Have you been writing for a long time?
I remember writing a poem about my cat, Prince, in sixth grade. That was a very long time ago! Many poems and short stories later I won a fiction award from a literary magazine, Flyway, published at Iowa State University. It was the first money I’d ever earned for writing. The story was also nominated for a Pushcart prize. I was thrilled. Shortly after that I realized that novels would be easier to publish. Long story short, I began to take writing more seriously about fifteen years ago.
What inspired you to start a writing career?
Well, as I mentioned, the short story award gave me hope and encouragement to continue. Not that many people read literary magazines, unfortunately. People I know read novels. In the early 2000s I started my first novel. That book, a science-fiction piece, is one I hope to get back to eventually. Lalin Bonheur happens to be my third book, but the first one to be published by a small publisher, Freya’s Bower.
Is this book a stand-alone or part of a series?
Currently I am working on a sequel– continuing the mystery/romance. My character, Lalin, has a number of ominous loose ends to unravel. The loup garou from the first novel still roam the New Orleans French Quarter. Another character from the past comes back to haunt the couple. Etienne, Lalin’s lover/protector, is pursued by another woman, and the threats from the bayou country are joined by a new menace from the continent of Europe.
Why did you choose this genre?
About the Book
Title: Lalin Bonheur
Author: Margaret O. Howard
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Romance
When Lalin Bonheur shape shifts, she roams the Vieux Carre as a sleek tuxedo cat to learn the secrets of her city.
But on her debut at a Quadroon Ball in 1830 this octoroon beauty meets and falls in love with French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre. Etienne becomes her protector and he soon learns that his mistress leads a second life as a healer and voudou priestess.
Their story takes a bizarre turn after Lalin’s protector marries. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he is charged with murder. Lalin concocts a zombie potion to assist him in his escape from jail.
The couple sail upriver to hide until they can prove his innocence. But their struggles only become more challenging, when they face the fearsome loup-garou (wolf men of Louisiana) and then a giant bird. Lalin must use her magic to battle these monsters. But it’s what she learns about the vicious feathered creature that brings the story to its climax.
Margaret O. Howard is a writer and former dancer, who grew up in the Deep South and currently walks the gulf beaches of Florida every morning, She adores her two sons, three rescue cats, cool weather, travel, photography, ballet, books, and mermaids. Her novel, Lalin Bonheur, is set in the city of voudou queens, New Orleans. You can visit her at margaretohoward.wordpress,com, Margaret Howard Trammell on Facebook, or @howardomargaret on Twitter.