Category Archives: Appearance

JWC 2016 – Another Great Year!

I’m just back from the Jambalaya Writers’ Conference in Houma, LA and, as usual, I had a great time. I can’t say enough good things about Lauren Bordelon and how hard she worked to make this event such a great success. She’s a wonderful host and a joy to be around. I want to extend my sincerest thanks to her for all she did and for inviting us to speak at the conference. It was a rewarding experience.

As for our sessions, Amanda and I partnered up to teach a class together in the morning and then I did a second class at lunch.


During our combined session, I presented a lesson titled “Inside the Mind of a Police Sniper” and Amanda presented “Trauma and PTSD Symptoms”. I kicked off the presentation by describing the role of a police sniper and detailing the various types of training snipers undergo, with a strong emphasis on mental preparation. Amanda then wrapped it up by defining trauma and PTSD, and she provided information designed to help writers develop believable characters who have endured traumatic situations.


For the lunch hour, I presented a class titled “Demystifying Murder Investigations”, which was designed as a roadmap to help writers move their detectives through the entire investigative process–from the crime scene to the successful conclusion of the case. I detailed the seven basic steps of any murder investigation–complete with real world examples and techniques–and I wrapped up the presentation by explaining how that information could be translated to fiction.

Demystifying Murder Investigations

Afterward, there was the usual book signing event hosted by Molly and company from Bent Pages, and I was able to meet and speak with some nice people. I’m humbled every time someone decides to trade their hard-earned money for one of my books, and I always hope they’ll find it was worth the purchase.


Later in the afternoon, I attended a great session by Literary Agent Carly Watters, who is the VP and a senior agent for P.S. Literary Agency. I recognized her name and the name of her agency, because I’d queried her in 2012 when I was shopping THE MISSING SIX, which later became THE SEVENTH TAKING. As you might imagine, I was very interested in hearing what she had to say.

Carly gave a very detailed rundown of her role as an agent and my (our) role as a writer, and she described what I needed to know before querying agents. I had previously discontinued my search for an agent and decided to seek out publishers directly. This has worked out for me to a small extent, but her presentation made me reconsider my path going forward. She made me realize I need an agent to handle the business end of things, as this would allow me to concentrate solely on writing and marketing.

I was able to shoot the breeze with Carly later on the rooftop deck during the Sunset Social, and I found her to be very likable. During our conversation, she mentioned that she loves country music and, well, that makes her more than okay in my book. She’s down-to-earth, extremely knowledgeable in her field, and appears very passionate about her work. Any author would be lucky to have her as an agent.

Well, that’s all for now. More than once during her presentation, Carly said that “writers need to write”. So, I’m going write…right after I cut the grass and take Amanda out for a run.

Thanks for reading.

Hanging with the Bayou Writers’ Group

We stay busy as a family, but Amanda and I have remained true to taking at least one date night each month. Sometimes it’s planned and sometimes it’s spontaneous, but we always manage to squeeze some alone time into our hectic schedule. When I write “squeeze”, I mean just that–we oftentimes only have an hour, or so, to squeeze between responsibilities. However, we were able to spoil ourselves these past two weekends with a couple of “date-aways” in a row.


It started in New Orleans last Saturday when we rolled into town for the Rock ‘n’ Roll 10K. We checked into the Marriott on Canal Street, picked up our race packets at the Convention Center, and then ordered some dinner from a little restaurant next door to the hotel. We then retired to our room for a picnic that consisted of shrimp poboys, French fries, and Great American double-stuffed chocolate chip cookies.


Early Sunday morning we ate (more) cookies and milk for breakfast and walked to the starting line of the Rock ‘n’ Roll 10K, which was a few blocks away. The weather was great and the crowd large. We ran the 6.2 miles through the city–enjoying some great views along the way–and finished at City Park. After collecting our medals and eating everything we could find at the finish line, we took the shuttle back to the hotel and relaxed before heading back home. We both had things to do later on Sunday, so it was back to our busy schedule.

