Two authors create factual stories of cities

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Lion's Roar/Larshell Green
C. Howard Nichols signs his recently released book following the Author’s Salon.
Nichols is an emiretus professor of the university in history.

Local writers Katie Wainwright and C. Howard Nichols spoke at the recent Author’s Salon, which gives authors the opportunity to discuss their current works and the inspiration behind them in an intimate environment.

The event was held Thursday, August 17 at the Hammond Regional Arts Center from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Both authors, who formed a friendship at Southeastern, discussed their books that are based on cities. Nichols’ book “Stories of a River Town: Covington, Louisiana at 200 Years” is based in Covington, Louisiana. Wainwright’s book, “Pohainake Parish,” is a factual story based on a fictional town.

Nichols was born in St. Louis and lived in Covington for two years while attending St. Paul’s Catholic School. He attended Southeastern, graduating with a bachelor of arts and earned a master of history at Louisiana State University.

He taught at St. Joseph and Abbey Seminary College for 13 years before accepting a position at Southeastern in 1958. At Southeastern, Nichols taught emeritus for forty years and retired in 1998.

 “Stories of a River Town: Covington, Louisiana at 200 Years” is a potpourri of Covington culture. It features a collection of essays written by Nichols and other authors that are enriched with photographs, artifacts, articles and Covington landmarks, such as the Southern Hotel.

Nichols refers to Covington as an “uncommonly beautiful place.” He thinks that it is more beautiful now than it has ever been.

“The physical setting, the trees, the shrubbery and river are all inspirations of the book,” said Nichols. 

Nichols hopes his book will be a lasting remembrance of Covington’s history.

Wainwright was born and raised in Cuba. She came to Hammond when she attended Southeastern High School. She later attended Southeastern Louisiana University and earned a bachelor’s degree in education.

She was a real estate agent at Katie Wainwright Realty. She then became a member of the Tangipahoa Parish Council. She has experience writing for the Hammond Daily Star and the Hammond Sun. Some of Wainwright’s articles have been published in the Chicago Tribune. 

Wainwright admits that she has always loved to write as a hobby. Her column “Travelin” was influenced by her own personal experiences with traveling. Many of her books feature places locally and from other parts of the world, like Cuba. Recalling these places and events gives her inspiration for her books.

 “Being to a lot of places gives me more accurate descriptions,” said Wainwright. 

Wainwright describes her book as “factions,” which means fictions based on facts. Her book, “Pohainake Parish” is an inside look into a fictional town’s council members.

 “I want people to know how difficult government is,” said Wainwright. 

Wainwright accredits Hammond for some of her writing. She sees it as a great place to raise a family, have friends and get a good education. She believes that her favorite book will be the next one that she creates.

Nichols will appear at the Livingston Parish book fair on November 7. 

Wainwright will appear at book clubs in Hammond and Ponchatoula. For more information on her, visit her website at

The next Author’s Salon event will feature Clayton Delery-Edwards on October 15. 

For more information on upcoming events, visit, call 985-542-7113 or email [email protected]