Friday, March 18, 2011

Southwest Florida Book Festival-- See You There!

Southwest Florida Reading Festival Festival Authors

Got books? Posters? Name Badge? Reivew? Bookmarks? Tape? Oh, yes, do not forget, never forget a pen to sign copies with.

And so it goes, I'm getting ready once again for that grand book fair, the Southwest Florida Reading Festival, tomorrow, Saturday, March 18, Harborside Hall, downtown Fort Myers. I've taken a perch in the Marketplace. Do stop by and say hello where I'll be signing my suspense novels One Big Itch and The Don Juan Con--if I haven't sneaked off to hear one of my favorite authors giving a talk, that is.

Nelson DeMille and Linda Fairstein are headliners, this year a thriller writer and a mystery author, and as it happens the Gulf Coasting Magazine of the News-Press in Fort Myers thought to inquire of the lovely librarians who organize this event just how it is that they select the authors who are invited to speak. The lineup this year also includes J.A. Jance, Ridley Pearson Heather Graham, Mary Jane Clark, and our own Prudy Taylor Board.

Guess what? The Librarians look at their own checkout numbers and pick the most popular novelists available. So why is mystery at the top of the list? Because they are the most sought after books in the library, that's why.

One of the very great pleasures of a newly published author such as myself is to meet and chat with the most famous names in the business. I met Linda Fairstein a few years ago at SleuthFest in Fort Lauderdale, one of the greatest mystery writers' conferences in the nation. Fairstein is a mystery writer after my own heart. She laces her books with historical touches. One of my favorites is Entombed, about Edgar Allen Poe and the house he occupied along the Hudson River in upstate New York. "All these things intrigue me," Fairstein told Tropicalia: "I'm not interested in car chases and shootouts. I want to come away smarter. I like to learn something in the year it takes me to write a book."

Right on, Linda. Besides that, I have to confide what she whispered to me, when I first met her. "I'll buy your book she said. "I remember those days when I started out just how hard it was to sell my books."