Born near Black Bayou in Louisiana, Eric grew up listening to his grandmothers' tales of ghosts, voodoo, and political corruption. The author of seven novels, he now lives in Oklahoma, near Route 66, with wife Marilyn.
The greatest free ride in America sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, not far from the heart of the Big Easy. The Canal Street Ferry. Free for pedestrians, one dollar round trip in your car, is a fine example of Louisiana politics in action. Carla Manetti's old Plymouth Duster had finally died and gone to Car Heaven up in La Place. Now we were on an evening test drive to Algiers Point in her new Mustang convertible. It included a side trip to the Jazz Palace, a local hot spot.
Mama Mulate’s temples throbbed from a bad migraine. She’d thought about going straight home, but it was Monday, and she always went to Pascale’s for oysters and beer. Despite her headache and drumming of rain on her windshield, she felt ready for a break. One of her favorite ex-students shucked oysters in the bar, and that helped seal her decision.
She swallowed three aspirins and found a spot for her fully restored 1960 Bugeye Sprite in an empty parking lot. Cray Toussaint gre
Though mirlitons are originally from Mexico and Central America, they have found a home in Mama Mulate’s backyard. Mama teaches English literature at Tulane University in New Orleans. She’s also a practicing voodoo mambo, business partner and confidante to Wyatt Thomas, the French Quarter’s favorite private investigator. Mama and Wyatt come alive in Eric Wilder’s French Quarter Mystery series. Fictional maybe, but this is one of Mama’s favorite mirliton recipes.
I had a dream the other night that, while not disturbing, was certainly thought provoking. I seldom remember dreams unless I'm awakened in the middle of one. This dream apparently startled me into awareness. Although I don’t recall the entire sequence, what I do remember went something like this:
I was at the sink in my kitchen. A woman with me. We were cleaning dishes and both of us were smiling. I had a comfortable feeling that she was someone that I had known for a long time. Our
Eric and AnneThe oil boom and ensuing oil bust of the 70s and 80s is long past and seems almost like a dream to me now. I can recount stories about the period for hours, some of them funny and some of them sad, and I still chuckle about one that happened to my then wife Anne and me.
Anne was an oil and gas accountant – a damn good oil and gas accountant. She and I formed a small oil company and began drilling wells. I love the oil business, but Anne was passionate about it. She poured her
Though some people say, “there’s no free lunch,” they have obviously never been to Bertram Picou’s bar on Chartres Street, in the French Quarter. He usually has something for his customers to eat, and always for free. Here is one of my favorites.
· 4 doz oysters, shelled· 4 Tbsp onion, finely chopped· 4
I wanted to do a ghost story for Halloween. I'm almost finished with my new French Quarter Mystery Black Magic Woman and it occurred to me there are lots of ghosts in the book. Wyatt Thomas learns he has a ghost living with him for eternity because of a curse. In this excerpt from the book, Mama Mulate summons the spirit. I hope you like this excerpt.
Black Magic WomanChapter 6Mama lit another candle, and then disappeared into another part of the house. She returned carrying a small jar, a
Here is a pic of the O'Farrell Cemetery, located in the east Texas county of Cass, not far from Atlanta. My great-grandparents J.P. O'Rear and Annie Childress O'Rear are buried there.
John "Pink" Pinkney lost a leg in the Civil War while serving with Company D of the 1st Texas Infantry Battalion. After the war, he hiked from Georgia to Texas on the wooden leg the Union doctors provided him.
He died long before I was born, but my grandmother
Not so long ago, I reconnected by email with my old Vivian friend Jay Denny. Finding out at a North Caddo High reunion that I had started writing novels he’d bought a copy of Big Easy and began reading. Like me, Jay Denny lived in New Orleans for a time. He has moved back after a stint in LA. Here is a ghost story he swears is true. He is allowing me to tell it but made me promise not to reveal the actual hotel and bar so as not to offend the ghost of Madam Marie Laveau.
