A native New Englander, Erika Marks fell in love with New Orleans while studying architectural preservation at Tulane University. She also fell in love with a native named Ian, who taught her to make exotic dishes like gumbo. Hurricane Katrina drove the couple from the city, but New Orleans stayed on Erika's mind through a move back to Maine and another to the Midwest. The story of a woman who leaves New Orleans with her two teenaged daughters for the quiet shores of an island off the coast of Maine became Marks' first novel, "Little Gale Gumbo," published October 4.
Talking Backseat Saints, storytelling and being a Southern writer. New York Times bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson lives in Georgia with her husband, their two children and way too many feckless animals. Her first novel, gods in Alabama, debuted in 2005, winning the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Novel of the Year Award that year. Jackson won Georgia Author of the Year for her second novel, Between, Georgia, and her third novel, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, was a Break Out book at Target and was shortlisted for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. Her latest, Backseat Saints, tells the story of Rose Mae Lolley, a fierce, tiny ball of war wounds who was a minor character in gods in Alabama. Her life changes dramatically when she meets an airport gypsy who shares her past and knows her future. The gypsy’s dire prediction: Ro’s handsome, violent husband is going to kill her-unless she kills him first. We were thrilled when Jackson agreed to answer a few questions and even more delighted with her honest, often humorous, answers. Her books are some of the best we’ve read in a long time, and their depth, attention to detail and ability to capture both the good and bad sides of the South ensure there’s a little something for