Linda Thorne is my guest today. I'm happy to give her my space. My next Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Not as it Seems, has a character in it called Linda Thorne.
Linda has some interesting tidbits about the place she lived and writes about.
When you hear “the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” what comes to mind? Katrina? It’s been a full decade now, but that storm brought the entire Gulf Coast region into our homes with lasting memories. Casinos? Gambling in Mississippi is centuries old, but it was in the early 1990s that dockside casinos began popping up along the Mississippi Gulf Coast starting in Biloxi with the Isle of Capri in 1992.
In 1994, my husband was offered a career opportunity at the Grand Casino Biloxi, located beside Casino Magic, and the third casino in what was called Casino Row.
We relocated to the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Denver. I’d lived in the Southwest before, but neither of us had ever lived in what is referred to as the South, usually defined as the southeastern and south-central United States. Those first years of Southern living pretty well ruined us for living anywhere else.
Upon our arrival, neighbors came knocking at our door with what was called friendship cakes. People called me Miss Linda for the first time in my life, so my husband and I began calling our dog, Buffy, Miss Buffy. I worked at a company in Gulfport where Mardi Gras was a paid holiday as it was at many other companies along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. When the Mardi Gras season began, Mardi Gras King Cakes with a little doll inside were brought into the workplace for all employees, a custom I’d never heard of. I was invited to my first Mardi Gras Ball and went.
What a strange and spectacular place I lived in.
I went to parties where we ate crawfish, something that looked like cockroaches to me.
I found myself at Halloween costume parties, the creativity of the costumes amazing me. The whole Mississippi Gulf Coast was a party region with history and traditions unfamiliar to me. I felt like I was living in a different world, a weird and wonderful place.
So, when I decided to write a book, what other location could I choose for my setting? Or, could the location have pushed me to write a book? Who knows. As they say, “Location, location, location.”
My debut novel, Just Another Termination, is set on the Mississippi Gulf Coast prior to Hurricane Katrina. Although the characters are fictional, many of the landmarks and structures in the story existed before Katrina devastated the coastline. Some of the structures survived, many did not but are preserved the way they were within this book.
Visit me at http://www.lindathorne.com