* * *When I was ni
I bought my first camera, a 35 mm Yashica rangefinder during the summer of 1968. I ached for that camera for weeks before purchasing it from one of the many electronics stores that line both sides of Canal Street in New Orleans.
The Yashica was great and let you do the focusing, set the f-stop and the shutter speed. Of course if the printed picture was over or under exposed, or out of focus you had no one to blame but yourself.
The sturdy Yashica took awesome
When a movie producer asks Wyatt Thomas to investigate a strange death on an island in the wetlands south of New Orleans, the French Quarter's favorite sleuth finds himself fast-stepping to avoid a similar fate. Did wild dogs cause the death, or a rougarou, a Cajun werewolf, as the voodoo woman in a village on the bay has said. Primal Creatures, regularly priced at $3.99, is on sale for only $0.99 for a limited time. Read Primal Creatures on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble at a discoun
Halloween was on a Friday, so we planned the big bash for Saturday. Not all of our guests got the message as three revelers showed up for the party Friday night. Born on the day before Halloween, I seem forever destined to be connected to that holiday.
Anne and I married early in 1980 and decided to host a Halloween party that year.
Jakob, an Israeli expatriate that was doing stonework around our house for us, showed up as a cowboy. He was soon followed by Nan
In my latest French Quarter Mystery, Black Magic Woman, Wyatt Thomas and friend Jason Fasempaur travel back to old New Orleans, circa 1845 to implore Madam Marie Laveau to help them lift a curse that is haunting Wyatt. While there, Jason visits the rustic kitchen of a New Orleans’ townhouse. Sarah, the cook, feeds him a bowl of delectable soup that he declares it ‘a taste of heaven.’ Here is Sarah’s recipe. Try it, and I think you’ll agree with Jason.
Halloween was my favorite holiday when I was young in Vivian, Louisiana. No one had yet heard of predators preying on unsuspecting kids, so my parents, and everyone else’s parents would let us go trick-or-treating as soon as it got dark. What’s more, no one expected us home anytime soon.
I couldn’t have been much more than five when I began staying out until the wee hours, dressed as a ghost or goblin, with my big brother Jack and close friend Wiley. Most people qui
My wife Marilyn grew up in Gurdon, Arkansas. It's a small town where most of the inhabitants make their living logging, or supporting the loggers. A railroad runs through the town. If you happen to be out after dark and stop near the track, you're likely to see a dim light. If you walk toward it, the light will move away. If you walk along the track in the opposite direction, the light will follow you. I'm not kidding about this. Ask the thousands of people that have seen it.
Cats are graceful creatures that never really have an owner and I’ve told many stories about those that have occupied large places in my heart. One of them was a big tom, a little special and just a bit more memorable than most.
All our acquaintances knew that Anne and I were cat people and rarely a week passed that someone didn’t try to give us one. We usually resisted or else we would have had hundreds of cats instead of the handful we felt responsible for. A cry for assistance occurred
Louisiana is football crazy. People in New Orleans like the Saints, and everyone in Louisiana likes L.S.U. Bertram Picou is no exception. He’d like to tailgate along with all the other Louisiana football fanatics except he has no help at his eclectic French Quarter bar. When the Saints or the Bengal Tigers are playing, he’s always working.
Through the years, he’s devised ways to keep his bar open while watching the big games and doing his own version of tailgating. He used to
If you visit New Orleans for its Cajun and Creole cuisine, you’ll soon discover the many desserts synonymous with the venerable city. The Big Easy is probably the fritter capital of the world. Known in New Orleans as the beignet, the fritter can combine with almost any fruit to create an exquisite desert. Think apple, banana, or cherry fritters. Let your imagination go wild. It all starts with the fritter batter, and here is the recipe. Hey, if you can't visit New Orleans soon, read my French&nb
Here is a picture of my grandfather's filling station. The person on the far left is my Uncle Grady Pittman, the man to his left Lee Edge, and directly to his left my Grandfather Big Jim Pittman. I don't know the other two men in the picture. Love the old cars.