Influences: James Lee Burke

Today at Maine Crime Writers I have a post about the great novelist James Lee Burke and his influence on my own development as a writer. Burke's Louisiana couldn't be any different from my Maine woods, and yet I have always strived to do a little of what he does so well and bring my part of the world to life for readers who have never seen it before.

On an entirely unrelated note, Burke and I are both of Acadian descent. The Doiron family lived in what is now Nova Scotia before Le Grand Derangement. At that time, many Acadian clans were divided; some ended up in the Louisiana bayous and became the people we know as Cajuns, while others took to the woods of New Brunswick, one step ahead of their British oppressors. My branch of the family took to the woods. But the Baton Rouge phonebook is full of Doirons whose ancestors got shipped out of Port Royal for points south.

On another entirely unrelated note, James Lee Burke is a cousin of the writers Andre Dubus and Andre Dubus III, both of whom have also been important influences on my work.