(Guest Post) Author Interview with Cheryl Owen-Wilson

bayous lament teaser 1

What inspired you to write this book?

Several factors inspired this novel:

The otherworldly beings in Bayou’s Lament had already made an appearance in one of my many short stories featuring mother/daughter relationships.  They say write what you know.  I have seven daughters so I might know a bit about those dynamics. Writer’s also say the characters in our novels write themselves if we, the writer, will listen and get out of the way.  Well, that’s exactly what happened—while toying with the idea of said beings making an appearance in Bayou’s Lament—they began to tell me their origin story.  Like magic they turned from slightly amorphous beings to a full-fledged species.  Their story inspired me and it certainly helped when their evolution fit like the proverbial glove with Veya’s own journey. 

Second would be the fact that Southern culture is a plethora of inspiration waiting to be mined from my memories. I grew up from age two to eighteen in Southern Louisiana where my mother and sisters still reside.  Thus, I go back home frequently.  The rich culture of my upbringing appears in many of my short stories set on illusive islands buried deep in gator-filled swamplands.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I am what’s known as a pantser writer—a writer who does not plot out the novel before beginning. This type of writing is fine for short stories, but I soon learned the ups and downs of writing a longer story without a detailed plot.  I very much enjoyed the plunges and high-wire acts.   My characters took me on quite an adventurous ride. 

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

Veya is all about controlling her environment, because as a child she felt oppressively controlled by not only her mother, but the Island itself.

How did you come up with the title of your novel?

I wanted readers to know the setting of the book: Bayou

Lament is both a key character in the book, as well as being a part of my own personal journey.  Its duel definitions resonate throughout the novel:

Noun: A passionate expression of grief or sorrow. 

Verb: to mourn.

What can we expect from you in the future?

More stories set in the south, featuring mothers/daughter relationships, family, voodoo, swamps, gators, etc.

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