February 2011 | Deb Burst

Welcome to the New New Orleans

I'm a New Orleans gal living 30 miles north of the city on six acres of piney woods and often retreat to my porch swing to pen my prose. Photography is another passion and being a visual writer I often use it to compose my work. I make frequent trips to the city reconnecting with the things that make New Orleans so special and hope you'll join me as we uncover her elusive treasures.
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As a freelance writer I've had the privilege of interviewing some remarkable writers, some are natives while others have adopted the city as their own. I'll share some of the interviews as they reveal their love for the city and the inspirations behind their books. From literary greats such as Anne Rice to the Today Show host Hoda Kotb, along with the lesser known, but equally important local writers.

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Together we will travel the storied cityscapes of New Orleans and visit the historic hotels that Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, Arthur Hailey and many more immortalized in their work. For others motivation was found at the bottom of a glass in a night long date with a bar stool. We'll visit these local haunts, hotel bars and century old pubs, and share their stories.

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From the rooftops overlooking the Vieux Carré to the music clubs crying the blues, New Orleans owns a magic that draws millions every year. There are numerous literary festivals, literary walking tours, and one of the most exhaustive research centers in the country, a bibliophile's paradise waiting to be discovered.

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Join me as we visit the pages of some of my favorite books that journey through the heart of New Orleans: a love affair for a city and French Quarter home, a moving bond between mother and son, confessions of a journalist lost in Katrina's chaos, and the spirits of voodoo and vampires.

But wait...there's more.

"Crisis Breeds Creativity" is a term recently used at a Katrina five year anniversary conference recognizing some of our most prolific artists including writers, scholars, chefs, musicians, actors and motivators. The New Orleans chapter of TEDx, a national endeavor touted as a gathering of "the world's most visionary intellects," hosted a day long program at the Le Petit Theatre with 25 speakers who shared their experience in drafting creativity from crisis.

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In time we'll visit many of these initiatives and meet the people behind the scenes as I introduce the New New Orleans and her literary darlings. Here's a peek at some of the books we'll see in the near future that showcase the city's unique culture and personality.  

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