Former educator and coach Mike “Moon” Mullens has written and published his first book at age 66.
The retired Clinton native and resident considers “You Don’t Say: A Story About My Aunt Emma” a book of fiction with elements of truth from his real life growing up in East Feliciana Parish.
Mullens describes the book as a “historical drama about a nephew researching the life and times of his beloved aunt, with whom he spent many fun childhood summers.”
The plot of the book is told by characters who are loosely based on real people in Mullens’ life.
After graduating from Clinton High School in 1967, Mullens earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette in physical education and psychology, followed by a master’s degree from LSU and Southern University in administration.
He spent 30 years working as a teacher and football coach at Clinton and Jackson high schools, Northeast, Glen Oaks and Istrouma, as well as Centreville Academy and Silliman Institute.
His seven years as an administrator in East Baton Rouge Parish were at Capitol Middle, McKinley Magnet and Dalton Elementary.
“I enjoyed working at each and every one of those schools,” Mullens said.
He describes East Feliciana as a great place to grow up.
“Clinton has always been my home. I love the place and the people here; there’s no other place like it,” Mullens said. “Our teachers and parents religiously instilled in us discipline and pride and doing the right thing. Our generation was truly blessed to come up at that time.”
The idea to write the book came to him one day while visiting his real Aunt Emma DeAngelo’s gravesite, where he vowed to write a book about the times they shared. Much of the novel is from stories his mother and others shared with him about his aunt.
“I never had any real desire to write a book but felt a strong urge to share some of the memories of Aunt Emma with others.
“One must also understand how many people grew up in East Feliciana Parish in the 1950s and 1960s. We believed we had the best of everything, when in reality we had very little material possessions,” Mullens recalls. “What we did have was a great childhood that has led to many wonderful memories that have impacted our lives.”
As a first-time author, Mullens’ process in writing the book involved creating an outline of his Aunt Emma’s life and telling her story through various characters. It took six months to complete.
“One day I just began to write about Aunt Emma, and the book took on a life of its own.
“Whenever I got an idea or had time, I’d sit down and write,” he said.
Once completed, the book took another six months to get published, and at times felt like a struggle, admitted Mullens.
“You Don’t Say: A Story About My Aunt Emma” was published by Green Ivy Publishing and is available on amazon.com.
If successful, Mullens said he plans to write another book, which he’s already begun to research.