Where Do the Book Titles Come From? Behind the Scenes with Elysian Fields

Happy Sunday–and happy release week to Elysian Fields! I’ll have stuff to give away all week…books, New Orleans memorabilia, and other goodies, so check back each day!

Also, the official virtual tour kicked off yesterday with a short-short story at Bittersweet Enchantment, so if you didn’t see it, you can still go (scroll way down to find the story) and enter to win the tour prizes, which includes an iPad2 (or 8.9-inch Kindle HD or $250 gift card to etailer of choice). I’ll have lots more tour stops tomorrow so check back. And the regular Reader’s Choice contest will run tomorrow as well.
Now, I was recently asked what Elysian Fields was, and how it tied to the story.
Each of the Sentinels books uses the name of a major street in New Orleans as its title, which is only fitting since NOLA is practically a character itself. But I also find a street name that ties in with the book’s plotlines, although they’re admittedly a bit obscure except to me ๐Ÿ™‚
So ROYAL STREET is, of course, a major street within the Vieux Carre, or French Quarter. But it also refers to the New Orleans royalty–Jean Lafitte, Louis Armstrong, Marie Laveaux, Pierre Lafitte, Dominique Youx–who appear in the book as the historical undead. In the original manuscript, several authors, including Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and William Faulkner, appeared in the book but, alas, were (ironically) left on the editing-room floor.
RIVER ROAD seems like an obvious reference to the plot of the second book, because much of it is set on the Mississippi River and one of the plot-lines has to do with the poisoning of the river. But River Road is also a major street in the city that, as one might suspect, follows alongside the river from New Orleans and points west into plantation country. River Road, like the river itself, is twisting and turning and, unlike the river, quite narrow.ย 
ELYSIAN FIELDS, again, is a major street in New Orleans, Elysian Fields Avenue. The title of the

book refers to Elysium, or the Elysian Fields, a conception of the afterlife from Greek mythology–and of course the Big Bad of the book is a historical undead serial killer who terrorized New Orleans in the early part of the century and was known only as the Axeman. New Orleans is clearly a city I love even while I recognize its foibles and faults, and it’s sort of appropriate that Elysian Fields Avenue is kinda seedy and not always the safest place in town.

And there you have it! So when you hear that the next books are tentatively titled PIRATE’S ALLEY and BELLE CHASSE, perhaps that offers a clue?
Now…did you win a book this week? If you see your name, please email me at suzannej3523 at gmail with your mailing info and preference for print/digital if both are available. (No, I’m not caught up with mailings but I am trying!)
VERONICA won Sascha Illyvich’s Torn to Pieces. I think this is digital, so please let me know your preferred format and email address.
EVA M won the $10 Amazon (or other etailer) gift card for participating in this week’s Shop Talk. Thanks to everyone who chimed in–it was a really interesting discussion this week!
AMANDA G won the giveaway from EJ Stevens, and requested the first book in the series.
DOCTOR’S NOTES won this week’s Reader’s Choice contest and chose Biting Bad.ย 
Hope to see you here tomorrow!

9 thoughts on “Where Do the Book Titles Come From? Behind the Scenes with Elysian Fields

  1. Rereading Royal Street today and River Road tomorrow in anticipation of Elysian Fields. Thanks for the info on the origins of the title names!

  2. ^^ I don’t know why but i thought Elysian was more chosen because of the elves not teh vampires ( since it’s supposedly the ” heaven” part of hell in greek mythology and usually elves are seen so cute and kind ( not mace and yours but still^^)

    • Well, that works too! The same irony of New Orleans as Elysium. And Elfheim, where we’ll no doubt visit again, is a beautiful place. The elves themselves? Not so much ๐Ÿ™‚