The Louisiana Book Festival was an incredible weekend in November! In Baton Rouge, just a hop, skip and a jump from my small town in Mississippi, the festival weekend was nice- not hot and def not cold! It was sunny skies and beautiful weather!
My friend Erin of Deep South Magazine invited me to come for the weekend and hang out with her. Erin was a lucky duck that weekend as she was getting to moderate 2 of the panels of author discussions (Rita Leganski of The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow fame and Shirley Ann Grau!)
I arrived Friday around lunch time- and after a quick call to the Hotel Indigo (shout out to them for helping a lost girl find the hotel!), pulled up to hotel, left my car with the valet and walked inside. Seriously, Hotel Indigo was nice. Located in the downtown area, near the MS River- and across the street from PJ’s Coffee– the Hotel Indigo was in a great location with a polite staff! Erin arrived shortly after I made it to the hotel, and after a quick check in, we went to our hotel room and then left the hotel to find a bite to eat. Went to a nearby restaurant where we had this great lunch (grilled shrimp wraps!) and then stopped by PJ’s Coffee to get an afternoon pick me up. Sat outside and chatted, soaking up the sun and taking care of some social media business- then we walked down to the MS River, looked around and began a walking tour of the downtown area.
After walking around the downtown area- we decided to head back to the hotel and hang out for a bit before going to Tsunami for a pre-party drink, then heading to the Louisiana Book Festival Author Party. At Tsunami, we sat on the rooftop (incredible view of the MS River!) and chatted about different books we have been reading, places we wanted to travel and more! Erin convinced me to get The Hunk martini telling me it was so delicious (and she was right!) The Hunk is the perfect combo of sweet and delicious- and def is now my drink of choice for future visits to Baton Rouge.
That night, at the author party, as we walked in we saw Rita Leganski and her husband immediately and began chatting with them. In the lobby, there was a 3 piece band playing lively Louisiana music and there were book covers of the authors attending the festival decorating the area. Inside the library, there was food and wine being served- so we walked inside and had crawfish etouffee, catfish, shrimp, and other nibbles of food. When the party was over, me and Erin walked back to the hotel- where we considered having another drink at Tsunami, but seeing the rooftop was closed for a private party changed our mind. So, we went back to the hotel, discussed The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow for Erin’s discussion the next day and then turned in pretty early- since Saturday was busy!
Saturday, we arrived to the Capitol, had to go through security, and then made it to the author room a few minutes before the Rita Leganski discussion. When escorted to the correct room, Erin passed me her Iphone to take some pictures and video- and I became Deep South Magazine’s social media person- tweeting, videoing, Instagram-ing, and taking picture with my own camera as well! Listening to Rita talk about her love for the South, how Bonaventure Arrow came about and Rita’s incredible story of going to college in her adult years was something else! Rita is incredible- and if you ever get the opportunity- def go meet her! We quickly rushed to the room for the Shirley Ann Grau event- where I again took on Deep South’s social media accounts. Not being familiar with Shirley’s work- I wasn’t sure what to expect- but she was entertaining and memorable. Listening to her stories about her books, her life, and more was so worth it!
Once Erin finished her commitments, we just walked around, took pictures- went to see Kit Wohl cook Popeye’s Gumbo, and had lunch. All in all, we had a fantastic time- and I will def be wanting to go back to Louisiana Book Festival! Here is the recap of the weekend from Deep South Magazine (with a link to the video of Erin and Shirley Ann Grau).
Rita Leganski, me, and Erin
Erin and I at the Louisiana Book Festival Author Party
I HIGHLY recommend attending the Louisiana Book Festival if you ever get a chance.