Today I am interviewing Bryan Camp, author of the new fantasy novel, The City of Lost Fortunes, which has earned starred reviews in Kirkus, Booklist, and Library Journal.
DJ: Hi Bryan! Thanks for agreeing to do this interview!
For readers who aren’t familiar with you, could you tell us a little about yourself?
Bryan Camp: Sure! I’ve lived in and around New Orleans my whole life, and for most of those thirty-mumble years, I’ve wanted to be a writer. I studied creative writing in undergrad, earned an MFA from the University of New Orleans, and was a member of the Clarion West class of 2012. I’m married to a lovely high school math teacher without whom I would have accomplished approximately zero of the goals life goals I just mentioned. For the six years before I sold my novel I was a high school English teacher, and before that I taught community college, worked in an office in an oil refinery, and once, for a single weird, desperate week, was a parcel delivery driver in Alabama.
DJ: What is The City of Lost Fortunes about?
Bryan: It’s a murder mystery set in a post-Katrina New Orleans where the gods, magics, and monsters of various world mythologies exist. The story follows Jude Dubuisson, who is a demi-god, though he doesn’t know which deity is his father. He gets pulled into a tarot card based poker game along with Thoth, the Egyptian god of scribes, Legba, the voodoo loa of the crossroads, a vampire, an angel, and Dodge, the Fortune God of New Orleans. When Dodge is murdered immediately after the game, Jude must discover who killed him, and why.
DJ: What were some of your influences for The City of Lost Fortunes?
Bryan: Lewis Hyde’s Trickster Makes This World was a major influence on this novel. It’s scholarly study of the roles Trickster figures play in the cultures where their stories are still shared. He argues that they’re far more than mere stories, that they influence the psyche of the cultures that tell them. His work wasn’t my introduction to Trickster stories or to syncretic myth, but the way Hyde tied it all together in a tight, compelling package really helped me get my head around some of the themes at the center of the book. Continue reading