Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An interview with Charlotte LaRue

Hi, my name is Charlotte LaRue. I’m a sixty-something year old maid who was created by author Barbara Colley and who works in the New Orleans Garden District. But, I’m not just a maid. I own my own maid service—Maid-for-a-Day. Oh, and one other thing, I also, on occasion, solve murders and generally get into loads of trouble. So far, Barbara has written eight books about me. Number eight is titled DUSTED TO DEATH and will be available in January 2010.

I truly appreciate Terri and Pamela inviting me to be on their blog, and I appreciate the opportunity to finally express myself without Barbara looking over my shoulder and telling me what to say. You will keep my answers to the questions confidential, won’t you? I mean, really, I can be a bit outspoken, and I’d hate for Barbara to get mad at me.

Speaking of Barbara, I suppose I should mention that she’s a best selling, award winning author whose books have been published in at least seventeen foreign languages. Oh, yeah, and she has a web site that tells all about herself and her books. You can even read the first chapters of all of the books she’s written about me. Just go to: http://www.barbaracolley.com.

This first set of questions are from someone who calls themselves “Anonymous.” Ha! Don’t let that fool you. You and I both know that these so-called “anonymous” questions are from Barbara. Call me paranoid, but this is just her way of testing me to see what I’ll say. You have to watch her. She’s sneaky that way.

Q. "What is your political persuasion?"

A. “I'd tell you, but then Barbara might kill me off. Though we argue all the time about it, Barbara tries to steer clear of politics. She claims some of her readers wouldn't like it, but I say, for Pete's sake, after all, this is fiction."

Q. "Can you give us any insider hints about Barbara's next book, DUSTED TO DEATH?"

A. "There you go again, trying to get me killed again. One thing I can tell you, though, it involves the movie industry and I get to meet one of my all-time favorite movie stars. Another thing I can tell you is that Barbara has a huge surprise for all of her fans in DUSTED TO DEATH. You won’t want to miss this one. It comes out in January 2010. Yes, I know, January seems like a long way off, but I promise you, the wait will be worth it."

Questions from Pamela James:

Q. Do you have social injustice that really makes you angry?

A. Don’t get me started. There are many social injustices that make me want to chew nails, but the one that gets to me most is abused children. Barbara’s father, rest his soul, always said, there’s a special place in hell for people who abuse children, and I tend to agree with him whole-heartedly.

Q. What is the one thing about Barbara that you would change?

A. Now, Pamela, I don’t know how on earth I can answer that. I don’t want to offend Barbara. After all, she could reign down all kinds of evil on me, but I do wish she wouldn’t worry so much about readers liking my books. I’d also like for her to write faster.

Q. Where would you like to see Barbara take you on a cruise to and will you
find a body?

A. Hmm, a cruise would be nice. Barbara hardly ever takes me anywhere except in and around New Orleans. Of course I do take a short trip to Mississippi in her next book, but I digress. Back to your question. Maybe we could go on a cruise to somewhere really exotic. I’ve never been out of the good old U.S.A., so almost anywhere would be exotic for me. Then again, maybe not. With Barbara’s imagination, we’d probably end up abandoned in the middle of some ocean on a desert island with nothing to eat but coconuts. As for finding a body, pu-lease, only if he’s breathing and good looking. Notice I said, “he.” Besides I see more dead bodies than I want in Barbara’s books. On the other hand, if we did take a cruise and Barbara got an idea for another book, then she could write it off on her taxes as research. Hmm, I’ll have to think some more about this.

Q. What does Barbara really do in her spare time?

A. According to Barbara, there’s no such thing as “spare time.” But, between you and me, I happen to know that she reads every chance she gets, plus her grandchildren are always dropping by for a visit, especially now that it’s summer. She also tends to be a couch potato at times. She has her favorite TV shows. What she really should do, though, is clean her house, or at least hire me to clean her house. She’s always complaining that it needs cleaning, but I guess she’s too stingy to hire it done. Oops, don’t you dare tell her that I said that or I could get into a heap of trouble.

Questions from Terri:

Q. What are your favorite and least favorite cleaning activities?

A. My favorite is cleaning the wood floors in those old Garden District homes. It gives me so much pleasure to see them all polished and shining. Of course, I have to get down on my hands and knees to do it right, and my poor old knees suffer for it. But don’t even get me started about my aches and pains. I’ve been thinking about buying some kneepads, though. You know, the kind that skate boarders use? My least favorite cleaning activity is the bathroom. You wouldn’t believe how yucky those can be, especially—gag—the toilets.

