Sunday, October 20, 2013

Paranormal book events, plus new releases, festivals

             It’s going to be a fun October.
            First, I’ll be joining Lafayette author Camilla Hunt Cole from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday at Barnes & Noble for a paranormal book signing (our pens will be acting of their own accord!). Cole has published “Long Shadows,” a Southern Gothic psychological mystery that concerns a 17-year-old girl who is trapped with her four colorful aunts in her family’s sinister antebellum home by horrors her forefathers committed there more than 100 years before.
             Next, I’ll head over to Arnaudville where I’ll join mediums Vicky Cormier and Allyson Glynn Schram and Cajun Traiteur Becca Begnaud for a “Coffee, Tea and Spirit” discussion from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Little Big Cup. The talk will be followed by a booksigning of my ghost collection, “Haunted Lafayette.”
            Next up is “Otherworldly Voices,” part of the Voices Seasonal Reading Series, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, at Carpe Diem! Gelato – Espresso Bar, 812 Jefferson St. in downtown Lafayette. I’ll be reading from “Haunted Lafayette” and telling local ghost tales, and Carpe Diem! will serve up seasonal gelato.
            Hope to see you there.

New releases
            The University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press has compiled more than 100 paintings of Dennis Paul Williams, with a portrait of Williams by book editor Philip Gould and an overview of his art by former Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque, in “Soul Exchange: The Paintings of Dennis Paul Williams. The St. Martinville native was driven as a child to draw, paint and explore artistic materials as he embraced his Creole heritage, where every aspect of life revolves around faith, celebration and beauty. Williams has works in numerous museums in the United States and beyond and many of his paintings can also be found in private collections around the world. Williams has also performed in his brother’s band, Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha Chas. He will be signing “Soul Exchange” from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum on the UL campus.
            David Middleton has published a collection of poetry rooted in personal and regional history titled “The Fiddler of Driskill Hill,” published by LSU Press. Born in Shreveport, Middleton served as professor of English, Poet-in-Residence, Distinguished Service Professor, Alcee Fortier Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Languages and Literature at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux.
            New Orleans was home to numerous authors but where did they pen their famous tales? Angela Carll shows readers “Where Writers Wrote in New Orleans,” newly released by Margaret Media. The cover and introduction was created by Eugene Cizek, with pen and ink drawings of various buildings by the late Lloyd Sensat with a few by Cizek.
            Jana DeLeon, a native of southweset Louisiana, has just released her latest Miss Fortune Mystery titled “Louisiana Longshot,” where CIA assassin Fortune Redding is about to undertake her most difficult mission ever in Sinful, Louisiana. The book was listed No. 2 on the self-published best-seller list last week. Her latest mystery, “Swamp Sniper,” came out last month. For more information, visit
Inaugural reading
            Louisiana’s new state poet laureate, Ava Leavell Haymon, will be formally presented and perform her first official reading at 6 p.m. Thursday at Louisiana Humanities Center, 938 Lafayette St. in New Orleans. The event begins with a reception, followed by the introduction and reading. Books will be available for sale by Garden District Books. 
            The reading continues a tradition that began with 2009-11 poet laureate Darrell Bourque and continued with Julie Kane’s first official appearance in 2011. 

Book festivals
            Festival of Words, a literary event that offers workshops in the public schools, drive-by poetry, public readings by big-name authors and much more, will be Nov. 7-9 in Grand Coteau. To reach their fund-raising goals, the festival has created a Kickstarter account with a Nov. 5 deadline at
            The Louisiana Book Festival will be Saturday, Nov. 2, on the Capitol grounds in Baton Rouge. Novelist, essayist and screenwriter Christine Wiltz has been named recipient of the this year’s Louisiana Writer Award for 2013 and will be recognized during the festival. The Louisiana Writer Award is chosen annually by a State Library-appointed committee to recognize extraordinary contributions to Louisiana’s literary and intellectual life. Wiltz is the author of five novels, all set in New Orleans, as well as numerous articles and essays that have appeared in such publications as the New Yorker, the Los Angeles Times and Louisiana Life.
            The Louisiana Writer Award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the literary and intellectual life of Louisiana. Past recipients include novelists James Lee Burke, Ernest J. GainesShirley Ann GrauElmore LeonardTim GautreauxValerie MartinJames Wilcox and John Biguenet; children’s author William Joyce; poets Yusef Komunyakaa and William Jay Smith; historian Carl A. Brasseaux; and scholar Lewis P. Simpson.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana,” both from The History Press, and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She teaches writing at UL-Lafayette’s Continuing Education. Write her at