–Sondi Warner, Writer/Blogger for Wrought Iron Reads
Reatha Beauregard joins us with insight into the writing of Antebellum Soul: Here & Now. See what the author has to say about the world of her main characters and what she has in store for readers next.
Reatha Beauregard is a paranormal romance writer from Baton Rouge, Louisiana who credits her creativity to being willing to think “to the left of normal.”
When she’s not melding the sexy with the supernatural, Reatha enjoys spending time with her husband and family. Her favorite thing to do is gardening.
Reatha Beauregard writes primarily for our Hex Books subsidiary.
Give us the story, but no spoilers!
Randi has total amnesia about her past, so when the opportunity to become someone else presents itself, she steps into the shoes of a missing girl named Myranda Avant. She pretends to be Myranda for a number of years until Myranda’s body is discovered in a shallow grave. Then, Randi has to leave the cozy life she’s built with the Avants and figure out who she really is.
How fitting that the quest to find herself takes her straight into the arms of a debonair vampire. What happens next? Isaac Bertrand keeps her at arm’s length because she reminds him of someone from his past. Only, it’s impossible for this twenty-first century girl to be his antebellum sweetheart, right?
There are vampires, a werewolf biker gang, some voodoo and all the strangeness I could pack into one book. It’s going to be a fun read. I encourage paranormal fans to give it a try.
What is the central conflict of the story?
Besides the tension of Randi and Isaac fighting their attractions to one another, Randi is being pursued by an immortal serial killer, Isaac’s arch enemy, Richard St. Amant. So, the external conflict is getting away from this dangerous villain, but the internal conflict is letting down their guards enough to trust one another. Every one of the characters of this book has secrets. What’s shared and when it’s shared makes all the difference in how things play out.
What did it take to get this book written?
It took some personal sacrifices, such as spending a little less time with my family in order to reach my deadline. Then, we pushed the deadline back, and we pushed it back again! It was a little stressful, because the initial idea just kind of evolved as the editor become more and more convinced this should be a full length novel rather than a lengthy short story.
I’m sure I got a few more grey hairs with this one, but I’m satisfied with the energy that went into it because Calypso was absolutely right. A short story wouldn’t have done this tale any justice.
How long did it take to write it?
Altogether? From late August to late October, which is a relatively short amount of time. However, at one point I was writing about eleven hours a day to reach the initial deadline, so the word count crept up pretty quickly. There were many revisions. In my opinion, I could’ve held onto it a little longer and put some more work into it, but, then again, that’s the perfectionist in me. It’s a solid story, great plot points, lots of action. I look forward to hearing what readers think about it. Anywhere I can improve, I’m game to know.
Will Antebellum Soul eventually be a series?
Yes. That’s the conclusion we finally came to. So, the first idea was to make it a series of stories about twenty-five thousand words each, which is the model others had been using. But when we looked at reader suggestions, we found that people weren’t too happy with having a novel broken up into chunks, which I can understand completely. At Wrought Iron Reads, we pay close attention to what readers want. Thus, the consensus was that Antebellum Soul should definitely be a series, but one of full length novels.
Now, to clarify, each book is a standalone. You can read Antebellum Soul: Here & Now and get a complete story—beginning, middle and end. Same with the soon to come sequels, Antebellum Soul: As It Was and Antebellum Soul: Forever More. The suggested order of reading is as they are released; but, you can read them in any order and not feel out of the loop because each of the stories are about different time periods.
What do you want readers to take away from this book?
When I first started writing Antebellum Soul: Here & Now, it was important to me to dispel some negative stereotypes associated with the South. I think I did that. There are some talks about race relations in the book. I’m not afraid to say that, and I think it’s something all readers will be able to relate to and understand when they read those scenes. This isn’t a soapbox, but it is my perspective. I love the place where I come from, and I think it’s worthy of that love and benefit of sharper perception.
What’s your next project?
Well, as of right now, I’m working on the groundwork for Book 2, Antebellum Soul: As It Was, which, as the title implies, steps back in time for Isaac and Randi. This story will include some of the supporting characters from Book 1, such as Coffey and Angel, but of course there will be some new faces. I’m really excited about some of the ideas I’ve been tossing around in my head. At this point, I’m still at the outlining phase and putting together more robust character profiles. We’re thinking about a January release, possibly?
Thanks, Reatha Beauregard, for giving us YOUR side of the story. Readers, you can find Antebellum Soul: Here & Now at most major e-book retailers. Look for us at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Scribd and Smashwords, and don’t forget to leave a review!
Antebellum Soul: Here & Now by Reatha Beauregard
Vampires, werewolves, voodoo…It’s always stranger in Louisiana.
Randi Browne is quite literally on a quest to find herself when she arrives in Lafayette. She’s also on the run from the cops for impersonating someone else, but the law is the least of her worries. There’s something on the hunt for her, something dark and sinister that won’t stop until she’s dead. Can someone from her forgotten past be the key to her survival?
The only reason Isaac Bertrand lets the runaway, Randi, move in with him is because he owes somebody a favor. But with things heating up between Isaac’s band of vampires and a werewolf biker gang, distractions like the sexy houseguest could prove deadly. Randi reminds Isaac of the antebellum adventuress who broke his frostbitten heart. Can he trust the past not to repeat itself?
Step into a world where history never dies and the thrills last forever. This book is packed with mystery, sex and magic, and you won’t want to put it down! Add this paranormal romance masterpiece to your collection today.