25 May 2014

Interview with Healing the Bayou author Mary Bernsen

When Mary approached me to be on Fiction Dreams, I practically fell over myself to say yes! I've got a thing about books set in the deep south at the moment and so her latest novel Healing the Bayou was exactly what I fancied reading (review coming soon!). Come and meet her...

Can you tell us a little about your latest book, Healing the Bayou?
Healing The Bayou is about a girl who finds her roots in the Lousiana Bayou. As it turns out, she comes from a long line of Voodoo Priestesses, and the throne is rightfully hers for the taking. Of course, there's a guy, and wouldn't you know it, he's off limits! She falls for her Keeper (basically a guardian) and they have to fight off the flame growing between them while he tries desperately to keep her safe from someone in the community that isn't keen on letting an outsider take over.

What inspired you to write something set in the Louisiana Bayou?
I knew I wanted to write about a descendant of Marie Laveau (a famous Voodoo Queen), and she was from the bayou. Plus, New Orleans is known for their Voodoo culture.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
I can't take credit for that. Etopia Press works with some of the most talented graphic artists in the business.

What is it about Voodoo that intrigues you?
The fact that it is so misunderstood is what keeps my interest. So many people think it's an evil cult filled with nothing but black magic. The more you learn about it, the more you can see the similarities between it and many Christian-based religions.

If Healing the Bayou was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
Jessica Lucas image courtesy (cc): Gage Skidmore
Taylor Lautner photo credit: Nayara - Oliveira via photopin cc
Alfre Woodard image courtesy (cc): Michelle Uthoff-Campbell
Eliza: Jessica Lucas
Samuel: Taylor Lautner (I know, I know. But I'm a cougar at heart, what can I say?)
Aunt Vivian: Alfre Woodard

What is it about urban fantasy that appeals to you so much?
The idea of magic existing around us, right under out noses without our being aware of it, is an exciting and terrifying possibility!

What made you want to become an author?
I have all these stories in my head screaming to be heard! Being an author gives me the opportunity to cure that.

How do you come up with character names?
I really have no idea. I just start typing and they come out.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
AURACLE by Gina Rosati

Who, or what, inspires you?
It sounds cliché, but my kids are my motivation and inspiration. I love watching them play together with their untainted and unbridled imaginations.

Where is your favourite place to write?
On my lanai. I'm blessed to live on a culdesac with no houses on either side, so when I sit out on my porch I'm in my own little world.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?

The Da Vinci Code

Name two of your favourite authors.
Jessa Russo and Kat Daemon

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
Oh, gosh. Definitely Shakespeare. He was so talented he got away with inventing his own words!

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I am absolute terrified of frogs.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Photo credit: david_shankbone via photopin cc
I'm going to say Christina Ricci because I've been told I look like her my entire life.

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
Punta Gorda was almost completely obliterated in 2004 by a massive category 4 hurricane, Charley. But now, it's better than ever!

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I have another book scheduled to release in July titled THE SPAWN OF MEDUSA. It's a fantasy romance and the first in a series built around the villains of Greek Mythology finding their happily ever after.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
I want to scuba in the Great Barrier Reef

Favourite myth / fairytale?
Peter Pan

Who did you want to be when you were a kid?
Again, Peter Pan haha

About the book
Healing the Bayou
What is a Queen without her King?
After learning that she is adopted, Eliza sets off to locate her biological family and finds them in the Louisiana bayou. But they’re more than just locals—they’re descended from the area’s most famous Voodoo queen, Marie Laveau—Eliza’s great-great-grandmother. Surrounded by a mysterious world of séances, spells, and sacrifices, Eliza finds herself worshiped as the last great priestess. What’s more, she’s inherited the ability to heal the souls of others with a simple touch of her hands.
Eliza is expected to cultivate this gift so she can claim her title as Queen and return the Voodoo community to glory. A task Eliza wouldn’t mind as long as she could perform it beside the devastating Samuel Mueller. But according to tradition, Samuel is her keeper, and a keeper never becomes romantically involved with his ward. His sacred duty is to protect her. And the bayou is rife with enemies who would sacrifice anything to eliminate outsiders like Eliza.

Mary Bernsen is a southwest Florida native currently living in Punta Gorda with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child that she affectionately calls husband. She is a stay-at-home mother and spends her days creating characters on the good side of twenty-five because she is in serious denial about the fact that she is now on the bad side of it. She has a passion for fantasy of any kind along with historical fiction. If she isn't having conversations with her made-up friends, you can usually find her clipping coupons or out on the boat enjoying the muddy waters of Peace River (as long as it isn't below 80 degrees).
Goodreads Author Profile
Book on Goodreads

1 comment:

Hiya! Thanks so much for stopping by the Fiction Dreams site. If you have the time, I'd love to hear from you so please do leave a comment :D xx