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Why I Wrote Soc Au’ Lait Stiff

Book 9 in my Big Uneasy Series

Soc Au Lait Stiff - the Big Uneasy - Pauline Baird Jones, romantic suspense

I was born in what I’d consider a fairly austere state. It’s not Puritan level, because we do have rodeos, a lot of bars, and more guns per capita than any other state in the Union.

My growing up years tilted more toward the austere side—except for the guns. 

What I’m trying to say is that my life in Wyoming did NOT prepare me for life in New Orleans. And it REALLY didn’t prepare me for Mardi Gras. 

First off, it has way too many people. I think there might be more people in New Orleans on Fat Tuesday as in the whole of Wyoming (and that might include people happening to drive through at any given moment). 

And when I say too many people, I’m talking masses of people jammed together with their arms raised yelling, “Throw me something, mister!”

They are going crazy for…plastic beads. And plastic cups. There are some “nicer” throws, but you can’t show them off to anyone unless you want people to think you flashed some private parts to get them. 

That would be another thing I didn’t enjoy. 

Basically, Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday, the day before the start of Lent. So it’s a big party before those who practice Lent have to go austere until Easter. (I think that’s right.)

But there were a couple of things I loved. 

The music.

The cake. 

I’m a simple soul. 😂

So when it came time to write book nine in my Big Uneasy series, I had to face my most conflicted feelings about Mardi Gras. 

I might have thought about just skipping it, but Mardi Gras is an important part of New Orleans. And there is a Mardi Gras float on the cover. 

I’d planned to release Soc Au’ Lait Stiff on Mardi Gras Day (it was early this year, darn it), but I didn’t make it do to Real Life Issues. But here’s the thing about New Orleans and Mardi Gras. There is the official season and then there is the rest of the year. New Orleans likes a party, the louder the better. 

Knowing all these things, I struggled some in how to write about something I don’t really like, something so completely alien to me but dear to the heart of my Baker clan. 

So I made my heroine from Wyoming, too. Maybe that was cheating a bit, but in the end, it turned into a way for me to remember me slowly falling for New Orleans—despite my austere self. 

I wrote Soc Au’ Lait Stiff because a) it was the next book in the series; and b) because I wanted to share some of my New Orleans adventure.

And in the end, I might have come to like Mardi Gras a little bit more (it does help that I’m not actually IN any of those crowds of people. 😂)

And my wider goal in writing the whole series (holy cow, there are only five more books!), is that you, my dear readers, will know what it means to miss New Orleans. 

Let the good times roll!



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