"Cane River is a real place. It's a haunting, beautiful place in the center of the State of Louisiana. And it has the majestic oak trees with the dripping moss. It's lush. It's gorgeous. But it has the feel of the history of America to it as well. Before 1995, I had never even known that Cane River existed. But as I began to go and visit Cane River, I was captivated by the feel of the place."
"A lot of the areas that were the plantations that I talk about in the book no longer exist. For one thing, so much of it was burned by the Civil War. The plantation where my story is set, on the Derbanne lands, was really smaller. [The plantation] had about 40 slaves during its peak, and about 30 slaves when it was sold in 1850. It was just a one story, low slung home not at all like the grand columns and pillars. ... It's very different then the Gone with the Wind image that people have of plantations."
"St. Augustine Church was really built by a free person of color. This is where the free people of color went to church in the early 1800's, and they had reserved eight pews for the white planters along the river, too. The church itself still stands and it's quite a landmark."