Jason Reed, founder of New Bayou Books and the author of two recent novels set in Acadiana joined Discover Lafayette to share his goal of sparking a renaissance of new, modern fiction that features South Louisiana.
A native of Eunice LA, Jason graduated from USL, served a stint with the Peace Corps, then joined the Air Force right after 9/11. He currently lives in Belgium where he works for the US Department of Defense as a civilian.
Jason has an interesting and informed perspective on South Louisiana, especially after living away for so long. He says South Louisiana stands out as a “wonderfully weird, welcoming place in a country that is becoming ever more homogeneous.” Many native South Louisianians can take for granted how unique our region is.
He has found that people around the US and internationally are hungry to know more about our part of the world. And to satisfy that hunger, Jason has found his calling to encourage other authors to write about contemporary life in South Louisiana. “In South Louisiana, we have our own food, our own music, we even have our own visual art, but we have work to do when it comes to modern, contemporary literature that speaks to the region. Certainly, there are giants in the field, such as James Lee Burke. But not many others that feature South Louisiana. To address that shortage, Jason founded New Bayou Books and is looking to partner with other writers to assist in publishing their works. “My calling is to be the guy who creates that spark that inspires the writers who may be the ones the next generation remembers. There are not nearly enough fictional stories about South Louisiana.”
Jason has set a goal for himself to write five books by his 50th birthday and expects to publish his third novel in early 2023.
Jason’s main message for aspiring writers is, “You don’t need permission to put your work out to the world. There are all sorts of inexpensive, even free publishing tools. When I wrote my first book, I was expecting to have to shop it around to publishers because that was the traditional way I learned in college. Today, there are no barriers to entering the market as an independent publisher.”
And this sums up why he founded New Bayou Books: “I believe in the punk rock ethos of ‘Do it yourself.’ If it’s worth doing, do it. Get involved and do something.”
In closing, we thank Jason Reed for his passion for contemporary fictional literature and his drive to assist other writers in their journey. It is our pleasure to share his message to him: “There should be more literature that represents what life is like today in South Louisiana. I’m hoping to hear from other authors.” Please email Jason Reed at email@example.com to start a discussion.