Reflections on a Small Success

Yesterday,  July 10, 2021 may prove to be a turning point in a long, sometimes wearisome, process  of pretending to be a ‘popular historian’. As of yesterday, I may have actually become my long sought-after goal of being recognized as a legitimate author/writer/historian.

It all started in the summer of 2010 when, upon retirement, I decided to write a book. What started as a book of local history soon became a local historical cookbook, and finally evolved into a culinary history. By the end of 2014, the self-published “Petticoat Rebellion” emerged into the Amazon jungle. Not the one in South America, the one online at It wasn’t really a very good book. The concept was a good one, but the execution was seriously flawed. But it was a learning process – and I have always bragged about loving to learn. As the twenty teens wore on, the concept continued to evolve. Meanwhile in the real world that bothersome notion known as “Real Life” continued to interfere with my fancies of research, writing, cooking, eating, and publishing this fantasy of the culinary history. Juggling the loss of a house, the renting of two successive living spaces, a new part-time job, a six month battle with a deadly disease, the purchase of a new home, etc. etc. Madame Langlois’ Legacy slowly but surely became a reality. 

At last, sometime during Thanksgiving week of 2020 the book WAS FINISHED !!!! Now, as a popular meme among the literati, came the “fun” part. It is not easy work writing a book, it is however fun and gratifying, The really hard part of writing of book is the publishing and selling of those many years of work. I do not know why – but many folks still believe that so-called traditional publishing is the only road to legitimacy and success as an author. I disagree. And while this may be only ‘my fifteen minutes of fame’, this day in mid-July of 2021, the first line of defense in the battle for legitimacy and success has fallen. Yesterday, July 10, 2010, the battlements were breached. Through sheer moxy and hardheadedness, I secured a book signing event at Barnes & Noble. Yesterday, I showed up – really expecting to sell maybe one, probably none, of my newly published culinary history. To my pleasure, I can report …

I sold 5 books (in just 2 hours) and the manager was extremely pleased with “the signing”, made me sign all of B&N’s copies to place in her “autographed” book section. She told me tell everyone that the books would be on the shelf for some time to come, and most of all…

INVITED ME BACK for another signing during the holidays — wwwhhheeeww, that really blew me away.

Anyway, the important parts (to repeat) the books are ON THE SHELF at B&N Mandeville (and I’m pretty sure at the Metairie store as well) AND that I’ll be back at the Mandeville store during the holidays.

Being ‘on the shelf’ at the largest brick-and-mortar bookseller in the USA certainly seems to me a signal of legitimacy and success. Furthermore, I am looking down the summer months to several more signings and author events scheduled thru September. Now, my only problem is 

I have to write another book !!!!!!! 


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