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.