Local writer hopes to bring more South La. literature

Published 9:00 am Monday, October 31, 2022

Local author and Eunice native Jason P. Reed shared selections from his published and unpublished works at the Sulphur Regional Library on Oct. 22.

His second book, All Saints Day of the Dead might make a great Halloween read this weekend. Reed put the book out last year about this time for that very reason, he said.

The program could mark the first in a monthly event to draw readers and writers to the Sulphur Library. The next “writing program” is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 23, according to Erica Didier with the Calcasieu Public Library.

“In 2020, I started writing a novel set in Eunice, Louisiana,” Reed said. “When I finished it and started looking into publishing the book, I noticed a stark absence of South Louisiana-based literature in the marketplace.”

He created New Bayou Books, a Louisiana-based independent publishing label with the purpose of bringing a new brand of South Louisiana literature to the world.

“I plan to grow New Bayou Books the old fashioned way,” he said, ‘through one-on-one human interaction.”

He will also use this interaction to draw out other writers.

“The idea is to join forces with other emerging writers and leverage our collective strength,” Reed said. “People want to read South Louisiana literature, and I’m convinced there’s a market for it.

“New Orleans is well represented in literature but Acadiana is not. I’m not destined to be the South Louisiana writer the world comes to know, but I am destined to find that person, and yeah, I realize that sounds a little hokey.”

Reed read from the current book he’s working on, his third. It’s about an LSU-Eunice baseball player with a troubled past. Instead of chapters, it’s organized into nine innings.

All Saints’ Day of the Dead is a midnight ride through Cajun music, culture and Catholicism with a dose of psychedelics on the side.