Matthew Pearl’s clue-laden detective stories are also well-researched, atmospheric historical novels that succinctly mix fact and fiction. His novels illustrate the true art of historical mysteries, showing just how relevant the issues of another century are to modern times.
Pearl’s new novel, “The Dante Chamber,” is a follow-up to his New York Times best-selling “The Dante Club.” Set in 1870, “The Dante Chamber” revolves around a series of London murders in the style of the penances Dante memorialized in “Purgatory,” with verses also from “The Divine Comedy.”
Pearl, who grew up in Fort Lauderdale and attended the University School of Nova Southeastern University, will discuss “The Dante Chamber” as part of the David Posnack Jewish Community Center’s Diane & Barry Wilen Jewish Book Festival, beginning at 1:30 p.m. June 15 at the Stirling Road Library, 3151 Stirling Road, Hollywood. For reservations and price, call 954-434-0499, ext. 336, or visit jccbooks.com.
Authors Academy continues
The store continues its annual Authors Academy with workshops led by published authors and publishing experts. The workshops are held 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the store. Each workshop is $25. For reservations, call 561-279-7790, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit FLauthorsacademy.com.
Workshops through August are:
June 9: Adding Depth to Your Characters. Going deeper into main and supporting characters, exploring their desires, motivations and perspectives. Instructor: Solange Ritchie
June 19: Building Impressive Stories with the Character-Wanted-However-Ongoing exercise. Instructor: Christopher Hawke
June 23: Write Your Memoir Story: Here’s What Happened! Workshop focuses on the opening paragraphs of your own true story; an incident or a night in the past, when your story took another turn. Instructor: Brenda Serotte
June 30: Mastering Plot Twists. How to integrate unexpected twists and turns at tactically sound moments in stories. Instructor: Jane Cleland
July 7: Dialogue: The Voices in Your Head. Believable dialogue establishes characters as real people, and helps move the plot. Instructor: Elaine Viets
July 14: Freelance Like a Pro. A magazine veteran discusses how to pitch, research and produce relevant stories that will appeal to editors. Instructor: DJ Niko
July 21: Point of View. Clarifying the story’s focus allows the action to carry the story forward. Instructor: Mark Spivak
July 28: Scrivener Basics: An Audience Interactive Live Demo. Using basic novel template in Scrivener. Instructor: MJ Carlson
Aug. 4: Writing: It’s a Business. Authors have to market themselves, keep on top of social media, know their print run, and read their contract. Instructor: Marcia King-Gamble
Aug. 11: Just the Facts, M’am. Weaving facts to make fiction realistic. Instructor: Eliot Kleinberg
Aug. 18: Fearless Writing: A Stress-Free Workshop. Finding the heart of the book in progress. Instructor: Elizabeth Sims
Aug. 25: Everyone Judges a Book by Its Cover. A professional cover designer will show the basics of images, layouts and photo editing. Instructor: Victoria Landis
Broward Libraries honored
The Broward County Libraries Division has received three awards from the Florida Library Association for outstanding library services, resources, programs and staff during the organization’s annual conference in May in Orlando.
The Active Learning Center, which offers a free play space to promote school readiness for children up to age 5, received the Betty Davis Miller Youth Services Award. It is located on the second floor of the Main Library in Fort Lauderdale.
Samuel Morrison, the retired director of the Broward Counties Library Division, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes a librarian with a long-standing, distinguished record of professional achievements and accomplishments. Morrison spent more than 30 years as a library professional that included bringing the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center to fruition.
Robert Anstett, who as coordinator of Digital Initiatives oversees the library’s various Creation Station locations offering free resources, training and high-tech equipment, won the Outstanding Paraprofessional Award. This recognizes a library paraprofessional or support staff member who has made a significant contribution to libraries in Florida.
Lauren Groff’s novel “Fates and Furies” established her as an expert at dissecting the highs and lows of marriage as she looked at a couple whose marriage was never easy, but, in its own way, very strong. Groff’s short story collection “Florida” features the strong characters she’s known for but uses aspects of the Sunshine State as its emotional center. The stories in “Florida” span decades and towns as the state’s landscape, climate and history influence the characters. Goff will discuss “Florida” at 8 p.m. June 6 at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, 305-442-4408, booksandbooks.com. The event is free, but rsvp for a ticket as this will be a popular event.
Another case for FBI expert
In her second novel, “Firestorm,” Solange Ritchie continues the adventures of Catherine Powers, a FBI forensics pathologist. In “Firestorm,” the FBI expert is on the trail of a murderer as fires rage through Southern California neighborhoods. Ritchie will participate in a summer writing workshop at 2 p.m. June 16 at the Alvin Sherman Library, Nova Southeastern University, 3100 Ray Ferrero Jr. Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; email email@example.com.
Short story revival
Short stories have been having a revival, of sorts, with a number of anthologies being published. Elaine Viets will discuss “The Devilish Art of Writing Short Stories” beginning at 11:30 a.m. June 16 during the monthly meeting of the Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America at Embassy Suites, 661 NW 53rd St., Boca Raton. Cost is $25 for members; $30 for non-members. For reservation, email firstname.lastname@example.org
This column will be on hiatus until Sept. 2. Email events to email@example.com.