I am a little late in blogging this, but in December I signed a contract with Monster Ivy Publishing to publish my third novel, Bell of the Night. I am both giddy excited and incredibly nervous at the prospect.
Monster Ivy focuses on edgy and clean fiction, so Bell of the Night fits in perfectly.
The main characters are Teddy Sullivan, a preacher from Maryland, and Bluebell, one of many “District Girls” from the infamous red-light district of New Orleans called Storyville.
The book takes place in and around Storyville around 1915, the latter years the district was legal. It would be made illegal in 1917. Bluebell, or Bell, works in one of many legal brothels for a notorious madam.
She meets the good Reverend Sullivan who came to the Big Easy set on winning souls, but instead he falls head over heels for one of the girls.
While Bell of the Night is a clean book, it doesn’t shy away from serious topics that go hand-in-hand with life in a brothel over 100 years ago.
The inspiration for Bell of the Night comes from the discovered photo plates from photographer E. J. Bellocq. I encourage you to look up these vivid and often strange photos for yourself, but be forewarned – many of them are nudes.
There was one photo in particular that struck me. A young woman with waist-length dark curls, wearing a lovely dress, clutching a large bunch of flowers. She doesn’t look at the camera. I knew immediately I wanted to tell her story. And thus, Bell was born.
My publisher and I are working on edits and we’re hoping for a late summer release! Until then, I’ll leave you with the photo that inspired the book!