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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:

TAROT READINGS, UPCOMING AUTHOR Q&A, PLUS TWO COOL CAMPAIGNS!
about 2 months ago – Thu, Oct 13, 2022 at 07:51:02 PM

Howdy, beloved backers!

I hope October has treated y’all well so far.

As you might have guessed by now – given the eerie theme of our first Kickstarter campaign – Dan and I love this particular month. Every year, we devote each night of October to watching a horror movie or two, culminating with Halloween, our favorite holiday.

And last night was no exception. Following the workday, we enjoyed a double feature of Happy Death Day (2017) and Happy Death Day 2U (2019) – two well-made, back-to-back horror comedies that fittingly enough were both shot on a college campus in New Orleans.

Speaking of spooky stuff created in the Big Easy, we’re still planning to deliver the remaining digital rewards by the end of this month. That includes the NOLA glossary (and pronunciation guide), the French Quarter map, our author commentaries for the two tours, and the ebook versions of The Dark Side of New Orleans and The Little Big Easy Guide.

In the meantime, though, I wanted to thank the backers who purchased tarot readings during the campaign. Last week, I “performed” three of these online sessions – and each one was super-fun and quite enlightening – so thanks again for letting me stretch my divination skills with you.

Additionally, I wanted to let everyone know that we’ve uploaded a new version of the PDFs that accompany the two audio tours. Apparently, the original QR codes linking to each location in Google Street View have expired, so whether you have or haven’t yet downloaded the audio tours and their related PDFs, please grab the newest version from BackerKit at your earliest convenience.

I also wanted to remind everyone about our upcoming live author Q&A, scheduled for 3pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Saturday, October 22nd. As you might remember, this stretch goal was promised to anyone who pledged $10 or more during the campaign. So, if that describes you, please be on the lookout for an invitation in the next few days.

Lastly, I wanted to let y’all know about two awesome Kickstarter campaigns currently running – both of which involve some of my fellow writers and editors.

DARKEST OF DREAMS horror anthology

The first one, a cryptid horror anthology called Darkest of Dreams, features the spine-tingling work of 14 different authors – and ends tomorrow at 7pm EDT. So, if you’re intrigued by the mysterious and horrifying world of cryptozoology, be sure to back this campaign in the next 21 hours!

Grow Your Creative Mindset

The second campaign, launched a few days ago by my good friend Mariëlle S. Smith, focuses on a brand-new book and oracle deck meant to grow your creative mindset – or, in her words, help you “cultivate creative courage & kick imposter syndrome to the curb.” I’ve learned a lot from Mariëlle’s other writer-focused books (many of which are included in this campaign), so I’m eager to check this one out as well – and you should, too!

Well, that’s all for now. Remember to keep an eye out for the official invitation to our author Q&A – and let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns before then.

Thanks, as always, for your support!

Sincerely,

Laura Martone

A FOLLOW-UP AND AN UPDATE
3 months 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!
3 months 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!
3 months 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!
4 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.