up. Too many other books and too little time!
    +1 blog follower
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    susan.meek@aaaok.org

  8. LOL- that was a great interview! Ok, KISTEN- I STILL am not over that moment….*shudder*.

    I have pre-ordered, but will gladly give away my pre-ordered copy to one of my friends for a lovely signed copy from you :). Yes, I’d love the book!
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  9. Great interview of Suzanne, Suzanne! LOL!

    I’ve got my Kindle pre-order in for Royal Street. I think this may be the longest I’ve ever spent in anticipation of a debut novel. This is even more ‘all your fault’, for teasing us with the shorts! 🙂

    Crossing my fingers to win!

    rissatoo
    (+4: commenter, follower, follower, retweeter)

    PS: Yes, re: Kisten.

  10. I haven’t preordered the book but I have asked my library to order it!

    +1 blog follow
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    +1 RT (lenamoster)

  11. Please don’t enter me in the contest…but I had to say I agree with the most horrifying moment in a book. Kisten…sigh..it made the most impact with me. I’ve never been like that in any other books. When I met Kim at a signing, I told her I tossed my book across the room. I was so mad…lol..Her series is great. I won your book on another blog so I’m looking forward to reading your series as well. Thanks for the post.

  12. Great interview! Please enter me for the book.

    I follow the blog.

    Congratulations on the book!

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

  13. Great post ^^ and yes… poor Kisten ç_ç i still think of him

    i would like to enter for a signed copy please

    thanks you a lot for your generosity

    all the best

    +1comment
    +1 blog follow ( gfc: miki)

    isabelle(dot)frisch(at)gmail(dot)com

  14. Hi Suzanne
    I follow you so much you’re probably getting creeped-out by the sound of footsteps. I love to win the signed book and I totally agree with you about The Stand and On Writing, both terrific books from Mr. King.
    Following the blog by GFC: Carl Scott
    Following on Twitter: @carlrscott
    Tweeted your message: https://twitter.com/#!/carlrscott/status/185816816013160449
    I guess that’s the biscuit, I’m tapped out. Thanks!
    carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

  15. Cant wait to read it.

    Im entering for the book.

    +1 comment
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    +1 tweet -https://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/185952276538593280

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  16. I’m excited for your book release. I hope you celebrate! I am interested in seeing a paranormal New Orleans.

    +1 comment
    +1 gfc follower (Na)
    +1 twitter follower (FieryNa)

    Cambonified[at]yahoo[dot]com

  17. Congrats on the upcoming book release and thanks for the giveaway!

    +1 comment
    +1 blog follow

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

  18. I would like to win your book. I have seen The Hunger Games movie but I have not readthe books yet! I have them for my ereader. I had to go buy them right after the movie.

    + comment
    +1 follower email pefrw at yahoo dot com
    GFC Rachel Vessar

  19. Great interview. I’m glad to see a contest for your book. I’d love to be entered.
    Thanks!

    +1 blog follower
    +1 comment

    Stacey_dvn (at) yahoo (dot) com

  20. I saw something about SENTINELS OF NEW ORLEANS on one of the forums I follow. Since NOLA is our fav vacation spot, being reasonably close to us in San Antonio, I love reading books that I can just picture the street..know the area..remember something we might have done there. But I love the paranormal and romance more! Vamps, weres, mages, strong women and men, sex, action, love? I can’t wait to see your book..and I’ll tell you what I think of it too:)

  21. That’s awesome..i wanna win your signed book 🙂

    +1 Comment
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    +1 Twitter follower: becunique

    uniquas at ymail dot com