old pick upMy family moved every two to three years until I was in my late teens.  It wasn't fun uprooting and starting over, but I am grateful for the exposure to different parts of the US.  From Alaska to North Carolina, and South Dakota to Texas, I saw that each state had its own unique culture.  One of my most vivid memories was when I lived with my grandparents in Louisiana for two months while my parents were looking for a new house in Alaska. They called it Cajun country.  My grandparents lived on a ranch, which was my first introduction to the land of crawdads (tiny lobster-like crustaceans), cottonmouths (venomous snakes you don't want to meet), spicy Creole gumbos (thick soup), and Cajun French speakers.

My grandfather was a very colourful character (a politician, a rancher, a marine and sometimes a racist) who lived most of his life in Louisiana.   When you write about someone who has lived in one place, they seem to reflect the land they come from.

So here is a short audio excerpt from a chapter in my novel on my grandfather, a man proud to be from Louisiana (he pronounced it 'Loozeeana' by the way), and yes, at 10-years-old grandpa gave me my first driving lesson:

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/78923867" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

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