I have to give a shout-out to my grandfather, who turned 94 that Sunday. A man of few words and a hard worker, he’s the most honorable man I know. Here’s to many more birthdays!

Andrew Verdin 94


This weekend found us in Lake Charles visiting with members of the Bayou Writers’ Group. The group’s vice president, David Chang, invited me to speak at their monthly meeting and I readily accepted. I last visited with the BWG back in September of 2007 and I was looking very much forward to seeing the members I already knew again, meeting some new members, and introducing them to Amanda.

(Before giving me credit for having such a great memory, you should know that I had to look up the pictures from the last time I was there to figure out the date.)

We checked into the SpringHill Suites on West Prien Lake Road Friday night, took a scenic drive downtown and along the lake, and then grabbed dinner. As is our custom on date-aways, we picked up some take-out and retired to our room for a picnic. This picnic consisted of a pile of food from Ichiban Japanese Grill and Yeung’s Lotus Express, along with–of course–some Great American double-stuffed chocolate chip cookies and a half gallon of milk.


The real treat was Saturday morning when we met with the BWG at the Carnegie Memorial Library on Pujo Street. It was immediately apparent to me how much the rectangle of tables had grown, and it was great to see that the group was expanding.

Here’s a photograph showing the size of the rectangle of tables in 2007:


And here’s present day:


After Cliff Seiber, the group’s president, held the official meeting, I gave the little speech I’d prepared. (It actually went much longer than I’d anticipated–oops!) I talked about mysteries, explained why I couldn’t write erotic romances, offered some ideas on researching, and provided a list of resources I thought might be helpful to all writers who needed a cop, a gun, or a law in their stories. The members were engaging and asked some great questions.

They then treated Amanda and me to lunch and we got to visit with them a little longer. I can’t say enough how welcoming they are and how much of a great time we had with them. I look forward to going back to Lake Charles and visiting with them again in the future. It was definitely a very rewarding experience and just being around them energized me.

Unfortunately, Amanda and I had to leave the restaurant at about 1:15 PM to quickly return to our room and check out before 1:30 PM. As it turned out, the hotel had already deactivated our room keys and we couldn’t get in to grab our stuff. Thankfully, a nice lady who was cleaning rooms down the hall let us in and we reclaimed our clothes and–most importantly–the rest of the Great American cookies.

In closing, I want to say how saddened I was to hear about the passing of Harvey Honsinger. It was almost exactly four years ago that he passed away, but I just found out yesterday. The few times I got to visit with Harvey, I had a great time talking about writing, my all-time favorite genre, westerns, and guns. Like my all-time favorite author, Louis L’Amour, Harvey was a western writer and a really interesting man. I’m really sorry he’s gone.

Here I am with Harvey at the Bayou Writers’ Group Conference in November of 2007:


Great day at Terrebonne Parish Library!

I had the privilege of speaking to the Terrebonne Literary Club of Houma today at the Main Library in Houma. For those of you who haven’t been to the library yet, it’s a must-visit. The building is state-of-the-art and the staff–especially Lauren Bordelon–is extremely helpful and friendly.

As for the literary club members, they’re really cool and they made me feel at home. I met some amazing people, had a great time, and sold a bunch of books. It was a very rewarding experience, and my only regret is that Amanda couldn’t be there. She would’ve loved it!

Best to all and tons of thanks to the Terrebonne Literary Club of Houma for a nice afternoon!


South Lafourche Parish Library Book Signing

Amanda and I had the pleasure of spending the entire morning with the great folks at the South Lafourche Public Library. It’s our second trip “down the bayou” for a book signing and we had a great time, as we did the first time. I once said I write to be read. Thus, having someone share their thoughts and feelings about something I wrote is a very rewarding experience. I guess that’s why I love doing these events so much.

