Author Camille Faye is my special guest this week. She and I have so much in common that when we first met, I felt like I’d known her for years. We both love to travel, we both have had experiences with ghosts–which led to a love of paranormal, and she also has a fondness for New Orleans. But the reason I wanted you to meet her is because she writes amazing books. Her Voodoo Butterfly series is awesome, and I really wanted to share it with you. So with the recent release of the third book in her series, Flight, I sat down with her to ask her a few questions about it.
- Flight is the third book in your Voodoo Butterfly series. In the series, Sophie Nouveau, inherits her grandmother’s voodoo shop in New Orleans. Have you always been interested in voodoo or did you learn about it for this series?
In the past, I worked as a journalist and I also have a Master’s in English, so I have experience researching topics with written resources and through interviews. I just love learning about other cultures, plus travel is a big passion of mine. So I did a lot of research in this series, to make voodoo as authentic as possible. As I worked my way through all the stereotypes and misinformation from the media and Hollywood, I really enjoyed getting to understand the true culture and history of this world religion. For example, I learned that hoodoo is actually practiced by many Christians in the American south, but that doesn’t mean those people practice voodoo. And many voodoo practitioners, like the famous Marie Laveau, are staunch Catholics who attend daily Mass.
When I started my series, I knew I would set my story in New Orleans, so I brainstormed how magic would fit into this world I was building. I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, which shows J.K. Rowling’s version of England’s style of magic. Voodoo and hoodoo are a huge piece of our nation’s history, going back to the time of slavery, so it is our American tradition of magic. I have many resources on my Facebook page and Pinterest, which I used during my research of these fascinating parts of our American culture, if people are interested in learning more.
- In Flight, Sophie goes to Malaysia to find her love, Taj, and you’re married to a man from Malaysia. Did you do any of your research there? What do you like most about the country?
I love traveling in the name of “research” (LOL). Since all of my husband’s family still live in Malaysia, we try to visit there every couple of years. Now that we have kids, they get to play with their Malaysian cousins and learn about that side of their heritage, which is really cool, too.
In Flight, I incorporate sensory details to describe Malaysia’s incredible food scene, which is admired worldwide for its blends of Thai, Chinese, and Indian culinary influences. As for the paranormal side of Flight, I go into how Malaysians will use black magic against each other. If someone is jealous or angry, they can go see a medicine man who will send an evil spirit or ghost to torment the person they are targeting. Some people might think that is superstitious nonsense, but to me, it’s horrific. How can you hate someone so much that you would want them to be supernaturally tormented?
During my research, I came across a YouTube video showing a jinn possessing a young Malay woman. We know them in Western culture as genies, but jinn are a paranormal entity from Arab lore, who can interfere in our world. Some jinn are ambivalent to human affairs, some are mischievous, but some can also be trapped (yes, in a bottle) and can be used to torment your enemies. It’s so fascinating to find out the roots of these legends.
- Tell us a little about Sophie. What kind of person is she? What motivates her?
Sophie grew up the child of an alcoholic, so when readers first meet her, she has those emotional walls up and reinforced. When she first visits New Orleans, she knows nothing about her family’s heritage because her mother kept that past secret. As the last woman in the Papillon line, Sophie decides to take over her family’s voodoo shop and the title of Mind Changer. The women in her family, going back hundreds of years, are called Mind Changers because they have the specialized magical ability to turn evil people good.
As she opens her heart more, her magic becomes stronger and she is able to help more and more people overcome their own inner demons. A large part of the series is finding where her heart belongs. She has close relationships with Taj, a Malaysian man who is easy to be around and easy to look at. Then there’s Jacques, a mysterious old-fashioned type who can be stuffy but sexy. Along the way, she will have to dig deep to figure out who she truly is and the kind of man she truly desires.
- Have you always wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I did! My mom actually wrote a booklet on quilting when I was nine. She purchased an electronic typewriter for that project and I would use it to write stories about Oscar the Grouch or princesses in faraway kingdoms.
From there, I worked on my high school and college newspapers. At the University of Missouri’s journalism program, I got to work for the local NBC affiliate as a reporter, anchor, and web producer. I went on to earn a Master’s in English and teach writing at universities in Missouri and Illinois. So I’ve been able to try out many different types of writing. I love it!
- What are you working on now? What is next for you?
Currently, I am juggling revising the fourth book in The Voodoo Butterfly Series and drafting the fifth. My plan is to release both of those books in 2020.
For more information about me or my books, readers can check out my website at http://www.camillefaye.com. There they can also read through my blog or sign up for my email newsletter (I only send emails for important things, like new releases or book signing events).
My books are available on Amazon.
Thanks so much for taking this time with me, Camille. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!