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Eerie Ghosts and Vampires of the New Orleans French Quarter

Created by Laura Martone

An exclusive pair of spooky, self-guided tours created by two Big Easy storytellers. In ebook, print, and audio. Enjoyable anywhere!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

A FOLLOW-UP AND AN UPDATE
17 days ago – Thu, Sep 15, 2022 at 03:24:00 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

GHOST AND VAMPIRE AUDIO TOURS NOW AVAILABLE!
about 1 month ago – Mon, Aug 29, 2022 at 02:15:18 PM

Happy Monday, beloved backers!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend – and that your week is off to a terrific start!

Dan and I just wanted to let you know that, as promised in our last update, we’ve uploaded and distributed the two audio tours: In the Footsteps of Ghosts and Strolling Among Vampires. If you ordered one or both of these tours, you should’ve received a notification from BackerKit informing you that these digital rewards are now available – and giving you the link to log in and download them.

Jackson Square, where both tours begin

For each, you should see a zipped folder containing the MP3 files (seventeen for the ghost tour and thirteen for the vampire one) as well as a related location guide in PDF form.

If you should’ve received one or both of these tours – but did not – please let me know, and I will redistribute your rewards. And if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to tell me via Kickstarter or email (lauramartone76@gmail.com).

Needless to say, we hope you enjoy the tours! Happy listening! And thanks again for your support!

Sincerely,

Laura Martone

NOT EVEN HURRICANES CAN KEEP THE BIG EASY DOWN!
about 1 month ago – Fri, Aug 26, 2022 at 10:10:07 PM

Howdy, y’all!

I hope this update finds you happy, healthy, and enjoying life – wherever you happen to be.

As usual, I’ve got the Big Easy on the brain. Not just because Dan and I are slowly but surely completing several of the digital rewards promised during our spooky NOLA campaign, but also because this Monday, August 29, 2022, will mark the seventeenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s massive flooding of New Orleans, my beloved hometown.

Whether you live in southern Louisiana, have only visited once or twice, or have never stepped foot here, you’ve likely heard about the tragic death and destruction brought about by Hurricane Katrina – or, rather, the levee breaches produced by that fateful storm – on the morning of August 29, 2005.

In the nearly two decades that have passed since then, countless articles, books, documentaries, narrative films, and other media have chronicled and examined the causes, results, and aftermath of that historic event – so I won’t bore you with too many details. I’ll simply say that, while hurricanes have long plagued New Orleans – much of which lies below sea level – Katrina was an unprecedented storm, forever altering the city and her residents.

Striking the Gulf Coast midway through the annual hurricane season (which runs from June 1st to November 30th), Katrina ultimately killed more than 1,800 people and perhaps as many as 150,000 animals – thanks to drowning, injuries, trauma, and, in the case of many pets and strays, starvation. Besides such a terrible loss of life, the hurricane and subsequent flooding damaged more than one million housing units in the region, displaced more than a million people, and, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), resulted in more than $125 billion in total damages – making Katrina the costliest U.S. hurricane on record.

Unfortunately, the collective hardships didn’t end there. Thanks to Hurricane Katrina and her aftermath, many New Orleanians vacated the area, never to return, and those that remained were forced to grapple with increased crime as well as a citywide mental-health crisis.

Although Dan and I were living in the Los Angeles area at the time, even I suffered my own share of property loss – in the form of nearly all my memorabilia as well as all but one of my childhood homes. Of course, I recognize how lucky I am that I didn’t lose any of my loved ones to the tragedy as well.

Still, when I was finally able to return to my hometown, months after the history-making storm had dissipated, it certainly wasn’t easy seeing the gutted remains of my maternal grandmother’s house, a sanctuary during my younger years. And even now, nearly two decades later, I’m still haunted by the sight of several lonely dock posts in the murky, brackish water near Empire, Louisiana – all that was left behind when a tidal surge tore through my father’s old fishing camp.

all that remains of my dad's former fishing camp

But, while the region’s population has never returned to its pre-Katrina numbers, New Orleans and her environs have still managed to rise from the ashes – just as The City That Care Forgot has done many times over the past three centuries of her existence. True, numerous residents moved elsewhere, but many newcomers moved in, and though tourism, convention business, and film production were dampened by Katrina, much of those economic assets have since returned.

