Saturday, June 14, 2008

Louisiana Saturday Night with John Mayeux

His name is John Mayeux aka John Sitting Bear. Nita Bininnili is his name in his language. Mingko chito means principal leader and Avogel is the name of his Tribe. Read more about the Avogel Tribe HERE. John Mayeux is the author of THE AVOGEL TRIBE OF LOUISIANA, a book that discusses the myth, history, and the future of the Avogel people.

PhD. Rebecca Saunders, Curator of Anthropology Museum of Natural Science and Rob Mann, Regional Archaeology Program, Southeast Louisiana, Museum of Natural Science, LSU wrote the Foreward for John's book.

1. Tell us about your book and why you decided to write it.
I decided to write the book since many people were interested in the information it contains. No one else has ever written about my Tribe before now. It also contains information from sources that could not be found in other books.

2. What is your background?I have a BA+. I am a foreign language teacher. I teach at Scott Middle School in Lafayette Parish. I have been a teacher since 1970. I am also the leader of my people, the Avogel Tribe.

3. How much research did you have to do and did you consider it challenging? It took me 10 years of work and research to develop the book. I found the work challenging and rewarding. Especially working with a tribal member who was 114 years old and who had information that could be found no where else. Needless to say I videotaped and got affadivits on many things she said.

4. What was your writing process in pulling together The Avogel Tribe of Louisiana? No one else had ever considered doing this. in fact, many said we no longer existed. We, the Tribe, wanted people to know that we still exist.

5. What is your favorite self-marketing idea? Word-of-mouth has sold more of my books than any other method of marketing.

6. What was the biggest challenge in writing and publishing your book? Any tips for other self-published writers of history? I had a difficult time finding a publisher that I could afford. I highly recommend my publisher, AuthorHouse, to anyone on a limited budget. I want to say that they were very professional.

7. What are the biggest surprises you've encountered as a writer? My students at school who told me how much they enjoyed my book. Any author feels that all the work was worth it when they get that kind of feedback from readers.

8. How do you inspire yourself? What are your sources of creativity? My people and the stories told by the tribal elders have helped me very much. In fact I've started work on volume 2 with additional information provided by the elders

9. What is your proudest writer moment?
Getting my book published and making money to help my people. All royalties for the book go to the Tribe.

10. What's the best advice you were given about writing?. "Make sure that anything you write is TRUE."

11. How much time do you devote to writing?
Every spare moment I can find.

12. Who do you like to read? I like to read works by other "Indian" writers.

13. What are you currently working on? Volume 2. It will contain information that somehow was omitted or that I've just encountered and many more stories for the children.

Anything exciting happening in your publishing world? And tell us how we can order your book. Copies of my book can be ordered from Barnes & Noble or from the publisher: AuthorHouse. All funds earned will be put into the Tribal funds; we don't have a casino!


The Voice said...

Interesting article. I like your style. I'm all into learning new things, especially those pertaining to history. As a matter of fact I am working on editing a history book my youngest daughter and I have written.

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Great interview. Thank you, John and Jess!

Erica Vetsch said...

Lovely interview. And really nice that the profits from the book go to the tribe.

Brandon Murphy said...

Mr. Mayeux was one of the best teachers I had ever had. Taught me French in Middle school and alot about his culture. I was 12-13 then. 23 Now and I still look back at what an influence he was while I attended school. Glad to see you got this book out there, and glad to see you are doing well.

Jess said...

Brandon, thanks for popping in. Sorry the links didn't work. Evidently John didn't keep his website up.