Sunday, October 23, 2016

Louisiana Book Festival is Oct 29 in Baton Rouge; plus conferences and book events this week

            The Louisiana Book Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the State Library of Louisiana, Louisiana State Capitol, Capitol Park Museum, and in tents on neighboring streets in Baton Rouge. It’s a free festival full of children’s activities, authors discussing books, live music, food and so much more. There are more than 220 authors, panelists and other participants and more than 150 programs scheduled for this year. You won’t want to miss it.
Some of the authors attending the Louisiana Book Festival are:
The Advertiser’s own Herman Fuselier and Philip Gould will discuss their new book, “Ghosts of Good Times: South Louisiana Dance Halls Past and Present.”
Barry Jean Ancelet and Denise Gallagher will discuss their book “Jean le Chasseur et ses Chiens” and Ancelet, Zachary Richard, Brenda Mounier and Kirby Jambon present “The Gift of Les Cenelles in Word and Song,: a celebration of Louisiana's French language poetry tradition, past and present,” featuring French Immersion students reading from the original anthology published in New Orleans in 1845.  
Award-winning author and filmmaker William Joyce of Shreveport will discuss his latest children’s book, “Ollie’s Odyssey.” Joyce is also the author of “Billy’s Booger,” “The Numberlys,” “The Man in the Moon,” “Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King,” “A Bean, A Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack,” “Dinosaur Bob,” “Bently & Egg; A Day with Wilbur Robinson” and the No. 1 New York Times bestselling “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” which is also his Academy Award–winning short film.
Award-winning musician Yvette Landry discusses her new young adult story based on a Cajun folktale, “Madame Grand Doigt.”
            Dixon Hearne of Sterlington is the author of “From Tickfaw to Shongaloo,” “Delta Flats: Stories in the Key of Blues and Hope,” nominated for the PEN/Faulkner award and “Plantatia: High-toned and Lowdown Stories of the South,” which was nominated for the PEN/Hemingway award and won the Creative Spirit Award for best general fiction book. He will participate in Louisiana Poets and discuss “Celebrating Short Stories.”
            Wendy Rodrigue intended to present “The Other Side of the Painting” (UL Press) with her husband, artist George Rodrigue, at the 2013 Louisiana Book Festival but George Rodrigue’s illness forced their cancellation. Wendy Rodrigue returns to share their story, as well as plans for continuing Rodrigue’s artistic and philanthropic legacy. Her presentation includes original Rodrigue artwork, including the book’s 1965 cover painting.
Dianne Dempsey-Legnon is a teacher consultant for the Acadiana Writing Project at the UL-Lafayette and author of “Belair Cove: A Novel of Life, Love, and Loss in a Prairie Cajun Village.” She will speak about her latest, “A Louisiana Soldier: Willis A. Fontenot.”
Dixie Poché, author of “Classic Eateries of Cajun Country,” discusses eating out in Acadiana along with Alex Cook.
Sherry T. Broussard, storyteller and author of “African Americans in Lafayette and Southwest Louisiana” and “Louisiana’s Zydeco,” will visit the storytelling tent.
Ann Dobie interviews artist Kelly Guidry and former Louisiana poet laureate Darrel Bourque in “A Chainsaw Guy, a Poet, and a Book Angel.” Guidry created a book angel, which he named “Libby” for libraries and librarians, and used Bourque’s “Words, A Poem” engraved on Libby’s wings.
Michael S. Martin, director of the UL Center for Louisiana Studies and author of “Russell Long: A Life in Politics,” discusses “Creolization in the French Americas.” Former UL Center Director Carl A. Brasseaux will talk about “America Third Coast” with Shane Bernard, Christopher Cenac, Claire Domangue Joller and Wendy Rodrigue. And Bernard will also speak about his latest book, “Teche: A History of Louisiana's Most Famous Bayou.”
 Charlie Spillers, a career federal prosecutor and Justice Attaché for Iraq, will offer tales from his “Confessions of an Undercover Agent: Adventures, Close Calls, and the Toll of a Double Life.”
Judy Christie is the author of nine novels, including “Wreath, A Girl,” optioned for film/TV and twice named Pulpwood Queen Book Club Teen Book of the Year.  She will discuss “Wreath, In Summer: A Wreath Willis Novel.”
Author, radio host and speaker Shellie Rushing Tomlinson of Lake Providence will discuss her new cookbook, “Hungry is a Mighty Fine Sauce: Recipes & Ramblings from the Belle of All Things Southern.”
 Jim Bradshaw shares stories from his latest book, “Cajuns and Other Characters: True Stories From South Louisiana.”
Patricia M. Gaitely relates “Robicheaux's Roots: Culture and Tradition in James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux Novels.”
George Graham of Lafayette talks about his latest cookbook, “Acadiana Table: Cajun and Creole Home Cooking from the Heart of Louisiana.”
And yours truly will be leading a panel on ebook publishing titled “A New Frontier: Electronic Publishing for the Digital Age” along with Julie Smith, Lori Leger, Nancy Duplechain and Farrah Rochon at 11:15 a.m.
For more information, visit

New releases
            Self-publishing has gotten easier and more varied and this new world has become inspiring for many people, including young writers. Take Zelvin Collins II, for instance, a New Orleans teenager who is the son of “Celestial Blue Skies” author Maggie Collins. He was influenced by his mother's work while she was competing in the William Faulkner Pulitzer Prize contest and the Ernest Gaines Award. He wrote his first book, “Tyrone's New Life,” by hand in the summer of 2015, and published it this year. He even drew his own picture of Tyrone onto a piece of paper for the cover of the book. The story is available through

Book events
Registration is ongoing for the annual Bridge to Publication Conference, hosted by the Bayou Writers Group and happening Saturday, Nov. 12, at their new venue, the historic Central School in Lake Charles.  There will be workshops by Christian fiction Author DiAnn Mills, crime-mystery author BJ Bourg, and much more. Registration is $40 for Bayou Writers Group members and $50 for nonmembers but scholarships are available.  For more information, visit
Deborah Burst will sign her latest book, “Spirits from the Bayou,” from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church Fun Day fundraiser in Houma and at 6 p.m. Thursday at the St. Tammany Parish South Slidell Branch library.
Miriam Horn discusses and signs “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland” at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Octavia Books of New Orleans. Fisherman tells the stories of five representatives of this land stewardship movement: a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper and a Gulf fisherman.
Nolan Meditz and Kimberly Ann Southwick will read as part of the Thursday Night Reading presented by the UL-Lafayette English Department, EGSA and Sigma Tau Delta at 7 p.m. Thursday at Poets, 1043 Johnston St. in Lafayette.
Author Dixie Poché is the guest speaker at the Friends of the Lafayette Public Library annual Author Dinner on Thursday at the Petroleum Club of Lafayette. Poché is the author of “Classic Eateries of Cajun Country.” For more information, call Bobbie at (337) 984-8661.
Tales Along the Bayou, featuring musicians Brian and Terri Kinder, storyteller Sylvia Yancy Davis and musician and storyteller Mike Anderson will be from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Kent Plantation House in Alexandria. Ghost tales and ghoulish fun for all ages.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country.” She writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire. Write her at