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  • Writer's pictureCherie Claire

Meeting author cousins

This past weekend I was thrilled to be a part of the Louisiana Book Festival, in which I moderated a panel on ebook publishing titled "A New Frontier: Electronic Publishing for the Digital Age” with authors (pictured, from left) Nancy Duplechain, Lori Leger, Julie Smith and Farrah Rochon. These four women are not only writing outstanding books but publishing them as well. It was an honor to be in their company.

On a funny note — and proof that we’re all related in Louisiana — I got to meet a distant cousin, Charlie Spillers, author of “Confessions of an Undercover Agent: Adventures, Close Calls, and the Toll of a Double Life.” Charlie is the brother of Connie Rachal, an author I had met years ago in the Baton Rouge chapter of Romance Writers of America. Connie and I talked genealogy one day and realized we were related through a German ancestor by the name of Mathias Frederic from the early 1700s (we think he was Friedrich and was Francofied in Louisiana.) So when Charlie became published Connie let me know and Charlie and I exchanged emails about books and publishing. At last weekend’s Louisiana Book Festival, I got to meet Charlie and see Connie again. We took a photo together. I think Connie and Charlie and I are seventh cousins so don’t look for similarities.

Charlie is an ex-marine and a former career federal prosecutor and Justice Attaché for Iraq. The book describes his harrowing experiences during a decade of undercover crime fighting and narrow escapes. Amazon recognized the book as “the No 1 New Release” nationwide in law enforcement memoirs.

Want to read a book excerpt? Click here.

But there's more to this story. I posted the following to Facebook when I returned home from the book festival: "Here I am with a very distant cousin, Charlie Spillers who's also an author at the Louisiana Book Festival. We met through another cousin, Connie Rachal, who's also an author (Charles is her brother). We're like 8th cousins or something. LOL"

That's when a cousin, Waights Taylor, from my mother's side pipped in: "Wow, more author cousins." Waights and my mother are third cousins through a common Taylor, although Waights had the misfortune of attending the University of Alabama (can you tell I went to LSU?) Waights is the author of several books, including the recent "Kiss of Salvation: A Joe McGrath and Sam Rucker Detective Novel."

So I guess authorship runs in the family. As Waights put it: "You know what DNA stands for don't you? Damn Neurotic Authors."

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