Saturday, November 26, 2011

Blog Tour with Pamela Thibodeaux

BWG is excited to celebrate the release of The Visionary by Pam Thibodeaux.

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.”

You can keep up with Pam at her website, her blog and through the Bayou Writers’ Group.


A visionary is someone who sees into the future Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society.  Can the love of God and the awesome healing power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives?  Find out in…The Visionary ~ Where the power of God's love heals the most wounded of souls.


            Pam took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down. “I love you, Trevor. Why won’t you talk to me? Tell me what’s wrong.”

            “You have no idea what love is.” He hissed through teeth clenched as tightly as the fists by his side. “Most people have no inkling as to what true love is. True love is sticking together when your whole world is falling apart, trusting each other when you can’t depend on another living soul, and being willing to die or kill for each other.”

You can purchase The Visionary at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

For everyone out there who needs and extra shot of encouragement, here’s what Pam says when asked: When do you feel like it all began to come together for you as a writer—was there a particular moment?

Answer: After years as a closet writer, penning stories in 5-subject notebooks, I'd have to say when I purchased my first, USED word processor and started typing in all those handwritten manuscripts I really began to feel like a writer.

Congratulations, Pam! The Visionary is a keeper.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

BWG Conference - 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011, is a day I won't soon forget. It was one of our better writers' conferences, the annual Bridge to Publication sponsored by the Bayou Writers' Group, Inc. Really, I can't think of a Bridge to Publication conference I've attended that was bad. Plus, good food, schmoozing with other writers, and spending a whole day away from the computer screen. What more do you want?

Okay, actually, you want quite a bit more. You want speakers worth hearing and information that'll help you be a better writer, help you get published and understand things about writing and publishing you didn't get before. If you have a finished book, you want an agent or editor willing to hear about it. All this and more happened for me at Saturday's conference.

I've been to a few big conferences, including the Santa Fe Writers' Conference and the one at Sewanee, Tennessee. Big names at both, several days of seminars, readings, conferences, and writerly fellowship. Enjoyed myself no end. I'm willing to say I enjoyed this Bridge to Publication Conference as much as I enjoyed either of the big ones. Anita Mumm (the Nelson Literary Agency), D. B. Grady, and Mark Harris were three of the most interesting and generous speakers I've ever heard. They gave their all in their talks and took every question seriously, pausing to ponder sometimes and make sure every one got a thorough answer.

Mark Harris gave a disclaimer that he wasn't used to speaking at such events, and then went on to give a riveting talk about his take on writing in general and writing about pop culture in particular. When asked to define pop culture, he said it's the thing we all share, the movies and TV shows we've seen, books we've read, music we've loved, as opposed to the fine arts, like opera and ballet. When I told him he was a great speaker and should do it more often, he laughed and said, "Maybe not."

Anita Mumm put a human face on what often comes across as an anonymous and indifferent industry:  literary agency. She said how eager most agents are to see new work by new writers; at the same time, nearly one hundred percent of the work they're pitched is rejected. It's not personal and is in the writer's interest as well as the agency's. Agents aren't gatekeepers, Mumm emphasized. No one can sell your work if they don't have the contacts to pitch it to or if they don't like the work. We writers put down books we don't like all the time. We must allow agents to do the same, no matter how much someone else might admire it. An agent who rejects your work isn't pushing you away but moving you along to someone better suited to your needs.

D. B. Grady's disarming humility and charm didn't mask the keen, observing mind behind it. He's a conference-goer's hero. His first conference was a Bridge to Publication several years ago. He followed every bit of advice he heard and is now a published, prize-winning author and correspondent for The Atlantic. If we all followed his example, we'd be running the publishing industry. BWG is so proud of David, we're bursting.

I don't know what BWG will or can do to top the quality of 2011's conference, but I can't wait to find out.

Jan Rider Newman is a published, prize-winning writer of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction, currently writing a fantasy novel. She co-edits and publishes Swamp Lily Review, An Online Journal of Louisiana Literature & Arts (; contributes articles and book reviews to LitStack (; edits the Gator Talk newsletter for the Bayou Writers' Group; and is the group's current webmaster.

Monday, November 7, 2011

More Than Just Writing by Sherry Perkins

 Although I love to write, it’s more than that.  I want to  share how a love of writing and reading continually enriches my life. 
My involvement with Bayou Writers’ Group has given me such mind-blowing experiences.  I’ve heard great insight from experts such as Bill Sherman, Brett Downer, and Linda Yezak to name a few.  Along with Jan, I helped judge a student poetry competition.  My husband even drove three hours to Biloxi, Mississippi, so I could speak to the Gulf Coast Writers’ Association.  Just last month as a volunteer at the Louisiana Book Festival, I added a few more experiences in my bag. 

I met Edwin Edwards and the writer of the prior governor’s story, Leo Honeycutt.  I met Mr. Edwards’ book publisher, former Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown.  I met ABC Political Analyst Cokie Roberts, and heard her speak. She is funny! I even introduced George Rodrigue, the famous blue dog painter.  Yet, as the day wore on the ultimate experience awaited me.

My mom and I perused the books inside the Barnes and Noble tent.  Since my maiden name is Taylor, when I saw Taylor on the cover of a book alongside a football player, I said to my mom, “Look, this guy played professional football.”  A well-dressed lady stood near.  She overheard my comment and said, “If you want to meet Jim Taylor, he’s right over there,” she pointed.  We jumped on the chance and followed her.  As his wife, she introduced us to the famed LSU football player and subsequent Green Bay Packers player.  Then, she did the wildest thing!

She took her husband’s right hand and removed the largest ring I have ever seen.  Grinning, she held it up and asked, “Would you like to hold a Super Bowl ring?”  My jaw hit the floor.  My eyes bulged out.  I didn’t know what to do except hold my hand out.  Then, she placed the ring in my hand!  Taking up a third of the palm of my hand was a 1966 Green Bay Packer’s Super Bowl ring.  She added, “It’s from the very first Super Bowl.”  Like two star-struck idiots, we had our pictures made with Mr. Jim Taylor, said our “thank yous” and grinned for the rest of the day.

You see, our love of reading and writing spans more than just physical writing or curling up with a good book.  Both my parents loved to read.  Like me, my mom reads vigorously.  My dad also loved to read.  Their love of reading passed to me.  It’s a gift I’m most thankful for.  But, my love spans more than reading and writing.  Being around others who share the same interest lifts my spirit.  I visited with Curt, Colleen, and Rodney at their respective booths, and bought a book from each. 

 My hope is you get to the place in your life where it’s more than just reading and writing.  It’s enjoying others and experiencing new things.  It’s living!

Sherry Perkins has been published in magazines and newspapers across the state of Louisiana. She loves speaking to people, organizing, being supportive of others, and working hard. Sherry is the 2011 President of Bayou Writers Group and conference coordinator for the November conference--A Bridge to Publication.