DeLaune Michels upcoming book-tour stop in New Orleans is a sort of dual homecoming. The New Yorker was born and raised in south Louisiana, but her new novel, The Safety of Secrets, set in Lake Charles, proves that she has never truly left her Southern roots. The novel tells the story of Fiona and Patricia, whose childhood friendship grows strong in the shadows of their family hardships, and who share the same dream of becoming actresses. When they both move to LA, however, Patricia skyrockets to fame while Fiona struggles. Both Hollywood and difficult marriages test the true nature of their relationship, but a secret from the past ultimately threatens its survival as well as their careers. Says Michel of her inspiration, I wanted to explore deep-rooted loyalty between women, and how sometimes it can be a sword that cuts both ways, opening up whole worlds of safety within the friendship while exacting a price, as well.
Michels family has the sort of legendary and colorful history that anchors this authors strong connection to the region and to New Orleans. The ten published writers in only two generations of Michels family is a notable and incredible statistic, and her relative Helene DeLaunés activity in Marie Antoinettes court and her escape to Louisiana earned the family a place in the history books. Michels personal journey is just as illustrious, including a modeling stint in Europe and acting in Los Angeles before she began her literary career. Reviews so far label her as a promising contemporary author.
DeLauné Michel also is the author of Aftermath of Dreaming. She reads from The Safety of Secrets and signs books at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Garden District Book Shop (2727 Prytania St.). Allison Good