Putting pen to paper to tell stories is Jeff Babineaux’s creative porthole. He started writing for fun in high school when he was taking a creative writing course. In school he was often made to write about whatever the teachers wanted him to write about, but as a junior in this particular class he had creative freedom to paint whatever sort of picture he wanted with his words. So he did just that.

After graduating, Jeff took an extended break from writing until he found himself attending Louisiana Tech University in Ruston 10 years later and landed in another creative writing class.

Inspiration can strike at any time for him.

“I think of every setting as a playground. The themes, ideas and characters should all be universal enough to fit anywhere. They all struggle with what’s expected of them — the rules.”

As the author of The Game Master’s Gambit, a teen novel combining fantasy and reality, and Bangin’ da Spoon on da Pot, a Louisiana cookbook featuring family stories that connect to its recipes, anything goes for Jeff. He’s written stories of all types of genres from the point of view of different genders in different time periods at different locations. They all have “their own accent” but he creates a place in them to talk about the same topics.

“For example, the first half of The Game Master’s Gambit is about how we’re raised and how we take that with us when we grow up just like in the cookbook,” said Jeff.

He’s steadily working on new projects and is currently up to his ears in a crime novel, a fantasy novel and a spy novel. He loves juggling his stories and has a hard time sticking to just one at a time.

While he originally comes from Cajun country (Lafayette), Jeff’s love for the Shreveport-Bossier City community is growing steadily due to the cultural renaissance he believes is happening right now in the area.

“The people of Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) and Bossier Arts Council (BAC) are creating all sorts of ways for local artists to put themselves out there and I love it.”

His words of wisdom to aspiring young writers can be summed up quite clearly: “Your fifth book is going to be great but it’s not nearly as important as your first. It’s hard to get started.”

Find Jeff Babineaux’s self-published books on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com.