Just had a message which has absolutely made my day. It’s from Charles Crow, my friend and co-editor, who is a very discerning critic and one of the leading authorities in the world on the Southern Gothic. He says:
‘The novel is wonderful. I particularly noted the way the gothic elements start barely perceptibly, like a nearly inaudible discordant drone on a movie’s sound track, and steadily build until they erupt on the plantation. Your villain Armand is a bit of an homage to Kate Chopin’s Armand in “Désirée’s Baby, I think.’
YABADABADOO!! I am grinning like a lunatic from ear to ear. Very very very chuffed. Charles is absolutely right that Armand is a nod to Chopin’s character: well spotted! He goes on to ask, ‘Will your next novel be a continuation of Casket Girls, or something free standing?’ The answer to that is that I honestly don’t know. I’m drawn toward a sequel, but the chronology may not work if I place it around the time of the Haitian Revolution. So I need to do some serious thinking.
I am beyond grateful for all the encouragement I’ve received. It does make such a difference! This story is so close to my heart.