What process did you use for character selection/development?
Traveling to Haiti on two separate occasions in 2010 after the devastating earthquake and my fascination with African American history led to the creation of the Toussaint family. As a native Louisianan, I was completely blown away by the cultural similarities between Haiti and South Louisiana. The Toussaint family was created in the spirit of both cultures.
Excerpt Behind Closed Doors 2
Chapter 1: For Better or Worse
My parents were born worlds apart, but they were connected in ways that still fascinate me to this day. Like Haiti, New Orleans was heavily influenced by the French during slavery. While many of the Louisiana and Haitian customs were diluted over the years, the Creole language and the practice of voodoo remained strong. A little known fact about the relationship between the two cultures was Haiti’s role in the Louisiana Purchase. France was forced to sell its Louisiana territory to the United States after the Haitian Slave Revolution in 1803. France’s finances were depleted during this conflict, as the French were no match for the ferocious Haitian warriors. As a result, Haiti is the only nation in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt. My father was extremely proud of this fact and spoke of it often. Even more, he was proud of the fact that our family surname was the same as the given name of the dark-skinned Haitian general who orchestrated the revolt, Toussaint Louverture.