7th Annual Books Along the Teche Literary Festival
on March 31-April 1-2, 2023
Celebrating Great Southern Writers and Louisiana Culture in Dave Robicheaux’s hometown.
2023 Literary Festival
March 31-April 2, 2023
2023 Great Southern Writer: Lisa Wingate
Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker, and #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of thirty novels. Her work has garnered or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, The Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Booklovers Reviewer’s Choice Award. Her blockbuster hit Before We Were Yours remained on the New York Times bestseller list for ten months, was Publishers Weekly‘s #3 longest running bestseller of 2017, and was voted by readers as the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction. Before We Were Yours has been a book club favorite worldwide and to date has sold well over one million copies. The film rights have been optioned by MGM Studios!
She has penned over thirty novels and coauthored a nonfiction book, Before and After with Judy Christie. Her April 2020 novel, The Book Of Lost Friends, became an instant New York Times Bestseller. The story follows an unlikely trio of girls coming of age as they embark on a perilous journey through reconstruction Louisiana and Texas… and a modern-day teacher in small-town Louisiana who rediscovers their story. The Book Of Lost Friends was inspired by the real-life “Lost Friends” ads, through which families separated during slavery sought to find their lost loved ones in the chaos following the Civil War. A reader and museum volunteer from the Historic New Orleans Collection connected Lisa with HNOC’s vast database of over 2500 Lost Friends ads, which chronicle the heart wrenching and hope-filled searches of separated families, and which inspired the story of eighteen-year-old Hannie Gossett in the novel.
Lisa was inspired to become a writer by a first-grade teacher who said she expected to see Lisa’s name in a magazine one day. Lisa also entertained childhood dreams of being an Olympic gymnast and winning the National Finals Rodeo but was stalled by a mental block against backflips on the balance beam and by parents who stubbornly refused to finance a rodeo career. She was lucky enough to marry into a big family of Southern tall tale tellers who would inspire any lover of story.
Of all the things she treasures about being a writer, she enjoys connecting with people, both real and imaginary, the most.