Among the people I met today was Mrs. Eurelda Burkett, who has read JAMES 516, THE SEVENTH TAKING, and ABSENT THE SOUL (my first book of short stories), and she let me know how much she loved them. She especially loved my short story titled HEARTBEAT TO HELL, which is set along a creepy highway in southeastern Louisiana. She said that story really hit home for her because of something she experienced on that same highway. It was great fun listening to Mrs. Burkett recount that story and others, and I hope to be back down there soon to visit with her again.


My former detective partner’s wife, Chris, who is also a longtime friend, stopped by to have her copy of JAMES 516 signed. Not only was Chris a friend, but she was my very first fan and her words of encouragement kept me writing way back when I first began dabbling in this bloodsport. She was also the first person to read my first completed novel titled HOLLOW CRIB, which will be released by Five Star – Cengage early next year.

It was really nice getting to introduce Chris to Amanda and having some time to visit and play catch-up. She also purchased a copy of THE SEVENTH TAKING for herself, as well as a copy of each book for her daughter, Jada, who I’ve been knowing since she was knee-high to a short fairyfly. Jada’s now all grown up and a parent herself. As my daughter would say (quoting Ron Burgundy), “The times, they are a-changing.”

Chris Arabie

Alas, we received an unexpected visitor . . . a cameraman from a local television station, HTV. While it was a surprise and I wasn’t prepared for an interview, I very much appreciated him taking the time to drive down there and cover the book signing.

BJ Bourg Interview

Copyright © 2015 BJ Bourg. All rights reserved.

Upcoming Book Signing: 07-18-15

I’ll be at the South Lafourche Public Library signing copies of JAMES 516 and THE SEVENTH TAKING tomorrow morning from 9 AM until. If you’ve purchased a print copy and want it signed, stop by and see me. If you don’t have a copy and would like to purchase one, I’ll have some available. You can also borrow a copy from the library.

I hope to see you there!

Book Signing Poster Smaller
BJ Bourg

Author Meet and Greet at Thibodaux Library

I had a great time today at the Thibodaux Public Library for my author “meet-and-greet”. I want to thank Shannon Hubbell for inviting me and for extending such a warm welcome.

Here are some pictures from the event:

I’m talking to an aspiring young writer who loves writing horror stories:

Me and Grace:

I met Angela, who loves Marilyn Monroe and who took a chance on JAMES 516. Thank you very much, Angela! I hope you like it!

Some of the local flavor from the library:

And to close out the show, me and Amanda:

(Note Kate in the background reading over the shoulder of the statue.)

Thanks for reading and, once again, thanks to the Thibodaux Library for inviting me.

BJ Bourg is the author of JAMES 516 (Amber Quill Press, 2014), THE SEVENTH TAKING (Amber Quill Press, 2015), and HOLLOW CRIB (Five Star-Gale-Cengage, 2016).
© 2015 BJ Bourg

South Lafourche Library Book Signing

I want to thank the South Lafourche Branch of the Lafourche Parish Public Library for inviting me to an Author Visit and Book Signing event in honor of Library Appreciation Week. They extended the warmest of welcomes and made me feel at home—and what a home it is! It’s a large and beautiful facility, and it drips with local culture, as you will see in the following pictures that Amanda took.

Although it rained all morning, that didn’t stop people from trickling into the library—and one of them happened to be my biggest fan, Ms. Helen Hebert.

Ms. Hebert raved about JAMES516 with an excitement that humbled me. She discussed the twists in the book, talked about how surprising they were, and said she got the “goose-bumps” just talking about it—she even pointed them out on her arm! I was so unbelievably flattered to hear her go on and on about something I wrote. It was the highlight of my writing journey to this point. Her excitement was infectious and she absolutely made my day.

I’m always flattered when someone leaves a positive review about one of my books on Amazon or Goodreads. However, after hearing the excitement in Ms. Hebert’s voice when she talked about JAMES 516, it made me wish I could hear every review in person and meet everyone who has read my books.

