On Wednesdays through June, I’m doing annotations for Royal Street by chapter (for past chapters, click on the tab). Today, we’re looking at inspiration, trivia, and other tidbits from Chapter 8.
THE BOOK CLUB IS COMING BACK! I’m looking at options for restarting the Wednesday Preternatura Book Club, although I might structure it a bit differently this time. What do you want to read? I’d prefer the first book of a series…throw out some ideas in the comments section!
Today, I’m looking at Chapter 8 of Royal Street. This is a scene featuring DJ and her frequent nemesis, the pirate Jean Lafitte.
I’ve talked a lot in the pages about what Lafitte might have looked like, but in this scene he has some weapons. I did research on what an early 19th-century pirate might use to defend himself. In the area of guns, I chose for him a muzzle-loaded pistol much like this one:
I decided he also needed a dagger, perhaps something like this:
Finally, what’s a pirate without a cutlass? This is British made, ca. 1805 so well within Jean’s time frame:
There’s a section in this chapter that made me laugh when I wrote it: (DJ talking to Lafitte): “Who summoned you this time? I bet it was the mayor. He’s been showing signs of post-traumatic stress.” Of course, the New Orleans mayor had a tough job during the immediate post-Katrina days, and his pretty public on-air breakdown on WWL Radio, begging for help, was anything but funny and represented all our frustrations at the lack of aid. Later, however, the mayor kind of went…weird on us talking about chocolate cities and other craziness, and I learned that a person who makes a good leader during times of peace and prosperity aren’t necessarily the ones who lead best in times of crisis.
In her upstairs sitting room, DJ has a “Be Nice or Leave” painting done by New Orleans artist Dr. Bob. Dr. Bob does folk art and has made quite a name for himself in those circles. His “Be Nice and Leave” art is probably his best-known:
Finally, DJ goes kind of McGyver in this chapter and makes a smoke bomb. I used a formula I found online, and she uses the results to mask her whereabouts as she runs from Lafitte:
That’s it for this week, then…on to Chapter 9!