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Behind the Book

The (Mostly) True Story Behind the Writing of Soc Au’ Lait Stiff

Pauline Baird Jones The Big Uneasy

It has been a LONG tradition for me to interview myself about the story behind the story. I do this because no one else really wants to go there. 

Sometimes I don’t even want to go there, but a tradition is a tradition and I don’t want any book to feel left out (thank you, Walt Disney for making me feel like every single thing in my life has a brain—even when I’m not sure I have a brain).

So here we are at book NINE in the series!

Soc Au’ Lait Stiff. 

You can learn more about the story by clicking HERE.

And you can read the interview by staying here.

Me: Can you believe we have written nine books in the Big Uneasy series? 

Myself: Considering we started in May of 2013, we should probably be on book eleven, shouldn’t we?

Me: We did write some other books along the way.

Myself: True. Continue with the interview.

Me: Readers will probably wonder what Soc Au’ Lait means.

Myself: It literally means “sack of milk” but is also used as an exclamatory “Wow,” or “what the…”

Me: I plan to use it more when I am exclaiming (looks up how to say it and nods with satisfaction).

Myself: It does have a nice ring to it.

Me: So we had a kind of huge issue with this book. Can you tell us a bit about that.

Myself: We—me—I am a hermit, which caused us problems when I, we, lived in New Orleans, but Mardi Gras is one HUGE crazy party. You—I—never liked it that much. 

Me: Yeah, most people there thought I, or we, were crazy.

Myself: Trying to figure out whether we are singular or plural is probably adding to that impression. 

Me: Right. So how did I solve the problem about writing about Mardi Gras when it wasn’t my favorite?

Myself: I had the heroine be from Wyoming, like you, but not like you, if you know what I mean. 

Me: I do. Maia is a fictional character and I am a real person. 

Myself: For sure. But channeling your Wyoming helped us navigate our fictional Mardi Gras. 

Me: There is something else kind of new in this book.

Myself: Maia has a mother. You’re finally letting them live.

Me: Let’s not get personal here. We—I had good reasons for keeping moms out of my fiction.

Myself: I know. Your mom, no matter how different you made the moms, thought they were modeled after her. Now that she’s been gone for six years, I guess I’m finally ready to reintroduce mothers into my books. 

Me: I learned something else by letting Maia’s mom live. Do you know what it was?

Myself: That mom had always been in all my books—just not a visible mom, but in the values she taught you and the great example she was to me. And bonus, my dad allowed me to let him peek out, too. 

Me: I miss them both. 

Myself: Me, too. 

Me: So that’s the story behind the story. I hope you enjoyed this peek behind the curtain!

Myself: I hope so, too.

Me: It still feels like there are two of us.

Myself: I know but it’s just not possible. Now go away and let me get back to writing.

So there you have it! And I hope you’ll check out Soc Au’ Lait Stiff—or at least use it as your exclamatory statement!

Let the good times roll!

Pauline