New Orleans is an important city to me for lots of reasons: It’s inspirational and magical and creative and always unique. It’s a city that prizes individual expression and the freedom to be over-the-top, to go too far and to be bizarre if you want to — qualities that are important to a writer (or to any artist, or arguably any human being), but are easy to forget. I love New Orleans because it challenges me, but also because it welcomes me — I make at least half a dozen pilgrimages there every year, partly because it’s close to Birmingham and because my best friend lives there, but also because I need to be reminded to take chances and to not be afraid to be myself, and just being in Nola reminds me to do that. (Oh, and the amazing food doesn’t hurt, either.)
It’s no accident that I wrote a lot of The Localist book on the train to and from New Orleans, and it’s no accident that I started my book tour there — or that I’ll end it there this weekend with a talk and signing at the amazing Octavia Books.
Octavia Books invited me to speak at their celebration of Independent Bookstore Day, and I’m incredibly honored to do it. I can’t wait to visit the city, to visit the shop, and to take probably take home a few new books. I’m excited to talk to people about localism, to learn more about how the buy-local movement is growing in other cities, and to learn about yet another thriving bookstore from the booksellers who make it a success.
If you’re in New Orleans this weekend, I’d love to see you at Octavia on Saturday at 4 p.m. If you’re not, I always appreciate when my readers share my events with friends who live in the cities where I’ll be, so please share this blog or one of my social media posts with your own followers. Or if you’re planning a trip to the city of jazz and beignets and spectacular poboys, check out the my New Orleans city guide, a blog post highlighting a few of my favorite places to shop and eat in Nola.
Carrie Rollwagen is author of The Localist: Think Independent, Buy Local and Reclaim the American Dream, creator of 30 Days of Local Praise and co-founder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Find her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @crollwagen.