Zachary Richard first told tales about the one-clawed crawfish L'il Red and the blind baby turtle Hopewell Green in 1987 when the duo were characters in stories he made up for his 8-year-old stepdaughter, Sarah Lattes.
Richard later wrote down the stories but forgot about them.
When Sarah, now a potter, was 28 she found the stories and drew illustrations for them. Those stories would become Richard's "L'il Red" books, which he will be signing Oct. 28 at the Louisiana Book Festival. Richard will talk about his L'il Red series in the children's tent at 12:15 p.m., then sign books in the Barnes and Noble tent at 1 p.m.
"They're not really written for children, though children could read them," Richard says. "They're written in the tradition of 'Aesop's Fables' with values and hope for adults to read to their children."
"The Legend of L'il Red" was published in 2015 by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, which also released "L'il Red in the Great White North" earlier this year. The second installment sent L'il Red and Hopewell Green to Quebec.
Will the duo come home before the series ends on its fifth book?
"Oh, yes, they'll make it home," Richard assures. "But first they'll visit France in the third book, Africa in the fourth, then Haiti in the fifth before coming back to Louisiana."