After years of dedication, a Baton Rouge author had her novel “Ava’s Place” published by Kensington Books in January.
Emily Beck Cogburn works as a YMCA group fitness instructor, an Advocate freelance writer and a novelist in Baton Rouge. She moved here from Minnesota in ‘99, when her husband, Jon, got a job in the University’s philosophy department.
“Ava’s Place” is Cogburn’s second novel published by Kensington Books. Her first novel, “Louisiana Saves the Library,” was published in Jan. 2016.
Though Cogburn now has two novels published, the beginning of her writing career wasn’t easy.
She wanted to pursue writing and tried for many years. If it wasn’t for her husband’s dedication to finding her an agent, she may have given up years ago.
“I was told that writing was no way to make a living, so I didn’t really consider making a career out of it,” Cogburn said.
She said she never imagined her dreams of writing would actually come true.
“I read constantly, and I remember actually narrating my life in my head as though it were a novel,” Cogburn said.
She spent her childhood fantasizing about the magnificent, creative ways of imagination and how she could best put these ideas to use.
Here in Baton Rouge, Cogburn has been growing in popularity for “Ava’s Place,” seemingly because her writing is relatable.
“I write about ordinary people, and I write about what I know,” Cogburn said.
She said much of her inspiration is rooted in setting, in Louisiana especially.
“Both ‘Ava’s Place’ and ‘Louisiana Saves the Library’ are very much about Louisiana, and the people and culture here,” Cogburn said.
Writing about a place so different from Minnesota is new and exciting for her, making her books and settings that much more detailed on the surroundings that people born and raised here are familiar with and may have taken for granted.
She said she notices things that make locals feel at home and is able to write about it in a way that touches their hearts.
As for “Ava’s Place,” Cogburn got her inspiration right here in the city of Baton Rouge.
“The novel is a love story between a reporter, Ava, and a café owner, Ford,”Cogburn said. “The café Ford owns at the beginning of the novel was inspired by Louie’s Café.”
“Ava’s Place” celebrates change, courage and sets out to inspire readers to find their place in the world.
If she had given up on her dream, Cogburn would have ended up in a career she wasn’t passionate about. Her life story is one, just like Ava’s, that gives hope and inspires those ambitious individuals in the world to never give up on their dreams.