On one of my trips to New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina, I stumbled on an art collective displaying the work of local artists. One piece I fell in love with was, fortunately, affordable so it found its way into my suitcase.
Beside the fact of being a sucker for anything with words, when I learned that the artist had used wood from shotgun homes destroyed in the hurricane, I was all the more taken with the work. At that time, I didn’t know that I would be writing a historical novel set in New Orleans.
So when I did write that novel, there was no doubt in my mind that the main character and his big sister would live in a shotgun home. There is debate about both where the name and style originated; I’m partial to the theory that Haitians brought the floor plan with them. Regardless, a shotgun house is narrow and long, with one room behind another and no hallways. There would be two to three rooms in all. A shotgun with a room over the kitchen is called a “camelback.”
Home sweet home, indeed.