Name: Gerard C. Smith, writing as GC Smith
Residence: Lady's Island
Book: "Mudbug Tales, A Novel In Flashes, wit' recipes"
Printed by: CreateSpace (print), Smashwords (e-book)
Where to buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, CreateSpace, Smashwords
First sentence: "Cajun life is hard work and hard play."
Plot summary in 50 words or less: "Mudbug Tales" are related vignettes that tell of folks living in the Louisiana bayou country. The book includes recipes, some of which are Cajun. "Mudbug Tales" pay homage to the Cajun people by depicting their everyday lives, both at work and at play.
Story behind the book: The story behind the book is that I started to write short stories about Cajuns and life in Acadiana, the Louisiana bayou country. The stories, along with some of my recipes, were picked up and published weekly in the e-zine "Quiction." My readers liked the stuff and several touched base and recommended a book. Since I like to write, cook and eat, I decided, "Why not?"
What is flash fiction? Flash fiction is a very short form of the short story, usually 1,000 words or fewer. The best flash, in my opinion, is very short, but still a complete story with a beginning, a middle and an end.
Who is the target audience for this book? The target audience is adults who enjoy a pleasant read, but older kids might also enjoy "Mudbug Tales."
Where does the name "Mudbug Tales" come from? Mudbug is a colloquial name for crayfish (crawfish) or ecrevisse, a Louisiana delicacy. Mudbug is also the book narrator's nickname.
Previous writing experience: I was a 35-year economist and bureaucrat with the U.S. Department of Labor and specialized in writing the results of econometric models in plain English so everyday folk could use the information. I also worked as a policy wonk and the stuff I wrote was used for decision-making by politicians who needed everything simple and straightforward.
I've also written three novels all set in the Lowcountry and a book of poetry, "A Southern Boy's Meanderings."
How did you become familiar with the Cajun dialect? I have an ear for dialect, and I love the Louisiana Cajun country. I've spent a lot of time in southern Louisiana and years of enjoying the folks and the cadence of their speech gave me my familiarity. Oddly enough, I worked with some Cajuns in Washington, D.C.
Favorite recipe from the book: It's a toss up between crab cakes and my Creole sauce with shrimp.
Favorite books: Anything by Elmore Leonard and Herman Melville's "Moby Dick."
What's next? I'm working on a book of short stories tentatively titled, "Rednecks and Hardcases."
Follow reporter Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.