His writing is so brilliant, I can only read one a year or I get depressed. He has more writing talent in a finger nail than I do in my body and I am unable to craft a single paragraph as well as he does 400 pages.
I decided to write Tintamarre because of Burke.
I was travelling from Toronto to Nova Scotia by car to visit my mother at Christmas and was driving because I had things to bring back. And on a talking book I listened to Will Patton take the voice of Robicheaux and not only place me in New Iberia, but me inside Dave's head. And I felt his pain. Never having been in the land of his ancestors, he still suffers from memories of them being forced to leave paradise.
His intense expression of what it feels like to have your soul emptied out generations before led me to walk out on the marshes onto the old dykes the Acadians had built centuries before. There I found a broken bowl left around 1700. And I started writing.
Burke doesn't describe Acadiana or New Orleans in the kindest light; Dave moves and works among the lowest lifeforms of humanity. But JLB tells his stories so dam well that you can taste his gumbo when he has lunch.