Today's Featured Louisiana Author is Mr. Todd Michael St.Pierre! He'll be joining us with a Q&A Session, and some excerpts from his books!
1. So tell us a little about yourself.
I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was in elementary school, reading Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein. But my first memory of wanting to write about Louisiana came from reading books by the late Mary Alice Fontenot. I started writing for a major greeting card company when I was 17, one thing led to another and my first book "Somewhere: As Told by Garrett the Parrot" came out when I was 20.
2. How many books do you currently have out? I saw that you have children's book and cookbooks...is there one you prefer working on over the other?
I currently have eight books out, two cookbooks and six children's titles. I am definitely a children's author first and foremost, the cookbooks just sort of happened, when my late Maw-Maw Dorothy passed away, I realized a need to collect her recipes and share them with others, her own family was a mixture of New Orleans folks and Acadiana folks, and a real variety of Louisiana flavors, Creole & Cajun alike. That resulted in my first cookbook "Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, Filé Gumbo." But the children's books are what I have a true drive and passion for creating. Not only did I adore Seuss and Silverstein but I also loved Sendak, Prelutski and Lionni.
3. I also saw that you have several book coming out in 2010...can you tell us about those?
Yes, 2010 will be a busy year for me. First, in February "Knee-high to a Grasshopper" comes out, it is a book for preschoolers. It's the story of Stella Stinkbug and her point of view concerning the BIG, huge world around her, and how she as an itsy-bitsy baby bug relates to and fits into that world. It is illustrated by Lori Walsh, who also illustrated my book "Louisiana State Bird Pageant."
Then in April another children's title "The Crawfish Family Band" comes out, it's the story of Cayenne Crawfish and his siblings Tee-Jangle & Cheramie, along with their parents Papa Jeaux and Mama Claire, they tour Louisiana in their old bus, playing at various festivals around the state, including the Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge, of course. The book is illustrated by New Orleans artist Cherie Langford, and it has been so much fun working on this project with Cherie!
Also in April, a new cookbook "The French Quarter Cookbook" comes out. It picks up where my last cookbook "A Streetcar Named Delicious" left off.
Then in October, the children's book "Thibodeaux Turtle and Boudreaux Bunny" will be released, it's a retelling of The classic Tortoise and the Hare, with a Cajun twist. Thib & Boud is third in my current Louisiana series, which started with the publication of "Nola and Roux: The Creole Mouse and the Cajun Mouse" this past September. Also in October my fourth cookbook "A Confederacy of Scrumptious" comes out. Like I said 2010 will be a busy year for me. ;^)
4. Last but not least where can we find out more info about you and your books? (websites, fan pages, etc.)
My website is LouisianaBoy.com, my website has information and details about me and my available books, plus upcoming events etc. My Facebook Fan Page is FaceBook.com/Roux4U
What do you love about Louisiana?
Wow, such a simple question yet so hard for me to answer because there are so many things I love about Louisiana, and I grew to appreciate Louisiana much, much more at times when I lived away. Not that there was anything wrong with the wonderful other places I have lived, simply that the absence really did make my heart grow fonder. I missed home so much that I just wrote and wrote and wrote about all the wonderful things I was homesick for.
So here are a few of the things I especially love about my Louisiana...Blue Crabs, Brown Pelicans, Crawfish Boils with friends and family, a pirouge ride down Bayou Teche, early morning walks on the levee along river road, the red seeds of a magnolia, Spanish moss, the Evangeline Oak in St. Martinville, Cajun Dance Halls, New Orleans streetcars, poboys, muffulettas, Maw-Maw's Gumbo (better during a cool snap), the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Cane River Christmases, Cajun storytellers, Mardi Gras, Zulu Coconuts, Satchmo, Marie LaVeau, Jean Lafitte, Justin Wilson, Mahalia Jackson, LSU, The Saints, The Hornets, The Ragin' Cajuns and a few thousand other things but I'll stop with that!
Here are some Excerpts from two of Todd-Michael's upcoming books:
Sample from "The Crawfish Family Band" coming in April of 2010
We play Franklin and Lafayette,
You’ll wanna dance! You wanna bet?
And if it rains we're not upset,
We Crawfish don't mind getting WET!Another town, another show!
From Algiers Point to Westwego!
On to Crowley and Carencro,
Down to Houma and Thibodaux.We’re in demand! Hey don’t you know…
Seems like we’re always on the GEAUX!
The jumbo shrimp sure cut a rug,
As blue crab dance The Jitterbug
The oysters like the songs so well
It’s hard to keep them in the shell
Here are the names of the songs on their first CD
"Live From Louisiana"...
(1) The Gumbo Song
(1) The Gumbo Song
(2) My Boiling Point
(3) Save the Wetlands: Turn the Tide
(4) Bayou Self Boogie
(5) Mudbug Madness
(6) My Baby is Hot and Spicy
(7) Heads or Tails (either way I lose)
(8) Shell of a Man
(9) The Crawdaddy Crawl
(10) HEY! HEY! HEY! Etouffee!
(11) Bluesiana (when you’re gone)
(12) Atchafalaya Medley
From Thibodeaux Turtle and Boudreaux Bunny, coming in October of 2010.
Thibodeaux Turtle had less than three weeks to get in shape before the river road race.
Each morning Robicheaux Rooster went jogging with him.
Each afternoon Bastille Bullfrog helped him as he lifted weights.
Each evening Nanan Nutria fixed him healthy meals like okra gumbo and low fat red beans and rice.
By the day of the river road race, believe you me, Thibodeaux Turtle was ready!
Animals from all over the Louisiana bayou country came to watch Thibodeaux and Boudreaux’s race.
Odelia Opossum read the rules and described the course.
“Attention, everybody. The race will begin when I ring this big silver bell. The five-mile course follows the levee and is marked by bright orange balloons. The first one to reach the finish line will be the winner. Runners, take your mark, get set, GEAUX! Odelia Opossum rang the big silver bell.
Boudreaux Bunny bounced out of sight before Thibodeaux Turtle had so much as taken his first step. The crowd clapped and cheered as Thibodeaux inched forward, slow and steady.
Thank you for joining us today Todd-Michael and we hope you'll come back to visit!