If you’ve ever dreamed about writing or dabbled in writing then you’ve probably engaged in that fantasy where Terry Gross or Oprah is interviewing you about your brilliant new best seller or memoir or thriller or screen play. For most of us that’s just a day dream. But a rare handful of local writers are actually authors of books with titles published by legitimate publishers. How does this happen? Is there a secret to getting someone to read your manuscript? If a publisher picks it up, does it change your life?
Two local authors tell all
Michael Rubin is a full-time attorney specializing in appellate law with the high powered McGlinchey firm here in Baton Rouge. He’s also a successful author of legal thrillers that, like John Grisham’s gripping novels, center on things Mike knows well—the Deep South, racism, family legacies and where the law intersects with the criminal justice system.
Mike is the co-author of The Cottoncrest Curse, Cashed Out and A White Hot Plan along with his wife, Ayan. The books are published by LSU Press and the University of Lafayette Press and have earned a handful of book awards.
Mike’s varied career doesn’t end with just the law and writing novels, he’s also had stints as a jazz musician, a humorist and a public speaker.
Barbara Sims is also an author. Her 2014 book, The Next Elvis: Searching for Stardom at Sun Records, is a memoir of her years working as a publicist and promoter at Sun Records in Memphis in the male-dominated workforce of the 1950s. At the time, Barbara was in her early 20s, and her job at Sun placed her in the studio with the likes of Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich and other Sun entertainers.
Like Mike, Barbara has had a rich and varied career, and though her time at Sun Records was perhaps the most glamorous and book-worthy chapter, she went on to become an English Professor at LSU here in Baton Rouge, where she taught for more than 30 years.
Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard. Thanks to The Advocate for the photo of Barbara.