What inspired you to write your memoir?
I primarily wrote my memoir for my granddaughter. The world I grew up in was very different from today’s world, and having grown up in New Orleans was a plus. It was also helpful that my mother had dozens of old photos of ancestors, even some tintypes from the mid 1800s, which I could include as a means of documenting those who came before me, and the stories my mother passed on to me, that went with the photos, were often very amusing. The best part was, it was like reliving my life in a fun way because once I got going, old memories started to surface. Fortunately, mine was a happy childhood, so it should be a good reading experience for readers who want to slip back into the 1940s and 50s and relive their childhoods, or just get a good picture of the way it was back then.
About your Book:
BELOW IS THE BACK COVER BLURB:
Riding on the streetcar is a tourist attraction now, but when I was growing up it was the way we went to Canal Street to shop or go to a downtown movie, or to Audubon park, or to visit friends, or just to “ride around the belt” because, to a little girl growing up in New Orleans in the 1940s and 50s there was just about nothing as pleasant as sitting on a polished mahogany seat with brass fittings while riding on a wobbly, clattering streetcar as it rumbled it’s way beneath a tunnel of Live Oaks lining the “neutral ground” where the tracks ran. The 13-mile crescent took us past dozens of antebellum homes that included my grandmother’s big house on St. Charles Avenue, that was built by a sea captain, and we’d pass bronze statues and monuments, and universities and restaurants, all the while the motorman clang his bell at every street crossing…
You know you’re from “Newawlins” if up north refers to anything north of Louisiana, a burial plot is above instead of below the ground, you love the smell of a crawfish boil, you think Mardi Gras is a national holiday, you take for granted flying cockroaches, you assume everyone has mosquito swarms in their backyard, you don’t worry when you see ships riding higher on the river than the top of your house, a great day is when you can spend it sitting on the Lake Pontchartrain seawall catching blue crabs, you think every state is divided into parishes, you describe a color as “K&B Purple,” and the four seasons in your year are crawfish, shrimp, crab and Mardi Gras. And that just about sums up the city where I grew up. Please join me on a jaunt back in time.
BELOW IS WHAT’S WRITTEN ON THE FRONT FLAP OF THE DUSTCOVER:
I’ve lived in Oregon for over forty years, but if you ask me who I am in my heart, I’d have to say I’m still a southern girl from New Orleans. I guess you never lose those early roots. I also grew up during a time when life was much simpler. No stores were open on Sunday because that was a day for church and family. Christmas meant getting one main toy. I could ride my bicycle safely many blocks from home. A nickel candy bar was five inches long. Movies weren’t rated because they were all made for family viewing. And TV was in its infancy so we found other more exciting things to do. Maybe this book will give you a snapshot back in time and a glimpse into the various escapades and misadventures of one little girl growing up in New Orleans in the 1940s and 50s.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I was already familiar with Createspace, Amazon’s paperback publisher, because I am primarily a fiction writer and had used it for my paperbacks, but I also wanted my memoir to be available in hardcover with a wrap-around dust cover because I figured a hardcover edition would span the generations better than a paperback, so I prepared the book for Lulu too. The hardcover is naturally more expensive, but the interior of the paperback is identical, for half the price.
How do you see writing a Memoir as different from writing other genres of books?
Other than one is fiction and the other non-fiction, both need to be written in a way that keeps the reader turning pages. I tried to do that with my memoir. For example, the following is what I put on the back flap of the dust jacket:
From my father’s medical school collection, my friend Sue and I already had a human skull for our pirate club, but we were lacking the cross bones. But we had a simple solution. Living only three blocks from a cemetery, where many of the old above-ground tombs were crumbling from neglect, was an opportunity not to be passed up. So late on a night that Sue was sleeping over, and after my parents were asleep, Sue and I crept out of the house, and under cover of darkness, made our way to the cemetery, where Sue stood guard while I crawled into an open crypt and collected the needed bones. But that’s only the beginning of the story…
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Patricia Watters gave up city life and now writes novels from a hand-built log house nestled in the evergreen forests of Oregon. An author with Harlequin and Avon-Harper Collins in the past, Patricia specializes in romance, and she invites you to visit her website and drop her a line. She responds to all notes: www.patriciawatters.com