‘Debut Author Spotlight’ is a Saturday feature at Book Chick City. We will be showcasing a debut author each week from the genres of horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. We will give you all the relevant book information as well as an insight into the author.


Suzanne Johnson writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance. Her Sentinels of New Orleans series kicks off April 10 with the release of Royal Street. Suzanne, a longtime New Orleans resident who lived in the city at the time of Hurricane Katrina, runs a book blog, Preternatura, and is a blogger at Tor.com.

You can also find her online at www.suzanne-johnson.com. She currently lives in Auburn, Alabama.


  1. My Royal Street heroine, wizard Drusilla Jaco, is named after a mashup of my great-grandmothers, Drusilla Harris and Ida Jaco, and DJ’s grandmother’s hometown of Winfield, Alabama, is where I grew up. Sadly, however, I am not a wizard, nor all that young, nor blonde—well, most of the time.
  2. The house in which wizard Gerry St. Simon lives, on Bellaire Drive in the New Orleans’ suburb of Lakeview, is based on my first home in New Orleans—located a few blocks from the 17th Street Canal levee breach that was responsible for flooding most of metro New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. It had the unfortunate house number of 666-0; I couldn’t make this stuff up.
  3. My canine writing assistants, Shane and Tank, are named after professional wrestlers. I was going through a phase—that’s my only defense.
  4. All the books in the Sentinels of New Orleans series are named for streets in New Orleans. Royal Street is both a famous street in the French Quarter and at one time held a warehouse for stolen loot owned by pirate Jean Lafitte, who’s a major character in the books. It also represents the New Orleans “royalty” who appear in the book, including Lafitte and jazz great Louis Armstrong. Book two is titled River Road, and book three is (tentatively) Elysian Fields.
  5. Royal Street was my first work of fiction—not just the first to be published, but the first, period. Unless you count a bizarre short story about a drug-addicted superhero I wrote in eighth grade English as a class assignment, frightening my teacher.
  6. In my “other life,” I’m associate editor of a quarterly university magazine, where I write articles on things like polymer engineering, turfgrass management, and football. Lots and lots of football.
  7. I’m a tad obsessive-compulsive. Well, maybe more than a tad. Okay, my crit partner calls me “Rain Man.” But color-coded novel outlines are good, I keep telling her. And pretty.
  8. I’m a hopeless reality-TV junkie. If I could find a good long-haul “Ice Road Trucker” or a “Swamp People” alligator hunter (must have teeth), I’d be happy. As my BFF says, I’m proof that “you can’t breed out redneck in one generation.” I also fear I’ll end up on an episode of “Hoarders,” buried under piles of books.
  9. I always listen to Louisiana music while writing the Sentinels books. I’ve listened to so much Zachary Richard, who sings primarily in Cajun French, that I’ve re-learned most of my forgotten French from school. Except in pidgin form. With a Southern accent.
  10. I like crafty things. I make small art quilts using a technique called English Paper Piecing, and have been making gemstone jewelry (using stones infused with magic by my wizards, of course) to give out to Royal Street readers.


 RELEASE DATE: April 2012 | PUBLISHER: TOR Books | GENRE: Urban Fantasy

As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco’s job involves a lot more potion-mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ’s boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond.

Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans’ fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters. While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now, the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering the soldiers sent to help the city recover.

To make it worse, Gerry has gone missing, the wizards’ Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ’s new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and for the serial killer turns personal when DJ learns the hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter gumbo. ROYAL STREET (Sentinels of New Orleans #1) Released April, 2012 from Tor.


Thanks to Tor I have a copy of Royal Street to give away to one lucky winner! This giveaway in US/Canada ONLY and ends 19th April 2012 To enter please follow instructions below.



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Carolyn created Book Chick City in July 2009 due to her love of books. A Brit chick obsessed with zombies, kick-arse chicks and sexy heroes. She's also seriously addicted to chocolate, shopping, and coffee. Her favourite genres are Urban Fantasy, Romance and Zombie Lit... Brrraaaaiiinnnnsss!


miki April 12, 2012 at 9:26 pm


i really love suzanne and her book seems more than fantastic unfortunately being international i can't enter the giveaway but good luck to all of you who can

all the best


Aurian April 13, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Thanks for another great interview Suzanne, I am getting to know you better and better. And I also love watching those big hunky beefy guys wrestle!


erin April 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Thanks for a great post and giveaway! I've really been interested in this book… it sounds very fun!


Holly April 14, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Great interview! It's always interesting to learn how authors come up with their stories.
Thanks for the chance to win!


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