Slidell, Louisiana -- Camellia City | home
To: Dan Ellis
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 2004
Subject: Re: Slidell "Camellia City"
Prior to discovering your book, I wrote "Bonfouca and the Early History of Lake Pontchartrain", which I wrote primarily for the natives here in Bonfouca, who were in danger of losing their heritage as the Creole influence diminishes.
Like I said before, I didn't discover your Slidell book until after I wrote mine, but I pretty much went through the same process as you did, with some exceptions. I do all the printing and binding myself, because my book is smaller, and its has plenty of color pictures. It costs me about $ .75 a copy because I refill the ink cartridges myself and it takes a little over a half an hour to print on a $22 HP printer.
Likewise I tried the Pirogue Races and Crab Festival with moderate success. Though most of the 60-70 books I've sold since it came out in June have been by word of mouth, I sell it at the G.O.S.H. museum, M.C. Embree's and recently at the Home School Cottage. It costs $12, and I split it 25/75 with retailers. and the Christmas special is 5 for $50.
Not surprising, your book doesn't have an IBSN or barcode. I looked into getting a printer's IBSN so I could sell my books at B Dalton's, etc., and produce CD's and software as well. But I noticed that you don't have a copyright notice, and that made me wonder why.
Writing it has been very rewarding on many levels. Everywhere I go in the neighborhood I look at things in the light of history. It might be opening up a new world for me. I have so much info from my research that it will take years to fully take advantage of it.
Presently I am working on version II, with more info on other places in St Tammany and a lesson planner so I can sell it to the school system here. I probably will print that version the same as you, ring binder and in B&W.
But my current passion is a screen play called "The Bards of Bonfouca", about the lives of Adrien and Dominique Rouquette and their uncle, Anatole Cousin. As a child I visited my friend, Robert Baldwin Jr.'s grandfather's home, at Anatole Cousin's plantation and roamed the woods where the old brickyard was.
Recently Lee Miltenberger, Anatole's great-great grandson had me over and showed me Pere Rouquette's vestment, the robes he used when he gave mass at Bonfouca. Something clicked and I realized that I should tell the story of these great men, whose lives are virtually unknown by their descendants. Originally the idea was to write a play for schools to perform, but that got sidetracked when I realized the true scope of trying to describe their life and times would be better served in a movie. I am going to submit it to a contest, where it will get critical scrutiny and who knows, if I do well I might win a few bucks or maybe more. As always there will be the satisfaction of adding to my legacy.