I had a nice conversation with another visitor, Ms. Joyce Anselmi. It began when I saw her carrying a DVD of the television show, Orange Is the New Black. It appears we’re both huge fans of the series and she was searching for follow-up seasons. While there, Ms. Anselmi decided to take a chance on JAMES 516. I appreciate that she did and I hope she likes it as much as Ms. Hebert did.

As I’m originally from the South Lafourche area, there will always be a special place in my heart for the people there. They made my first visit to the South Lafourche Branch Library as an author a memorable one, and I look forward to returning!

Being a novelist is new to me and, so far, the most fun I’ve had is getting out and meeting people with a passion for fiction, because reading is definitely what made me the man I am today (I may tell that story in a future post).

As for now, I want to close by thanking everyone who braved the heavy rain to come out and meet me and/or purchase a copy of JAMES 516.

Purchase Now
© 2015 BJ Bourg

Jambalaya Writers’ Conference Rocked!

In furtherance of my commitment to assisting writers in getting their police procedural information right, I took Righting Crime Fiction on the road and presented “Two Routes to the Truth” at the Jambalaya Writers’ Conference in Houma, LA. Lauren Bordelon and her staff did a superb job of organizing this massive event and they deserve a HUGE shout-out for their hard work!
Presenting at JWC 2015 was a rewarding experience and the authors who attended were extremely welcoming. I was flattered by the many requests to speak elsewhere and excited to meet so many fellow writers. I was especially blessed to meet two teenagers who wanted me to speak to their high school reading class. Their thirst for knowledge and their air of enthusiasm was infectious. It was indeed a tremendous honor to speak with them and the other writers I met at the conference.
Not only was I honored to be there presenting, but my wife, Amanda, and I were thrilled to attend some informative sessions by knowledgeable experts in their fields. The first session we attended was Jennifer Sons’ “Blogging 101” and I learned things about blogging that I would never have learned on my own. Jennifer runs the blog, Through the Booking Glass, and she is a joy to listen to.
Next, we attended Tom Colgan’s engaging session called “What Was (S)He Thinking”. Tom is an executive editor at Penguin Books and his many years of experience was evident as he delivered his message.
Lastly, we attended the “American Idol of First Pages”, where Fredi Friedman (President of Fredrica S. Friedman & Co., Inc.), Heather Graham (New York Times and USA Today bestselling author), Regina Ryan (owner of Regina Ryan Books Agency) and Molly Bolden (owner of Bent Pages Bookstore) critiqued the first page of a number of novels that were submitted by writers who attended the conference. This session was very informative and we learned what did or didn’t work for these experts.
This was a great event and a memorable weekend for Amanda and me. We are looking very much forward to next year!
In closing, I want to thank everyone who purchased a copy of JAMES 516 (Amber Quill Press, 2014)…it’s greatly appreciated!
BJ Bourg

April Appearance

I will be presenting TWO ROUTES TO THE TRUTH at the Jambalaya Writers’ Conference in Houma, LA on April 11, 2015. This lesson will help writers move their fictional sleuths convincingly–and legally–through the interrogative process. I will offer examples of how I have used these same techniques to elicit confessions in real cases, as well as illustrate how I have applied these techniques to my own fiction.

The conference will be held at the Terrebonne Parish Main Library, which is located at 151 Library Drive, Houma, LA  70360. The conference contact is Lauren Bordelon. Here’s a link to register for the conference or to contact Ms. Bordelon:

The line-up includes New York Times Best-Selling Author Wally Lamb and Louisiana’s own Award Winning and Best Selling Author Debra LeBlanc. I heard Ms. LeBlanc speak several years ago at the Bayou Writers’ Group Conference in Lake Charles and it was amazing! You won’t want to miss her!

Here’s a link to the agenda:

Hope to see you there!

BJ Bourg