Please enjoy this interview with historical author Brita Addams, the writer behind the Civil War era series, The Delacroix Saga.
Tell us about your Delaxcroix Saga series.
The Delacroix Saga begins in 1861 with Cedar Grove. I portray a contrast between two sisters, something inspired by years of reading books set in the period, as well as historical accounts. My main character, Uranie Delacroix, is the daughter of the sugar plantation owner and a slave woman he’s known all his life. They grew up together, were each other’s confidantes, and partook of a forbidden relationship, albeit short-lived. He brings the daughter from that liaison to live with him, his wife, and their newborn daughter, in the main house, and his wife begrudgingly agrees to raise the infant. We meet Ranie and her sister Elyse as they celebrate their nineteenth birthdays. As the Civil War presses ever closer, the languor of their lives becomes a thing of the past. Elyse is bound to marry the man she loves, but Ranie, well, there is no such option available to her. She’s a Creole, and doesn’t belong to either her mother’s or father’s world.
Cedar Grove spans thirty years and leads the reader into After Dark Rag, where the main character is Ranie’s grandson, Fitzgerald Delacroix.
What appeals to you most about the era of your series?
Since I began writing for publication ten years ago, I’ve wanted to write a Civil War story. The appeal of the era is rooted in my quandary as to how human beings could consider others less human than themselves.
I had an ancestor who fought in the Battle at Cold Harbor, VA., and his experiences inspired me to dig deeper. I’ve depicted some of those experiences in Cedar Grove. My husband and I have visited most of the Civil War battlefields, and I’ve read every book I could get my hands on concerning the war.
I’ve studied hundreds of slave narratives in preparation for writing the book, and discovered that, despite common thought, many plantation owners treated “their people” with their brand of dignity – many truly thought they were doing the slaves a favor by giving them work, as well as a roof over their heads and meals on their tables. That was a prevalent mindset in those days.
I chose to tell that side of the story, rather than dwell on the cruelty that most certainly existed. A great many slaves, according to their narratives, saw their place as taking care of the master and his family. Many praised their masters for their kindness – excluding the fact that the denial of their freedom was, in and of itself, an act of cruelty.
In both books [of the series], I wanted to portray characters living lives we don’t often see depicted in works set in these times. I wanted to place them in situations that shaped who they became, not only who they were.
What kind of readers will enjoy this series the most?
I hope the saga appeals to lovers of historical fiction. These books are a departure from my historical romance roots, and the change has been refreshing. I’m writing another work of historical fiction now, called Blind Eye, also set in New Orleans, that has nary a kiss in it. Historical fiction is a wonderful genre, and despite some schools of thought, doesn’t have to be preachy.
I’d love for readers to escape into these stories and come away with a warmth about the characters and their experiences. I’ve combined historical figures with my fictional characters, and placed them in true historical events, as well as fictional. I based some events on anecdotes found in biographies and autobiographies, and others on actual events, such as the secession congress found in Cedar Grove, and a humorous stunt pulled by cornetist and Louis Armstrong’s mentor, King Oliver in After Dark Rag.
Folks interested in New Orleans history might find a few things to chew on as well. I spent over a year researching before I wrote the Delacroix Saga, and I discovered many things I didn’t know, despite having lived in the New Orleans area for many years. All in all, I think each book provides the reader with stories that give them another perspective of this fascinating time period.
We’re giving away an ebook (Kindle or ePub) copy of Brita Addams’ time travel romance novel, Her Timeless Obsession.
Here’s the synopsis:
A love that transcends time.
Ever the explorer, Honey Danby discovers a treasure trove in her dusty 1910 London attic. Old trunks filled with clothes, journals, and love letters written between two lovers in 1810 entertain her and leave her longing for a time and a man long past. Dressed in an irresistible gown from one of the trunks, Honey discovers a heart-wrenching love story. When she learns that all was cruelly torn asunder, the handsome soldier’s loving words written to his H. catapult Honey into an adventure that defies logic.
When, dressed in a crisper version of the gown, Honey inexplicably awakens inside a rumbling horse-drawn carriage, she discovers she shares the antiquated vehicle with the man who tore the lovers apart. Can she convince this stranger to forego his unreasonable demands, or will history repeat itself on a misty August morn in Green Park?