Behind the Scenes: Elysian Fields (and Weekly W*nners)

Instead of Scene-Snippet Sunday, I thought I’d start a series of “Behind the Scenes” Sundays for Elysian Fields. The idea actually came from the copyedits I got for the manuscript on Friday.

In the process of getting the book actually published, authors go through a number of stages. Copyedits are when an editor with an eagle-eye for detail has combed through the manuscript, made grammatical and house-style changes, asked questions, or made notes when something needs clarifying. Then it comes to the author, and we also go through it again, answering questions, making notes, accepting or rejecting edits, and basically getting our last shot at making any substantive changes to the book.

One of the things that I find fun about the copyediting process is the Style Sheet we get back with the manuscript. The copyeditor makes notes of unusual words or spellings, or proper nouns, as they occur in the book, and sends a handy list so we can all check to make sure things are spelled or capitalized consistently.

So…I thought it would be fun to go through the Style Sheet for Elysian Fields, which might give some clues as to things you’ll see in there….Today, the letter A!

Abita Amber (beer). This is DJ’s favorite beer, from the Abita Brewing Co. of Louisiana. It’s malty and mild, and usually wins the various Reader Polls in New Orleans for favorite local beer. Alex prefers Abita Turbodog, a dark ale, while Jake is a Four Roses bourbon drinker. Jean Lafitte? Why, a fine brandy, of course. 

A wackadoodle. A crazy dude. In this case, DJ is referring to her neighbor Quince Randolph, aka Rand. 


Adam Lyle. A Yellow Congress wizard, and psychiatrist by trade, whom DJ first met in Royal Street when she made an ill-advised trip to the temporary morgue after Hurricane Katrina. In Elysian Fields, DJ learns that Adam moved to New Orleans from Houston after Katrina, and she has to email him about a certain situation I can’t disclose…


Alex Warin. Purrrr. We all know Alex. Aren’t you glad to know he’ll be back in Elysian Fields? Did you really think otherwise? 
Atchafalaya Basin, or Atchafalaya Swamp. The largest wetlands/swamp in the United States, taking up 1.4 million acres in South Central Louisiana. If you’ve driven from New Orleans west toward Baton Rouge on Interstate 10, you’ve crossed over the edge of it on the 18-mile-long elevated bridge between Grosse Tete and Henderson. If you’ve watched the TV show “Swamp People,” you’ve seen quite a bit of it. The clan of merfolk headed by Denis Vilere is now living in a part of the Atchafalaya Basin, which is rife with weregators.

Audubon Park. A large city park located in uptown New Orleans. The zoo is located here, and in

River Road, DJ and Alex jog here in a section along the riverfront called The Fly. It’s a beautiful park filled with old, old live oaks where duels were held back in the old days–perhaps even by Jean Lafitte himself. 

Awyr, or Elves of the Air. One of four clans of the Elves. The Elven Synod member representing the Awyr is also the head of the Synod, Mace Banyan. We met Mace briefly in River Road. We’ll see much, much more of him in Elysian Fields. Mace, like most of the Elves, live in a portion of the Beyond called Elfheim. 


Axeman, or Axeman of New Orleans. A major character in Elysian Fields. DJ might occasionally call him “Axel.” He was a mysterious serial killer who terrorized New Orleans throughout 1918-1919, breaking into homes and chopping people up with an ax while they slept. (Well, I guess they didn’t sleep through the whole thing). He was never identified or caught, and had some bizarre quirks. He wrote at least one long rambling letter to the newspaper, the Daily Picayune, claiming to be a “fell demon from the hottest hell.” You can’t make this stuff up. 🙂

And there you have it!

Now….did you win a book this week? You know the drill. If you see your name, please email me at suzannej3523 at gmail dot com with your mailing info. 

JOLENE won the ARC of Ashlyn Chase’s Flirting Under a Full Moon. This is a print ARC.

REBE won the $10 gift card from Amazon or B-and-N (your choice) for participating in this week’s Shop Talk discussion.

ASHLEY CHRISTINE won a print copy of Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells.

SANDYG won this week’s Reader’s Choice contest. She chose Jennifer Estep’s Deadly Sting.

Tune in tomorrow for a HUGE (and I do mean HUGE) Reader’s Choice contest!

6 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Elysian Fields (and Weekly W*nners)

  1. I can see why you’d need a “cheat sheet” of sorts to make sure all the spelling is consistent throughout the novels! Spell Atchafalaya Swamp three times fast, lol.

  2. It’s interesting and i do see the utilisty of this kind of list ^^, Alex that’s an easy one ( and we do want more of him) but some other i can see why it’s needed

    Congrats to the winners!and Happy Easter to every one

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