Ellen Urbani’s novel Landfall and your book club

Awhile back, I had the privilege of getting an early peek at Ellen Urbani’s much-anticipated forthcoming novel, Landfall. Set in the midst of Hurricane Katrina, the novel is not so much about the storm but about the maelstrom of our human lives and, specifically, the sudden collision of two pairs of women, mothers and daughters,Continue reading “Ellen Urbani’s novel Landfall and your book club”

A Hagridden Christmas village?

My wife called this “an odd sort of Christmas village.” Back in March 2013, when I was in Louisiana on my research trip (thanks again to the Literary Arts and the Oregon Literary Fellowship that made that possible), I spent some time touring historic villages to get a sense of the buildings and town lifeContinue reading “A Hagridden Christmas village?”

Louisiana research trip: the numbers (and the end)

To wrap up my posts about the trip and the research and my book, I thought I’d share some numbers. My trip lasted 10 days, including 2 days of travel. In those 10 days, I visited: 8 specific locations connected with events in my novel 2 wildlife refuges, where I walked 3 trails (I walkedContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the numbers (and the end)”

Louisiana research trip: the people

In Louisiana, I had the terrific good fortune to meet with some wonderful people. The librarians and staff at the Cameron Parish Library and the Calcasieu Parish Public Library, in particular, deserve more praise than I can offer for their patience and help during my trip. I also am tremendously grateful for the volunteers atContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the people”

Louisiana research trip: the bibliography

People who’ve been reading this blog for years will know the score. Way, WAY back in 2009 (that’s, like, two generations ago in blog years), I started the first draft of my Civil War-era novel set down in Louisiana. And even though the story itself isn’t true, there were so many historical facts and regionalContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the bibliography”

Louisiana research trip: the photos

What follows is a series of photos — just some of the photos I took — from my trip to southwest Louisiana to research the final details of my Civil War novel, Hagridden. While my book isn’t strictly, solely historical, it is set in a certain historical and regional reality, and what details echo historyContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the photos”

Louisiana research trip: the beginning

A couple of weeks ago, during the last ten days of March, I used the funds from my Oregon Literary Fellowship to travel to southwest Louisiana to research the final details of my Civil War novel, Hagridden. I stayed in Cameron and travelled all over the region, visiting libraries and wildlife refuges, touring museums andContinue reading “Louisiana research trip: the beginning”