Release Party Brita Addams’ Beloved Unmasked – Behind the Laptop

October 16, 2015

Beloved UnmaskedHi there. Brita Addams back with you for the final hour of my release party for Beloved Unmasked.

I’m often asked what inspires my stories, so I’d like to share a few things with you about Beloved Unmasked.

First, I never name a book, or hardly ever name a book until I’m finished writing. Every now and again, a title will come to me while I’m writing, and those are blessed moments.

Beloved Unmasked’s title will be obvious to readers once they get into the book, so I won’t share that here, but I would like to tell you about how the book was born.

A year ago, my sister told me that an elderly woman she and a friend cared for had passed away. Deloris had lived a colorful life, had traveled all over, and had settled near her son in North Carolina. Before that, though, Deloris had been a psychic in New Orleans, at the famous Bottom of the Cup Tea Room, for more than twenty years. Sis told me that Deloris’s walls were lined with pictures of people she’d read the tea leaves for, including Tony Curtis and Kevin Costner. Those two, she was apparently particularly proud of.

I’d wanted to do a story set in New Orleans, having lived there for many years, and the psychic angle intrigued me–until I dove into my research. Given that Deloris could no longer give me her insight, the research was merely bland recitations of encounters with psychics. Then I tried to fit my characters into a mold that, frankly, didn’t fit the story. After three months of battling with myself, I scrapped the psychic angle and the characters I had created. They will however, at some point, come to life, as I have a story in mind for them.

The one thing that kept turning up was Storyville and with my inquisitive mind, I wanted to know all there was to know about that period in New Orleans history. I read five different books, a gazillion websites, and interviews conducted with musicians and former residents of Storyville, and settled on the path I wanted to take with the book.

Amid tears and laughter for six months, I wrote the book in two POVs. Then I submitted it to Dreamspinner. They accepted it and then began the wait for production. I have to give kudos to my editor, Desi, who always knows what I want the finished product to be. She is deft not only at those insane commas, but at seeing the big picture. In the first editing email I got from Desi, she suggested I do two things: Make the book from Pic/David’s POV, and change the second main character. She enumerated her reasons and in doing so, confirmed for me what I had felt uneasy about all along.

Spence, David and EmileI did indeed rewrite the second half of the book and oh, my, am I glad I did. The story is all the richer for having taken her advice.

To the left you’ll see how I work. This picture was taken during the writing of Beloved Unmasked. You can see my inspiration for Spence in the white shirt, with Pic/David inset. I’m a visual writer, so I always print out pictures of my character and have them in front of me. Then I give the links to the pictures to cover artist, Anne Cain, and she incorporates them into my lovely covers.

While my desk might look chaotic, it is very organized. I keep index cards for each character and you’ll see a few of them scattered about. Notes, notes, and more notes on yellow pads, and of course, my coffee cup. All part of the writing prescription.

On the stand behind David and Spence is what I call my writing bible. It contains tons of information on craft, alternative words, emotions, you name it, it’s there.

What you can’t see, is to the left I have a white board which I use as a story board. Right now, I’m loading it up with index cards for the next book in the series, Without Question. You’ll meet Emile in Beloved Unmasked, and WQ is his story. I’m not sure I’ve ever written a more compelling secondary character, but he does deserve his own story. I’m about 25k in at the moment.

I hope you enjoy Beloved Unmasked. The era is fascinating and I hope you’ll find the characters compelling as well. They still live with me, months after I finished writing BU. For more BU Trivia, check out the post on my blog on October 19th. Who says we don’t put ourselves into our work?


Giveaway: Stop by my blog between October 16 and 23 for a series of posts on Storyville. Leave a substantive comment (not “I’m in” or the like,) about the posts and on November 1, I’ll select the winner of a New Orleans-themed gift pack. Beloved Unmasked isn’t included in the giveaway.


bitmoji-1704664567About the pre-release buzz about Beloved Unmasked:

Beloved Unmasked is a beautifully written historical romance. You can feel the streets of New Orleans, see the sights, and hear the sounds. (Cathy Brockman – MM Good Book Reviews)

When you want a historical you can really sink into and feel like you are there, this is the book to pick up. Really amazingly well done. A Recommended Read (Tina Brunelle – Redz World)

Beloved Unmasked has a whole lot packed into the pages. Brita Addams has certainly done her research about New Orleans. (Kazza – On the Top Down Under Reviews)




Dreamspinner has Beloved Unmasked on sale until October 18, at 25% off. Buy now to get the great discount.


Beloved Unmasked

Cherished One: Book One

A Tarnished novel


Born to a spiteful prostitute in Storyville, the red-light district in New Orleans, David comes into the world as Picayune, meaning “of little value,” or, as his mother reminds him, “nothing.” In the early 20th century brothels and clubs, his love of music sustains young Pic until a life-changing meeting places him on the road to respectability, and Pic reinvents himself as David Reid.

As David realizes happiness for the first time, conscription forces his friend and first love, Spencer Webb, into the Great War. While he pursues a law degree, letters from Spence connect David to his hopes for the future. After staggering news at war’s end, David must find a way to move forward. Under the tutelage of his benefactor, David’s career prospers, but specters from Storyville threaten all he’s worked so hard to achieve.

The past holds both pain and love. Will facing it head-on destroy David or give him everything he’s ever dared dream?



I’ve had a great time at this release party and I hope you have too. But we aren’t done! The party continues all this week, from October 16 to the 23rd on my blog. Each day, I’ll post an interesting post about Storyville, and you’ll have opportunities to win that New Orleans-themed gift pack. I look forward to seeing you there.

You can find me at the following places. Stop by, say hello and let’s chat.






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