Sandra Hill is the author of the new novel Cajun Crazy. Her many other books include The Cajun Doctor and Snow on the Bayou.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Cajun Crazy?
A: I saw a newspaper article years ago about a Cheaters-type detective agency. I saved the clipping for future use. Then I heard a country music song where the woman was wallowing in sorrow after being dumped by her boyfriend, and her mother calls her up remarking that she's got her crazy on and she better shape up.
I loved that expression...she got her crazy on. My heroine is Simone LeDeux, who has an addiction to Cajun men, even though she's been cheated on by yet another bayou man. Thus, Cajun Crazy.
Q: Why did you first start the Cajun series, and did you know from the start that you'd continue to write about the area?
A: I love Louisiana...both New Orleans and the bayou region. After visiting New Orleans with my husband on a business trip years ago, I was hooked.
To me, both the city and the Cajun swamp lands are like characters in my books. Perfect backdrops. But, no, I never intended the series to go on this long. Good thing Tante Lulu is secretive about her age!
Q: Do you usually plot out your novels before you start writing, or do you make many changes along the way?
A: I've been published for 20 years now. In the beginning I plotted out my books ahead of time. Now, I write by the seat of my pants. It's like driving a car. I know where I'm going, and I picture some of the stops or scenery along the way, but mostly my vision goes only as far as the headlight beams.
Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
A: Oh, there are so many! For romantic humor: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson, Kristan Higgins. For historicals, Mary Balogh, Mary Jo Putney. For women's fiction: Elin Hilderbrand, Dorothea Benton Frank, Mary Kay Andrews, Mary Alice Monroe. For religious or inspirational: Anything by Brock and Bodie Thoene.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: The first book in a new series, Bell Sound, which takes place on the Outer Banks. Some characters from my old Viking Navy SEALs series will show, and some ideas from my Jinx treasure hunting series. The first book will be titled The Forever Christmas Tree.
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I just released a long novelette, When Lulu Was Hot, a sort of prequel to all my Cajun novels. Or at least it tells us how the outrageous bayou healer/matcher came to be the way she is. Tears and laughter guaranteed.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb