Friday, August 17, 2012

The Ballad of Corey Robichaux by Shane Hebert

By now, everyone knows that  being from Louisiana, I love featuring Louisiana authors. I have a new Louisiana author this week, Shane Hebert. Shane hails from Larose, Louisiana, a little town located along Bayou Lafourche about five miles "down the bayou" from me in Southern Louisiana. I hope you enjoy the feature.

The Ballad of Corey RobichauxRemember those guys in high school who were in a band? You know, the guys who wore black concert t-shirts, old jeans, and appeared with a guitar strapped around them, wailing into a microphone at parties.   

The Ballad of Corey Robichaux is the story of one of those guys.

The setting is Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, in the late 1980s, with much of the story taking place in the communities of Lockport, Larose, and Galliano. The book begins when Corey is in the ninth grade at Larose-Cut Off Junior High and finishes as Corey graduates from South Lafourche High School

Corey's hobby is music, and he plays in a garage band with his friends Matt Pierce and Blake St. Pierre. The rock and metal music of the 1980s will transport those who grew up then back to those years. 

Corey must also deal with the social structure of high school, his family's expectations of him, and the looming end of childhood and beginning of adulthood. Music, sports, video games, and relationships all play a role in Corey's growth, while the situations and locales in The Ballad of Corey Robichaux will resonate in their nostalgia and familiarity.

Image of Shane Hebert Shane Hebert was born in Larose, Louisiana, where he still lives with his wife Dawn and their four children. After serving in the United States Army as a linguist, Shane graduated from Nicholls State University with a bachelor's degree in General Studies. He currently works in the information technology sector of the telecommunications industry.
He released his first self-published novel "The Ballad of Corey Robichaux" in 2010, then followed it with "Lord of Redemption." Both are fiction novels that are set in the southeast region of Louisiana.

Be sure to visit Shane at  -- Lunaregnum Press website.

Guest Post:

    There are a many kids who grow up along the Bayou and want to escape from the Bayou someday.  I was one of those kids and, when I did move away during my U.S. Army enlistment, I discovered that I wanted nothing more but to return.  Things are different here than it is elsewhere -- days aren't a blur of insignificant moments, people don't flit through your consciousness like unfamiliar ghosts, and time seems to run slower.  That's the secret of the Bayou that you don't learn until you're not on the Bayou anymore, and it's what draws you back. 

    I write my stories as an escape -- not to escape from the Bayou but into it.  I pull the readers to the Bayou and show them the stories that could be everywhere around them, if they only knew where to look.  Characters remind the readers of the clerk at the grocery store or the guy who used to be in their tenth-grade geometry class.  The settings are scattered along the Bayou -- Larose, Galliano, Lockport. 

    The real trick, though, is pulling the readers back in time.  I remind them of what many thought they had forgotten, pulling movies, songs, or sayings from closets in their minds.  Once they blow the dust off those memories, something clicks, and my story has connected with their own stories.  Those are the bonds that keep them intrigued and make them want to read more, to see what other buried treasures I might help them uncover.  The story becomes a more personal experience at that point because the readers are not only travelling to the past, they are travelling through their past. 

    The Ballad of Corey Robichaux is my first novel and an introduction to the fictional world I've revealed along Bayou Lafourche.  Mainly set in Larose during the mid-to-late 1980s, Ballad is the story of the teenage years of Corey Robichaux, the son of a wealthy businessman.  It is a coming-of-age tale where Corey begins to discover answers to question we all ask ourselves when growing up -- what kind of person am I, what do I want my life to be, and who do I want to share my life with?  Like us, Corey doesn't like all the answers he finds, and these answers bring him to conclusions and decisions that change his life and others.  Pop culture and music of the 1980s is the backdrop for Corey's story, making Ballad a unique glimpse into the Bayou's past. 

    Lord of Redemption is centered around a mysterious bottle and its involvement with Mikey Steel, a minor character introduced in Ballad.  Lord becomes not only about the bottle but a character sketch of Mikey, taking us through his late teen years in the 1980s and his later years, all the way to 2005.  The mystery of the bottle becomes a major force in Mikey's life, influencing his decisions both consciously and unconsciously.  He suffers many losses before the final confrontation, a conclusion which he knows was inevitable. Lord shares Ballad's setting along Bayou Lafourche and offers more of the culture of that time period. 

    The slow-moving waters of Bayou Lafourche keep time for us here.  They remind us of the importance of looking around and really seeing our lives before it's too late to do so.  I hope that my stories serve a similar purpose, slowing time and allowing readers to enjoy both the past and the present. 

Lord of RedemptionLord of Redemption: Jill Breaux, a reporter at the Larose Gazette, knows about the bottle's deadly past. She calls on Mike Steel, a man she hasn't seen in fifteen years, to help her. It shouldn't be that difficult -- after all, it's just a bottle...  

Mike shares with Jill a tale of youth, hope, and tragedy, involving himself and the bottle. From his glory days as Mikey Steel, football hero, to the dark days of the bottle, Mike reveals a life he chose to keep secret, filled with regret, guilt, and dread. Unable to completely escape the influence of the bottle, Mike finally confronts what he has always known -- his destiny lies with the bottle.

The follow-up to "The Ballad of Corey Robichaux," "Lord of Redemption" returns to the Bayou Lafourche area of southeast Louisiana and introduces the location of Cypress Grove. As in Ballad, the music and culture of the 1980s forms a soundtrack and backdrop to Lord, with some history and Cajun flavoring thrown in for good measure.

Both of Shane's books are available through Amazon:

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