Do you believe in the power of dreams?
Way down south on Marigny Street in the heart of New Orleans, the land of Catholic intersessions, purgatory, and supernatural superstitions, young Evangeline Chenier dreams of a radiant boy who saves her from a storm. She takes the dream seriously – in her family, dreams are sometimes more than dreams. Sometimes they foretell the future. Sometimes they create it.
Years later, Eva is no longer the same wistful girl but a hardened woman who no longer believes in dreams. Losing faith in her gift, she becomes lost in a nightmare of emotion, mourning her son, separating from her husband, and stewing in a dead-end job. And then fate brings her an unlikely surprise: one of the most famous movie stars in the world, Gabriel Roberts.
Caught by something in his eyes, Eva agrees to show him the real Big Easy on his last night in New Orleans—an evening that turns into four dreamy days spent recapturing lost faith and discovering a love neither expected. Realizing Gabriel is the boy from her childhood dream, Eva must leave everything behind—her husband, her family, her history, and the beautiful city she calls home—and gamble it all for the dream that has saved her on MARIGNY STREET.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in New Orleans. I speak with a heavy New Orleans accent. I can cook a mean pot of Gumbo and Red Beans & Rice. I live in California now, (the place we call the Big Shake) and I married the boy I met when I was sixteen, and we have one little girl we call the sweet tart. Oh, and I hear voices in my head!
2. What inspired you to write Marigny Street?
There were a couple of reasons that inspired me to write Marigny Street. My favorite reason was that I had imagined a beautiful woman and a man with maniacal hair. They were so interesting that I had to know more about them. Marigny Street was brought to life not long after.
3. What did you find most challenging while writing Marigny Street?
I would have to say apart from the long sleepless nights, the longing I felt for home after the sun would come up and reality would sneak back in. I am very much a New Orleans girl.
4. When and why did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I never imagined I would ever become a writer. I had teachers at school that would tell me it was something I should consider, but I laughed them off. Who becomes a writer? Apparently it was meant for me, because now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
5. Who inspires you, as a writer?
Life inspires me. Every day there is something new. Whether it’s the band on the street corner playing the most magical second line tune, or warm rain coming down in sheets against an old house, or the sun rising over the Gulf or even the mountains, I always try to find the beauty (and even the ugly) in life, turning it into something magical that seems to jump from the page.
6. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
This is going to sound trite, but never give up. Believe in yourself, your ability, your characters, and never apologize for the story. You can’t please everyone, but the ones who are meant to find your work will. And it just might be the story to change someone’s life.
7. With New Orleans being Marigny’s backdrop, if you had to choose, what one place would you recommend tourists visit while in the city?
I am blessed to be able to say, without once of doubt, the street car would be my one place to recommend. I had the pleasure of riding it today (for what seemed like glorious hours) and there is something undeniably romantic about it; the old wooden seats, the slow sway of its rhythm, the exposed lights, the warm air blowing a multitude of scents your way. The street car is history on wheels moving forward to a beautiful new future. Time seems nonexistent, and that is a wonderful feeling to have, even if it is just for a little while.
8. Can you describe Eva and/or Gabriel in 3 words?
(This is how I would describe their relationship… a little of them both)
9. Favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing?
Apart from spending time with my family: photography. It’s another creative outlet for me.
10. Can you tell us when to expect book 2, and give us a small idea of what to expect?
The second book in the series, Red Dirt Road, will be out at the end of September of this year. It follows a new set of characters, but through their journey, they lead you back to Gabriel and his Evangeline.
The Saving Angels Series continues…
A new cast is introduced, while journeys already taken start to merge with the present, leading you down the old Red Dirt Road.
Death has always seemed just one step behind Layla Hill, taking almost everyone she’s ever loved. After she loses the love of her life, Layla vows to never love again—how could she, when she’s a death magnet?
Trying to outrun fate traveling with her Uncle Willie and his band, Layla meets Michael Roberts, a beautiful Irish boxer as gentle on the piano as he is brutal in the ring. He proves as relentless in life, fighting for a place in her world even as she pushes him away, trying to protect him from her killer tendencies.
But neither foresees the sinister presence waiting for Layla at the end of the Red Dirt Road.
This or That?
Morning or Night? Night! I am definitely a night owl… it’s when I come alive.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Swirl
Pancakes or Waffles? Pancakes (or as the sweet tart calls them, ‘pancakers’)
Rain or snow? Snow is the stuff aliens send down, isn’t it? We’re not even sure what that is in New Orleans. But rain, now that we are used to. There’s nothing like sleeping during a storm. I love the rain!
Romance or comedy? How about romantic comedy? Love them both!
Tea or coffee? This is a hard one… I’m going to have to say chicory coffee.
Movies or television shows? Movies. I haven’t been able to get into a television show for a while. Any good recommendations?
Reading or sleeping? Reading… I love to be transported. Although, through dreams I can see that happening, too.
Physical copies or ebooks? Physical copies. There’s nothing like holding a physical copy of an amazing book in your hands. There’s something timeless and romantic about the notion.
Cats or dogs? Dogs… just because I have two of my own, and they would be upset if I didn’t chose them!
Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California). Her writing career began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightening bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream come true for her, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm.
When she’s not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. She currently (still) resides in the big shake (although her southern roots are calling her home) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).
For lagniappe (a little extra), a virtual cup of café au lait and beignets, please visit Annie’s website.
She can also be found on Facebook & Twitter.
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