The 15th annual South Florida Book Festival will feature writing and natural hair-care workshops, book signings and panel discussions this month at the African-American Research Library & Cultural Center, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale.
Three ticketed events will be held in addition to the free all-day festival, which is July 22. Visit Broward.org/Library/SoFloBookFest for information and updates.
The festival kicks off with the Caribbean Food and Rum Taste of the Island party from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. July 18 with Chef Irie (Hugh A. Sinclair) and Cynthia “Chef Thia” Verna, cookbook authors and stars of the PBS Television’s “Tastes of the Island” series.
On July 21, Angela Henry will lead a mystery-writing workshop at 1:30 p.m. The Evening with the Literary Stars reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. Each guest receives a signed book of their choice from one of the festival authors. The free book presentations will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 22.
Tickets are $10 for the Taste of the Islands and the mystery-writing workshop. Tickets for the Evening with the Literary Stars are $30 online and $35 at the door. Visit SFBF2017.eventbrite.com to register.
Other festival guests include:Wesley Lowery, an award-winning reporter covering justice, race and politics for the Washington Post and the author of “They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement.”
Chef Kevin Belton, star of the PBS cooking series “New Orleans Cooking with Kevin Belton” and author of “Big Flavors of New Orleans.” Belton was recently recognized by the American Culinary Federation as one of the top 30 chefs in Louisiana.
Lolita Files, journalist and author of “Once Upon A Time in Compton,” co-written with two former Compton gang unit detectives.
Bishop Henry B. Fernandez, the co-pastor of The Faith Center in Fort Lauderdale and the author of 12 books, including “Faith, Family & Finances.”
King Kevin Dorival, marketing director for a multi-million dollar construction firm and author of the memoir “The Courage To Believe: Never Give Up.”
Simone Kelly, author of the mystery-suspense novel “Like a Fly on the Wall.”
Erin Lowry, a personal finance expert and author of “Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together.”
Taymer Mason, author of “Caribbean Vegan” cookbook.
Alison McMahan, author of the historical mystery “The Saffron Crocus,” which won the Rosemary award for Best YA Historical and the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Award.
Queen Cezanne Taharqa, author of “Journey of a Sister” and “How to Get the Ring On Your Finger.”
Suzzette Turnbull, CEO of Uncommon Marketing and author of “The Ultimate Guide to Understanding and Getting Started with Social Media”.
Adult, teen programs at NSU
The Summer Reading Author Series continues its inaugural season and the Young Authors Summer Workshop Series returns with free events for adults and teenagers at the Alvin Sherman Library at Nova Southeastern University, 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd., Davie; call Serena Smith at 954-262-5477 for details on both events.
The adult series will be held 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays in Room 2053 in the library’s second floor. Events include: July 8: “The Writer’s Life” with Nancy J. Cohen, author of the Bad Hair Day mystery series, discussing the joys and trials of begin a full-time writer. July 15: Nancy Geise, author of “Auschwitz #34207: The Joe Rubinstein Story,” will discuss her nonfiction book set during the Holocaust. July 22: Marcia King-Gamble, author of “Truly Mine,” will present the workshop “Making Your Characters Come Alive.” July 29: Miriam Auerbach, author of the Dirty Harriet mystery series, will lead a workshop on writing humor.
Know a teenager with aspirations of being a writer, or at least learning about writing? Last summer, the NSU workshop for teenagers ages 13 to 18 was one of the library’s most popular. The young adult workshops featuring South Florida authors, including Joyce Sweeney, are 4 to 6 p.m. Thursdays in Room 1017 on the library’s first floor. The teen writing workshops are July 6, July 20 and July 27; participants can join at any time. A panel on getting published is scheduled for July 13. The young adult series ends with a reception on Aug. 3.
Authors Academy continues
The annual Authors Academy workshops are 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through Sept. 23 at Murder on the Beach, 273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach. Each workshop is $25. For reservations, call 561-279-7790, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit FLauthorsacademy.com.
Here the upcoming workshops: July 8: All Talk, and Action. Techniques to write dialogue that flows convincingly, advances the plot, and builds character. Includes writing prompts for hands-on practice. Instructor: DJ Niko. July 15: Pacing: How NOT To Bore Your Reader To Death. How to blend compelling characters, narrative, dialogue, action, and the proper fusion of length in scenes and chapters. . Instructor: Laura Belgrave. July 22: Who's talking here? Point of View. Is your novel in first person? Third person? Or something else? Each method has advantages and disadvantages. Instructor: Elaine Viets. July 29: The WHY NOTs of Children’s Books. How to find ideas and weave them into a children’s book. Instructor: Gloria Rothstein. Aug. 5: The Who: of What, When and Where! What is it about the characters we love and love to hate? From initial concept to the conclusion, the development and growth of characters make plots come alive. Instructor: Charles Todd.
Former Broward County Prosecutor Alan Bell was used to dealing with organized crime and cartel members in the courtroom during the late 1980s. But a near-death experience came when he moved his private law practice into a “sick building” on Broward Boulevard. He developed high fevers, sore throats, swollen glands and impaired breathing. He could barely walk. Eventually, his worsening health forced him to stop working.
Bell was diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity, which is caused by exposure to environmental toxins. His doctor advised him to avoid all synthetic chemicals and live in complete isolation within a totally organic environment. So he did — moving with his family to a small house built of glass and stone in the Arizona desert. He lived there in the environmentally controlled “bubble” for eight years, confined to a wheelchair and bound to an oxygen tank.
Bell turned his experience into the book “Poisoned How a Crime-Busting Prosecutor Turned His Medical Mystery into a Crusade for Environmental Victims.” (Read and interview with Bell.) Bell will be joined by Kingsley Guy (“Queen of the Heavens”), Ronald Feinman (“Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama”) and Bobby F. Kimbrourgh Jr. (“Beyond Midnight: Finding Strength in the Struggle”) from 2 to 4 p.m. July 1 at Barnes & Noble, 2051 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 954-561-3732. In a solo appearance, Bell also will discuss his book, his life-threatening experiences and how to prevent them from 7 to 9 p.m. July 11 at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, 305-442-4408.
Realism in novels
The hallmark of a good novel is how authenticity of the plot. is a Former fire fighter and author Patrick Kendrick, whose latest novel is “Acoustic Shadows,” will present the workshop “Behind the Scenes: National Preparedness For Disasters and Domestic Terror” beginning at 11:30 a.m. July 15 as part of the monthly meeting of the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America at Embassy Suites, 661 NW 53rd St., Boca Raton. Cost is $25 for members; $30 for nonmembers. For reservations, visit mwaflorida.org or email email@example.com.
Kendrick spent much of his 30-year firefighting career as a special rescue and hazardous materials technician and trainer. He is the founder of FireO.W.L. (Objectives for World Leaders) and instructs armed forces units in specialized disaster tactics.