In spite of Hurricane Issac keeping Carolyn Haines for returning for Luncheon with Books in August, Haines and her newest novel “Bonefire of the Vanities” were right on schedule Thursday at noon.
“I always look forward to coming to West Point. Issac would just not let up and the flooding around Mobile was relentless,” said Haines. “I’m really glad to make it here around Christmas. I’ve been in Columbus at MUW. I had never been to Columbus before and wish I had had more time to explore. With my animals at home I can’t be gone for very long at a time.”
Haines has been at work on a different type of novel from the “cozy mysteries” with southern sleuth, Sarah Booth Delaney. The novel named “The Darkling” is due to be published April 1, 2013, under the pseudonym R.B. Chesterton. Haines decided to submit this work under a different name to not disappoint her fans who are happy with her more light hearted “Bones” mysteries. The Darkling is in a more dark and serious novel. It leans more toward horror than the cozies Haines is known for. The Darkling will not be a bloody book but will have a creepy, erie feel that her fans may not like at first. Southern gothic is a better term for “The Darkling”. Haines was amused when contacted about the book and was referred to as “he.” That was her intention as there is a idea in the publishing world that women cannot write horror. She plans to prove the antiquated idea wrong. She is by no means trying to conceal her identity as author, she simply doesn’t want someone to buy the book thinking it will be something it isn’t.
“It’s pretty natural that I should write a scary novel. Growing up we would all gather to watch “Thriller” with Boris Karloff. For us that was family time,” said Haines with a laugh. “ I grew up in a creepy old house and we children were told it was haunted. It wasn’t, our mother and grandmother thought that the idea might make us behave. It didn’t work. I was in my room one night reading a scary book and I had managed to scare myself. I went in to crawl in bed with my mama. I was telling her about the book and what had scared me but she wasn’t answering. I shook her and said, “Mama!” She turned over and said in a deep unnatural voice, “WHO!?” She scared me to death and then laughed about it. So now you understand what’s wrong with me!”
Haines is working on a cookbook with recipes that would appeal to her “Bones” characters. She is soliciting ideas from fans of the series on her website. http://www.carolynhaines.com/  If you have any recipes that sound like Jitty the ghost might have made during her time on earth, feel free to submit them.
Her next Sarah Booth Delaney novel “Smarty Bones” will be available May 21, 2013.