Badass Book Reviews is so happy to have author Suzanne Johnson and her sexy pirate Jean Lafitte stopping by the blog today. Jean has agreed to give us an exclusive interview about himself and his role in Suzanne’s Sentinels of New Orleans series, which includes Royal Street and the newly released River Road. Jean has graciously offered to answer reader questions throughout the day. Hit the comments section with any questions or comments that you want him to see. You can also ask Suzanne questions. She’s having to read them for Jean since he hasn’t figured out electricity, much less computers after all. Be sure to check out our review of River Road and keep reading to find out how you can win your own signed copy! **Side note: please check Suzanne’s blog to see if you are a winner from last week’s River Road comment drawing.**
Badass Book Reviews: Welcome Jean! Why don’t you start by telling our readers a little bit about yourself? What was your life as a pirate like and how did things change after you died?
Jean Lafitte: Merci, mademoiselle. First, I must insist that I was not a pirate; I prefer the word “privateer” because I only apprehended the ships of the mongrel Spaniards, oui? Well, perhaps an occasional English vessel. I arrived in New Orleans from France in 1806 at the age of twenty-six, along with my brother Pierre. Pierre lived in the city and conducted our business while I commanded many ships and a thousand men in the area south of the city known as Barataria. I was quite the fashionable gentleman when I visited the city, however, and was able to accommodate many young women in their desire to spend time with me. I am a gracious man, after all, and dislike saying no to a beautiful woman. I have been told I am quite handsome, although I would not be so brazen as to say this of myself.
After my human life ended—at sea, in battle, as was only fitting—voila! What should happen but I live again! I am so well loved even today that I have gained immortality by the magic of human memory. Until the hurricane named Katrina tore down the borders between the Now and the Beyond, I was unable to spend much time in the city, but now I will be there more. The New Orleans of today I find a strange and noisy place, with many of what I’ve heard called “pickuptrucks” hurling themselves up and down the streets and, Mon Dieu, what clothing modern people wear! The city does smell better, however.
BaBR: Well, you gotta love modern sanitation efforts! You mentioned the Beyond… You and DJ took a trip to Old Orleans in the Beyond in Royal Street. You don’t seem too eager to stay there though; why is that?
JL: Old Orleans is a treacherous place. It is the layer of the vast world Beyond that lies closest to the modern city, with a mélange of species and things from different eras and no laws. Many of the Historical Undead such as myself spend time there—as well as a few renegades from tiresome species such as vampires and the treacherous elves. It is always night time in this part of the Beyond, and I wish to walk in sunlight and spend time on the water. To do this, I must come into the modern world. Plus, business between the modern world and the Beyond is proving quite profitable and, gold, I have learned in my long life, is powerful.
BaBR: Speaking of your business dealings, how did you come to meet DJ? It seems like a ghost, excuse me — historical undead, and a sentinel wouldn’t be on the best terms.
JL: Bah. It is true that most wizards are très difficile, and Drusilla can be quite spirited. She is not immune to the charms of the famous privateer Jean Lafitte, however, and I am most certain that in time she will see a partnership with me, in matters both business and private, to be desirable. Plus an ordinary ghost cannot fight and enjoy les relations sexuelles as a man, and these are things in which I assure you I am quite capable. Drusilla will learn this in time.
BaBR: Hubba hubba! I can see you have romance on the brain, but what about that intimidating partner of hers, Alex Warin?
JL: Mon Dieu, that murderous hound! Were it not for the trouble I should encounter with the wizarding Elders, I would flay him alive. I would not allow such insolence and disrespect among my men. I must move carefully, however, in order to protect my position with Drusilla. Her tolerance for the chien mauvais is a mystery to me, but in the end a common cur will prove no match for a man such as myself.
BaBR: Okay okay, I’m sensing that Alex is a touchy subject. Word on the street is that you have some kind of arrangement with the lovely sentinel. What did you get DJ to agree to and how will you make use of it?
JL: *Smiles* Ah, mais oui. In exchange for my assistance after the hurricane named Katrina, during which I was gravely wounded in her defense, Drusilla promised me a number of things, including her help in establishing my business between the modern world and the Beyond, and a place in the modern world in which I might reside. I shall collect on these debts very shortly, and will suggest a much more pleasurable way in which she might repay me.
BaBR: After Hurricane Katrina, the borders between the worlds were very thin. Do you have any idea what species of supernaturals came through… and stayed?
JL: Many from the Realm of Vampyre in the Beyond have moved into the modern city. My friend Etienne Boulard, a Regent of Vampyre, has opened a drinking establishment in the Vieux Carré known as L’Amour Sauvage. Some of my fellow members of the Historical Undead have come into the city for brief periods—William Faulkner, the man of letters, enjoys a drink at the Carousel Bar on occasion, for example. And of course there are many species already living undetected among the humans, such as my friends the merpeople. I also have several weregators among my associates.
BaBR: Wow, those certainly seem to be some… colorful characters; It seems that DJ is going to be a very busy girl. Are you planning to lend her a hand?
JL: It is always desirable to have a wizard indebted to me, so I will certainly be willing to lend my assistance. I am a reasonable man, after all, and have many ideas on how debts might be repaid.
BaBR: I bet your ideas are of the most intriguing sort. Are there any juicy spoilers you can provide for our readers about River Road? Can you give them a tease of what you’ve been up to until they get their hands on their own copy?
JL: I have found living in the modern city to be quite fascinating; in fact, I have had many new experiences. In River Road, you may join me as I steer an automobile, and enjoy an, um… “chocolatemilkshake”, I believe it was called. And I was of great assistance when Drusilla set the Louisiana wetlands afire while trying to stop merman fisticuffs. I have been quite useful, I think.
BaBR: I’m sure that you are useful in all types of situations… Jean, thank you for taking the time to talk to us and for providing the low down on magical New Orleans. The Badass ladies are looking forward to reading about your further adventures!
JL: The pleasure was mine. However, might I ask a question in return? I am unfamiliar with the term “badass.” Qu’est-ce que c’est?
BaBR: I think all you have to do to understand that is to take a look at the lovely sentinel herself, Drusilla Jaco. She is a representation of the word “badass.”
Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance from Auburn, Alabama, after a career in educational publishing that has spanned five states and six universities. She grew up halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’ birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick. Suzanne is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans series, published by Tor Books. Visit her website, blog, facebook, or twitter.
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