Poem Accepted for Publication in Deep South Magazine

I just got some great news. 

I came across a great publication the other day, Deep South Magazine, and on a whim I submitted the poem that I first published here a few months ago. Deep South Magazine is really focused on Southern culture and since I pride myself as both a Southerner and a Southern writer the magazine is especially interesting to me.

The editor contacted me this morning to let me know that they would be publishing the poem in an issue this summer, which is especially appropriate since Winter In Louisiana is really about our lack of winter.

That motivates me to go ahead and work on the collection of poems, Always the Heat, that I started.

I'll let you know when the poem is published but in the meantime check out the magazine at the link above. 

Second Chance Moving Along

I have gotten a couple of inquiries about Second Chance, the next novel in the Noah Chance series, and wanted to give an update.

I am devoting myself to working only on it until I am finished, rather than my usual practice of writing on several at the same time. Unfortunately, Noah, Jennifer and Spencer are being difficult and refuse to help. They are forcing me to do all of the work myself at this point.

Usually at some point in the story the characters take over and the book writes itself. At some point I'm sure that they'll quit being lazy and get to work but so far they've been little help so I am still trudging along. I hope to have it finished in time for all of the book signings and appearances coming up next month.

I know what's going to happen (or at least I think I do) and that's pretty unusual. I'm at bout 40,000 words and 150 pages so I'm making progress but not the kind of progress I want to make.

I'm going to blame my wife for this because she dusted my desk the other day (for which I thank her) and moved my keyboard and mouse pad from its carefully placed position. Now I have to tinker with it until it is just right so I'm sure that's why the progress is slow.

Well, back to work and hopefully I'll see some of you at the signings in April. These are all in the Texas area stretching from Denton to Houston. 

Music for No’ Chance Video Selected


I am extremely happy to announce that after spending hours and hours and hours listening to, literally, hundreds of songs we have selected the one we will use.  It was much harder than we anticipated choosing the background music for the video we are working on to promote the Noah Chance series and, especially, the first book No' Chance.

The song we selected is a great one performed by a great artist, Ain't No Grave by Audrey Richter.

I actually selected the song first and then listened to every version I found but Audrey's voice and the tempo of the song absolutely fit my vision for the video. I located Audrey through LinkedIn.com, dropped her an email and was pleased to hear back from her later the same day. Within a day or so we had worked out a deal for me to use the song and I am looking forward to making the video as well as starting a great friendship with the singer.

Audrey said I could post the song here and I've included a link to where you can buy her CD. I'll also throw a biography up as soon as I receive it from her but I wanted go get this online so you can  hear why I'm so excited about her agreeing to be a part of this project. 



Second Chance – Once Again, the Characters Are Writing the Story

I'm still working on the Louisiana book but decided to jump over to the second book in the Noah Chance series and work on it some. I'm 135 pages into it (about 34,000 words) and once again the characters and the story are taking over.

I don't write from an outline and, with few exceptions, really don't know where the books are headed. I may have some general ideas as to settings and concepts but I am usually as surprised by what happens as the readers (although I do get to find out a little earlier).

In Second Chance, a character twisted on me and changed a lot of the story as well as tying in with a topic I have been reading about for some years waiting for it to work into a book.

I'm curious to see where this leads and it did bog me down a little because I had to go back and make a few changes for continuity but the book is moving forward and now has another interesting twist.

For those of you interested, I have updated my appearance schedule and it looks like I will be at a signing in Denton, Tx. in April, at the Indie Book Festival in Houston in April, back at the Natchitoches – NSU Folk Festival in July, and at the Louisiana Studies Conference in September.

If you have any questions, comments, or criticisms, let me know!

A Favorite Movie Line

I was watching one of my favorite movies the other day, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (anyone have any idea why it was spelled that way?) and Brad Pitt recited one of my favorite quotes from any character in any movie.

To set it up, Pitt plays Lt. Aldo Raine, the leader of an Allied squad working in Germany to kill, and scalp, Nazis. Aldo Raines is looking out a window and across the street to where there is a rendezvous scheduled between three of his men and a German actress working for the British. He is quite upset that the meeting is to take place in a tavern, which he knew, that was located in a basement, which he did not.

The exchange goes as follows:


Aldo is dressed like a French civilian. Hicox is dressed in a

German grey S.S. Cap't uniform. They look out of a window, in an

apartment, in the village of Nadine, overlooking the tavern.



          You didn't say the goddamn rendez-vous

          was in a f**kin' basement.



          I didn't know.



          You said it was in a tavern?



          it is a tavern.



          Yeah, in a basement. You know,

          fightin’ in a basement offers a lot

          of difficulties, number one being,

          you’re fighting in a basement.

I'm not sure why I like that so much, other than it absolutely rings true as to Pitt's character and writing conversation that stays true to a character is one of the hardest things a writer ever faces.

Update on the Louisiana Novel

I had a reader ask about this the other day and recommend that I keep updating the posts to let people know how the work was coming.

The novel about Louisiana is progressing in spurts, still on track to be finished and in print in time for the Natchitoches NSU Folk Festival in July. 

I finished the chapters up through the explorations of DeSoto but to be honest, got a little burned out on writing about the explorers. The next chapter that I was going to do was going to be about Rene Robert LaSalle, but I couldn't get motivated to start moving on it. Writing historical fiction isn't as easy as a regular novel, not if you want to stay somewhat true to history. With a regular novel I can just sit at the computer and let the characters take over, but with historical fiction I have committed to sticking to historical timelines and facts, to some extent anyway.

What I finally realized is that with a historical novel like Louisiana, I don't have to write linearly. I can jump from the 1500s, to the 20th century, write a chapter or two there, then go back and write about another age. The timeline is laid out for me, so I don't have to worry about inconsistencies like I would in a regular novel.

With that said, I am about 16k words and about 60 pages into the book and have just started the section on Huey P. Long, one of the most interesting characters in Louisiana history. I actually have some Huey P. memorabilia so I'm going to dig that out and put it on my desk to keep me motivated through his life, then see what area comes next.

On another note, my mom told me that she saw that someone had just put up a new bottle tree there in Natchitoches. I don't know if they were one of the many people who purchased a copy of The Bottle Tree but if anyone has been inspired by the book to do a bottle tree I'd be honored if you could send me a picture or two to post on the website.