Behind the Scenes with Elysian Fields (& Lots of W*nners)

After a couple of weeks off, I’m slowly getting back on schedule. I’m also beginning the process of migrating Preternatura to my official website but it might take a while. Hopefully, it will be seamless to the blog followers. If you subscribe to both this blog and my website updates you might get two email notifications for a while, and my apologies for that.

Today, I’m continuing my trip through the Style Sheet for Elysian Fields, book three of the Sentinels of New Orleans series. And read on to the end for prize info!

So, here’s how the Style Sheet works. In the process of getting a book actally 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. They also create a Style Sheet that makes notes of unusual words or spellings, or proper nouns, as they occur in the book.

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, as well as some background on the series in general….Today, we tackle the letter E (you can find the As hereBs hereCs here, Ds here).

Elfheim. This is the portion of the Beyond that is the home of the Elves. DJ makes a couple of trips here in Elysian Fields, although she doesn’t actually get to see much of the landscape since she’s kind of busy (tease!). I’ve used this analogy before, but if you think of the world as kind of an Oreo cookie, the top cookie is our reality, in this case modern New Orleans. The thin layer of filling is the “border town” of Old Orleans. The bottom cookie is the Beyond, which is made up of many territories such as the City of the Gods, the Realm of Vampyre, and Elfheim.

Elven Synod. The ruling body of the Elves, which are divided into four clans or tribes. There’s a Synod member for each clan, representing earth, air, fire and water. The four Synod members are Mace, Betony, Vervain and Lily. We briefly met Mace Banyan, who’s not only the head of the Elves of the Air but also the head of the Synod, in River Road. We’ll see all four of the Synod members in Elysian Fields. Now that they know DJ has Charlie, she can’t escape their attention any longer. Getting the Elves’ attention is not necessarily a Good Thing! I have cast Jeremy Irons in the role of Mace Banyan.

Etienne Boulard. Etienne is a vampire Regent (think sheriff with fangs), in charge of the Louisiana vampires. Even before the borders between New Orleans and the Beyond officially dropped, Etienne had moved back to the city. Now, he runs a very posh nightclub called L’Amour Sauvage, as well as Tour Blood (pun intended), a vampire-led vampire tour of New Orleans. (Vampires mainstream very well.) Etienne was turned vampire back in the early 1800s, at which time he was a plantation owner along the River Road southwest of New Orleans. He knew Jean Lafitte and frequently offered Jean access to his lands and his plantation’s river port so Jean could smuggle his plundered goods upriver. In his human life, Etienne was a wizard and a necromancer. He lost all of his magic when he turned vampire, except the necromancy. For Etienne, I have cast a younger Daniel Craig.

Just FYI. I used the name Etienne Boulard as a sort of bastardization of Etienne Bouret. Monsieur Bouret owned a large plantation in what is now the uptown area of New Orleans, and made his living in growing indigo and sugar cane. Bouret developed the process of refining sugar; until then, cane juice was the primary sweetener.

Eudora Welty. Ms. Welty was, of course, a popular American writer, primarily known for her short stories. Since Jean Lafitte has claimed the Eudora Welty Suite at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans for his home away from the Beyond, I’ve had fun with it by having Jean reading The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty in Royal Street. In Elysian Fields, we’re mostly talking about the Eudora Welty Suite at the Monteleone, which does, in fact, exist. Here’s a photo of the parlor–nice digs for the pirate, yes?

And, finally, we have Eugenie Dupre, DJ’s best friend (well, until she met Alex, who’s become her real best friend and confidante). Eugenie, who’s human and doesn’t know about the “other” world, knows DJ keeps a lot from her and is hurt by it. Now, with Eugenie’s boyfriend Rand in the picture, the strain between them will continue to grow as Rand becomes more and more obsessed with DJ. I know several folks in NOLA named Eugenie, and Dupre is named after a street in the Broadmoor neighborhood where my friend Dave lives. 

And there you have it!

Now….did you win a book over the last few weeks? You know the drill. If you see your name, please email me at suzannej3523 at gmail dot com with your mailing info. I’ve been gone so much lately, I’m behind so this is winners from the last three weeks:

* Copies of a choice of signed Penton series book (Redemption, Absolution, Omega) in a swag bag to GALENA and WILDWEST2974.

* A $10 Amazon GC (or equivalently priced book from Book Depository) to AURIAN for participating in this week’s Shop Talk.

* RT Booklovers Convention Swag Bags to JUNE M and SUSAN.

* JC won this week’s Reader’s Choice contest, and selected Icons.

* SANDYG won the first book in Marsha Moore’s Enchanted Bookstore series. (Sandy, I think this is digital only, so let me know what format you need.)

* BARBARA E won last week’s Readers Choice and selected AA Aguirre’s Bronze Gods.

* LIZ won a $10 Amazon (or B-and-N) gift card for following the blog tour maraton week before last.

* M PAX won a $10 Amazon (or B-and-N) gift card for participating in the Shop Talk post on gender bias.

* STEELERLADY won a copy of Kate SeRine’s RED.

Back tomorrow with a new Reader’s Choice contest!


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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).

8 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes with Elysian Fields (& Lots of W*nners)

  1. I love learning the background info you are providing from the style sheets. Enjoyed the photos too! Thanks for all your wonderful contests too!

  2. So do we have Etienne Bouret to thank for Diabetes? 😉

    Always interesting stuff, thanks for sharing it! Love to see the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of writing.

  3. I love your casting^^ it really fit what i imagined out of teh description so far^^

    Happy Birthday Suzanne!!! ( and i don’t mind the two email don’t worry)

  4. Oh wow….I’ve been so busy with school I haven’t been able to keep up with my favorite blogs. What is your main website so I can sign up for that one? I love Preternatura though..the set up is so user friendly. There seems like there is going to be so so much in Elysian fields. I’m excited for book 3 to come. I miss that bunch of characters.
    Tanyaw1224(at)yahoo(dot)com

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