April 24, 2016

Oak, Cypress, Spanish Moss and Pamela S. Thibodeaux-So Much in Louisiana

To some folks, Louisiana is still considered a backwoods state with dirt roads, pirogues and alligators swimming in the yard. And, when most people think of Louisiana, they think New Orleans and assume every city is like the Crescent City.
So not true!

Sure oak and cypress trees draped in Spanish moss shroud the bayous in an air of mystery, but the roads are plenty and paved. Alligators are not used as ‘Louisiana Guard Dogs’ either.
True, we spell things funny like Go “Geaux” Tigers and many are proud members of the ‘Who Dat’ nation, but, all in all, we’re just like everyone else who exhibit hospitality and pride in our sports teams.
We are a people who, when forced from our homes in Nova Scotia, survived by learning to live off the land and eat what we could trap, kill, catch or grow. Crawfish (aka: crayfish) and crabs are delicacies and best eaten when boiled in spices along with corn and potatoes.
We are also one of the few (if not the only) state that has ‘parishes’ in lieu of ‘counties.’

It is in this area rich in History and culture, that I was born. I’m from SW Louisiana, the town of Iowa, just 43 miles east of the TX border. My family history goes way back into the earliest settlers of Calcasieu Parish – which is one of the 3rd largest in the state. I grew up on boiled seafood, fried fish, gumbo and rice and gravy. In fact, if you go to some of the mom & pop diners in Louisiana, you can find treats such as a Cajun Delite or Gummy burger which is served on sweet, jalapeno bread one with Crawfish Etoufe’ on top  of the hamburger patty.
Festivals are a big part of our culture, from Mardi Gras to Contraband Days. Iowa is also home of the Rabbit Festival. 

No matter where you go or what you do, you’re bound to have a blast in Louisiana.

My book The Visionary is set in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on a piece of property that once belonged in my family. The History surrounding this property goes all the way back to Jean LaFitte, the gentleman pirate who was a friend of Joseph and Laonise LeBleu, my great-great grandparents. Known as ‘Grandma Jo,’ Laonise was quite a character as Taylor Forestier, my heroine, discovers while researching the property. A pipe supply company now owns the place where my ancestors made a home, but the history lives on, in my book and others that tell the story of Lake Charles / Calcasieu Parish’s earliest settlers.

And what luck for you! I'm Giving Away: An E copy (Kindle, Nook or other E reader) of The Visionary....Leave a comment and your contact info for your chance! 

So if you ever find yourself in SW Louisiana, or traveling through, stop by Iowa or Lake Charles and see what we have to offer. Have lunch at one of our seafood diners and take a walk along the beach or seawall. I promise you’ll enjoy yourself. Discover more by visiting our Tourist Bureau’s website: http://www.visitlakecharles.org/

Author bio: Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”

Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com  
Twitter: http://twitter.com/psthib @psthib

Purchase Links:
Amazon Hardcover http://amzn.to/n8as1b 
Print @Create Space: http://bit.ly/1lNvyWD  
Deeper Shopping http://bit.ly/19lw1Kc  
(info provided by author)


  1. Good Morning!

    Thank you, Annette for this opportunity to share something about my hometown/state.

    I look forward to interacting with your readers this week.

    Good luck and God's blessings to ALL

  2. How about a few recipes? Louisiana's the home of some of the best cooking in America, and I don't mean just in New Orleans. As I recall, we visited Iowa when we drove from The Big Easy to Huston, Texas and had one fine feast at a local restaurant. Had to love that gumbo, rich and spicy. Yum!

  3. Louisiana is a gorgeous state. It's a great setting for your book and I love the historical aspects of it. Good luck to you!

  4. As you research the property your family once owned, and then include it in your stories, I have to think that you feel utterly close to your characters, no matter they are fiction. It's wonderful to know your roots and be able to draw from that accumulation of history. Just plain nice to know your roots. Aside from that, my roommate did some work in Louisiana. He made it a point to sight see through all the areas where he was sent. Louisiana is one of the few places he always talks about fondly and says he'd like to return.

  5. I've never been to Louisiana, but I sure would love to drop by some day! Thanks for sharing your lovely state with us. The book sounds intriguing!

  6. You made Louisiana sound delightful, Pamela. I drove through the state decades ago, and attended an RWA conference in New Orleans back in the '90s. Might be time for another visit.

  7. Good post...learned more about the state...love crawdad etouffe, by the way!

  8. Pam,

    You have a very interesting state history. I also enjoyed reading your novel and recommend it to other readers.

  9. Hi Pam,

    It is a pleasure to learn more about you and the state you call home. I have enjoyed several visits to Louisiana beginning as a teen on a school trip to New Orleans. And yes, I always think of Spanish Moss draped over trees and a mysterious aura surrounding ante-bellum mansions when I think of Louisiana. So romantic. (Sigh) I wish you continued success with your books.

  10. I never thought about including a recipe in the interview, Ken but you can find one for Crawfish Cornbread here: http://ashleyyorkauthor.com/blog/foodyfriday-crawfish-cornbread-with-pamela-thibodeaux/

    Thanks Kara! Researching this was a treat.

    Oh wow, Mary, how interesting! If you two come for a visit, let me know I'd love to meet you in person!

    If you ever do get here, Leah, let's make time to get together!

    Yep Maris, does sound like it's time for another trip here...let me know when you do!

    Oh Tony-Paul, I LOVE crawafish etouffe too!

    Thanks so much Jacqueline. I'm glad you enjoyed The Visionary. I pray everyone who reads it is blessed.

    Thank you so much Linda....that Spanish moss is lovely but full of red bugs so beware! and the antebellum homes are wonderful to visit.

    THANK YOU ALL for stopping by and leaving a comment! You're all entered in the drawing to win an E copy of The Visionary.


  11. I love Louisiana! A gorgeous state with such a rich history. You described it so well!

  12. It's such a treat to learn about your family history and the great state you live in: culture rich. Thanks, Pam. Your book sounds like a great read. Cheers

  13. Been there. Fun state. Love to visit again. Best of luck with your books.

  14. Oh wow, thanks Alicia. I might love Bandera TX but Louisiana will always be home :-)

    Thanks Marilyn...I'm sure all states are culture rich but Louisiana has been put down for so long in so many ways...I just wanted to throw out a positive note.

    Well jrlindermuth, if you do visit again, let me know so we can grab a cup of coffee.

    Thank you ALL for stopping by and commenting.
    Good luck in the drawing.

  15. Nice post! You really captured the flavor of Louisiana. Love the idea of author interviews from across the US! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  16. This is a great idea Annette has MJ.
    Glad you enjoyed the post.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  17. I never knew about a town called Iowa! I've always wanted to go to the state of Iowa and New Orleans. Thanks for this post!

  18. Well if you ever get to New Orleans, Hope, let me know and we'll meet somewhere between there and here LOL!

    Thanks for stopping by.


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