Friday, July 01, 2016

What is Robert H. Patton reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Robert H. Patton, author of Cajun Waltz.

His entry begins:
Not unusually, I’ve got a mishmash of things on my desk, my office floor, my bedside table, and my iPad. To take them in order:

My desk is crowded with a bunch of nonfiction that I’m reading as background for a series of historical novels I’m doing for Thomas Dunne. The series is based on a book I wrote a few years back about Revolutionary War privateering, so the stuff is mostly related to maritime matters of trade, warfare, and political skullduggery in the colonial era. Atop the pile is N.A.M. Rodgers’s classic study of the Georgian Royal Navy, The Wooden World, and a fine new naval history of the American Revolution by Sam Willis, The Struggle for Sea Power, just released by Norton. Willis covers a broad canvas from Canada to the Caribbean to the European Continent with clarity, smarts, and an appealing light touch. Anyone interested in the subject should check it out.

Down on my floor there’s A Sea of Words by Dean King, a nicely arranged lexicon of nautical terms and technical jargon relating to colonial ships and seamen. King is a fanatical expert (I mean that as a compliment) on the Aubrey-Maturin novels of Patrick O’Brian. If...[read on]
About Cajun Waltz, from the publisher:
The lyrics of a Cajun waltz may be dark as midnight with heartache and trouble, but still the music swings. The same goes for what happens after a shifty musician and a lonely shopgirl let destiny sweep them into an ill-suited marriage in swampy southwest Louisiana on the eve of the Depression.

Love doesn’t much figure between Richie Bainard and Esther Block. They build a business together while dreaming opposite dreams of fulfillment. But like a gumbo simmering with peppers and spice, desires finally come to a boil.

Three generations of the volatile clan grapple with the region’s economic struggles and racial tensions. The Bainard children, twins Bonnie and R.J. and their half-brother, Seth, pursue separate cravings for money, sex, and religion. The chase in each case runs off the rails thanks to an ex-marine with a soft heart and a brutish devotion, a dazzling young stepmother of mixed race and mixed motives, and a high school tart who proves tougher and truer than all of them. Ultimately it takes the mass devastation of Hurricane Audrey in 1957 to cleanse the reckless passions. The aftermath is painful but pure, like an old blues song that puts tears in your eyes while you dance.
Visit Robert H. Patton's website.

My Book, The Movie: Cajun Waltz.

Writers Read: Robert H. Patton.

--Marshal Zeringue