While some areas of the city remained in a decimated state for years, many of the hotels, restaurants, shops, and attractions in the tourist-heavy neighborhoods – like the French Quarter, the Central Business District (CBD), the Garden District, and Uptown – reopened within a few months of the storm, and Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest both returned in 2006.

Café Du Monde in the spring of 2006

Apparently, not even Mother Nature can keep New Orleans down for long.

So, in commemoration of my hometown and her uncanny resilience, I plan to send out the ghost and vampire audio tours this Monday – and, hopefully, a couple other goodies as well.

By next week, Dan and I should have a better sense of the delivery timetable for all the remaining digital and print rewards. And once we’ve distributed all those items, I’ll finalize the day and time for each of my online tarot readings as well as our online author Q&A and watch party.

But, naturally, I’m always available if you have any questions or concerns. Just let me know by commenting on this update, sending me a message via Kickstarter, or dropping me a line at lauramartone76@gmail.com.

Thanks again for your interest and support! And remember to watch out for the dark side!

Sincerely,

Laura Martone

FIRST ROUND OF DIGITAL REWARDS SENT!
about 2 months ago – Mon, Aug 08, 2022 at 05:33:25 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.

LOCKING SOME ORDERS EARLIER THAN PLANNED!
2 months ago – Fri, Jul 29, 2022 at 09:17:47 PM

Happy Friday, y’all!

Hope you’ve had a stupendous week!

As for me and Dan, we’re both getting pretty excited about sharing the first round of digital rewards with our awesome backers. In fact, we’re hoping to upload several goodies to the BackerKit site by the end of July (that is, this Sunday, July 31). If all goes smoothly, these items will include:

  • the digital wallpaper
  • the NOLA glossary and pronunciation guide
  • our eight published novels (for those who purchased any of them as add-ons)
  • and the other 15 novels (including two of ours) that many backers earned as early-bird and/or second-week perks.

Now, to make the above items available to their designated backers, I’ll need to lock most of the final orders this weekend (preferably on Sunday morning). 

If you haven’t yet had a chance to complete your survey, please don’t fret. As promised, I’m still planning to lock all remaining orders by Friday, August 12, which will give you two more weeks to send in your responses and updates.

I just don’t want to penalize the folks who have already completed their surveys by forcing them to wait another two weeks for the official fulfillment phase to begin.

To be fair, I’d initially intended to send out the BackerKit surveys by the end of June, which would’ve allowed me and Dan a full month to await the responses and prepare the July deliverables. Unfortunately, though, thanks to the perfect storm of family obligations and my insufferable perfectionism, I didn’t quite meet my own deadline. (Sorry again about that.)

Luckily, though, many of our wonderful backers have made up for my inadvertent delay by promptly responding to our surveys and finalizing their orders. In fact, since dispatching all 102 invites earlier this week, we’ve received 77 responses – roughly 74% of our backer pool.

Hence, to keep our campaign promises for the July deliverables, we’d like to lock most of the orders this weekend and send out the first round of rewards shortly thereafter.

So, if you haven’t yet answered your survey questions, finalized your order, and paid for any outstanding charges (such as failed pledges or international shipping fees), please do so as soon as you can. The more backers that complete the survey phase, the more rewards I can deliver on Sunday!

Of course, if you need more time, please feel free to take it. I promise I won’t lock any open orders until Friday, August 12, as originally promised. I’m just eager to deliver our digital rewards sooner rather than later.

Naturally, though, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me via Kickstarter, leave a comment below this post, or send an email to lauramartone76@gmail.com.

Thanks, as always, for your support! Hope you have a terrific weekend!

Sincerely,

Laura Martone