Q. Pet Peeves?

A. Finding cat hair on the kitchen counter tops. Yuck! Uh oh, I bet I just offended a whole bunch of cat lovers. Sorry about that, and to set the record straight, I like cats just fine. I just don’t like them roaming over the counter tops in the kitchen where the food is prepared. And of course there’s Sweety Boy to consider. He’s my little parakeet, you know.

Q. What are your favorite sports?

A. Oooh, I’m so glad you asked. Both Barbara and I are Tennis fans and big LSU fans. Of course, Barbara hogs the TV, and she got to watch all of the baseball games this summer when LSU won the College World Series. That’s okay though, I watched the Wimbledon Finals.

Q. Any words of wisdom?

A. Actually, quite a few. “Do right and you’ll feel right.” “What goes round comes round.” And one of my all-time favorites: “People do get paid back for what they do in this life, whether good or bad.” And before you ask, except for the second quote, which is in the Bible, I’m not sure where those other quotes come from.

Q. What is your favorite of Barbara’s books?

A. Hmm, that’s a hard one. After all, she’s had sixteen published books. . . so far. Of course, only eight of them are about me, but out of those eight, I think MAID FOR MURDER, the very first one in the series, is my personal favorite. Of course, I also really like WASH AND DIE too. Then, there’s DUSTED TO DEATH, the most recent one that’s coming out in January 2010. Did I mention that there’s going to be a big surprise for all of Barbara’s (and my) fans in that one?

Q. What is your favorite thing about Barbara?

A. Big gulp. Now, Terri, you know that’s not a fair question. I like a lot of things about Barbara, but if I gush too much, everyone will accuse me of kissing up to her. There is one thing, though. She does try her best to play fair, whether in real life or in my books. Oh, and another thing. She does like to “keep it clean.” (snicker) That’s a pun, you know, since I’m a maid—our little joke. But it also applies to her books.

Q. What are some of your all-time favorite books?

A. Sigh. My all-time favorite is the Holy Bible. Recently, Barbara has been going through some medical difficulties, and without the comforting words in the Bible, I don’t know what I’d do. As for other types of books, Barbara has so many writer friends that I’m probably going to get into trouble if I single out one and not the rest. Tell you what, how about I name a few by some authors that aren’t exactly her friends, just her and my favorite authors? I do like Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. Jack is my kind of man—kind of reminds me of a younger Louis Thibodeaux, my tenant and sometimes “friend.” I also like the Twilight Series. Can’t wait for the second movie coming out this fall. Then, of course, I like most any of Iris Johansen or Catherine Coulter’s books. Oh, and I also keep up with Charlaine Harris’s Southern Vampire series. Right now, I’m having a lot of fun reading James Patterson’s Maximum Ride young adult series.

Q. What is your opinion on Health Care Reform and other current events?

A. Right up front, let me say that, like Barbara, I am a patriot and fiercely love my country. I do think there needs to be some health reform so that those who truly, and I emphasize the word truly, can’t afford insurance can afford to get care. But--and let me make this perfectly clear--I do not want the government running my health plan or taxing it. This smacks of socialism, and I DO NOT WANT socialism, no way, no how. For Pete’s sake, this is the United States of America, not Russia or Cuba. First comes socialism, then communism, and before you know it, all of our freedoms have gone down the toilet . . . Oh, no (groan)! Now see what you’ve gone and done--got me all fired up and on my soapbox.

Being a staunch conservative, I have a lot of opinions about current events, but I can’t afford to alienate any of Barbara’s readers who might be a bit more liberal. She’s already gotten into trouble once because of my views about abortion. You do know that if readers don’t buy her books, then I cease to exist? Yeah, not fair at all, but whoever said life was fair? Everything is political nowadays. Whew! Enough about that. I’d better quit while I’m ahead.

Q. What is your favorite NOLA place to go eat?

A. That’s the easiest question you’ve asked. Commander’s Palace in the Garden District is my all-time favorite. Of course being a maid, I can’t always afford to go there as often as I’d like, but the food and the service are wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Charlotte,
    That was a great interview. I like it when you talk to me as much as when I read about you. I don't want to wish my life away, but I just can't wait for that new book in January. I've been reading your stories for a long time now and I hope I'll be reading them forever.


Review: Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers and Felonies by Donna Andrews and Shari Randall

Each story in this collection features an animal as an important part of the story. Some of my favorite stories were "As the Crow F...