Reality and Imagination are Fixing to Clash

“I spent some time in New Orleans. I had to live on rice and beans. I hitched to Texas when the sun was beating down. Won’t nothing bring you down like your hometown.”

Steve Earle

Well, the week has finally arrived. I’m headed back to South Louisiana for an extended soaking of all that is spicy and joyous in Acadiana. Family, festivals, and not a little bit of old-school gorilla marketing for my New Bayou Books (check the stalls of your favorite bars for stickers).

Look for me at the Black Pot festival. Dance with me at Festival Acadiens. See if you can keep up on the Tour de Attakapas 10K that starts in Gerard park this Sunday. Better yet, come check out the reading at the Sulphur Library on Saturday, the 22nd.

I’m working on my third book set in Acadiana. Writing them from afar has been interesting because, no matter how much you think you know a place, all you really know is the glossy picture your mind paints for you. The little shops are not as glamorous as you remember. That one street you doesn’t end where you thought it did. The humidity doesn’t quite feel like you remember. It doesn’t quite match up. And that’s fine.

I know this because I’ve been back to Eunice, my hometown, once since I published the first two New Bayou Books. But that was a short trip, just 10 days all about catching up with family after the two-year COVID drought.

This one will be different. Family will be there, of course. But this time, it’s all about leaning into all the nutty richness that South Louisiana in fall has to offer. And . . . damn! I can’t wait to get me some.

Published by New Bayou Books

JR Reed started New Bayou Books to spark a revolution in Louisiana literature. The goal of the company is simple: to great writers out of the shadows to carry on the Louisiana literary tradition.

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