Although author events slow down during the summer, this is the time that the annual Florida Authors Academy thrives. Workshops are led by published authors and are held 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through Sept. 19 at Murder on the Beach Bookstore, 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's what's on tap in June:
June 13: Sharing our Stories: The Heart and Soul of Memoir. Writing personal tales can be fun, even cathartic. Instructor: Brenda Serotte
June 20: How to Hatch a Plot. Turn bright idea into a well-plotted novel with tips on outlining, pacing, plot twists, red herrings and more. With handouts. Instructor: Elaine Viets
June 27: Navigating the Rocky Road to Publication. Traditional, small press and self-publishing give authors more choices on the road to publication today. Instructor: Nancy J. Cohen
Mystery, romance writers to meet
The Florida Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America has scheduled a double-header for its last meeting of the summer. Carla Norton will discuss "The Whole Truth and Other Fiction" about her experiences writing both nonfiction and fiction. Norton has written two true crime books, including "Perfect Victim," which was put on the reading list for the FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit and became a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Her novel "The Edge of Normal" looks at a young woman rebuilding her life after being held captive for years.
Norton will discuss research, psychopaths, expert witnesses and Stockholm syndrome beginning at 11:30 a.m. June 20 at the Doubletree, Hillsboro Boulevard and Interstate 95, Deerfield Beach. Cost is $25 for members, $30 for nonmembers. Following the lunch, Norton will lead the writing workshop "How to Resuscitate a Scene" at 2 p.m. Cost of the workshop is $10. For reservations, email email@example.com.
Becca Puglisi, who writes young adult fantasy and historical fiction, will discuss "Using Character Emotion to Wow Readers" during the Florida Romance Writers meeting beginning at 9 a.m. June 13 at the Hyatt Place, 1851 SE 10th Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Cost is $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers. For reservations, e-mail Rossie Cortes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer reading series
Elaine Viets sets her latest mystery, "Checked Out," in a library so it seems fitting that she kick off the "Escape the Ordinary" Summer Reading Series at 1 p.m. June 9 at the Bienes Museum Ceremonial Room on the sixth floor of the Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale. The event is free, but reservations requested. Call 954-357-7443. Viets will discuss "Checked Out" beginning at 5:30 p.m. June 19 as part of "Between The Covers," the WXEL Book Club at the WXEL station, 3401 S. Congress Ave., Boynton Beach, call 561-364-4429 or email at email@example.com to reserve a free spot.
New writing award
In addition to becoming an annual event, the second Mystery Writers Key West Fest will launch a writing award to honor an author who made Florida home.
The inaugural Jeremiah Healy Mystery Writing Award -- "The Jerry" -- will be presented during the event Aug. 14-16 in Key West. The winner will receive a book-publishing contract with Absolutely Amazing eBooks, free Mystery Writers Key West Fest registration, hotel accommodations for two nights, and a bobble-headed Jerry trophy.
Healy, who died in August 2014, was the author of 13 novels about Boston-based private detective John Francis Cuddy and, under the pseudonym Terry Devane, wrote the Mairead O'Clare legal thriller series. Healy's writing career began while a professor at the New England School of Law, where he taught for almost two decades. Healy wrote 18 novels and over 60 short stories, 15 of which won or were nominated for the Shamus Award.
For nearly 20 years, Healy lived in Fort Lauderdale where he was active in the Florida chapter of Mystery Writers of America and the writers conference Sleuthfest.
"The Jerry" is sponsored by Absolutely Amazing eBooks. Candidates for the Jeremiah Healy Mystery Writing Award should submit the first three pages of a finished, unpublished manuscript no later than June 30. There is no fee to enter. Finalists will be notified Aug. 1, and will have until Aug. 10 to submit full manuscripts.
This year's Mystery Writers Key West Fest -- "Murder & Mayhem in Paradise" -- includes multiple workshops, presentations, panel discussions and social events with crime fiction and true crime writers. For more information go to mysterywriterskeywestfest.com.
Novel examines true crime
South Florida journalist Bob Brink bases his novel "Murder in Palm Beach" on a real murder that occurred in 1976 in Palm Beach and its subsequent trial. Brink will discuss "Murder in Palm Beach" at June 4 at Greenacres Branch Library, 3750 Jog Road, Greenacres, 561-641-9100; at 2 p.m. June 22 at the Glades Road Branch Library, 20701 95th Ave. S., Boca Raton, 561-482-4554; at 2:30 p.m. June 30 at the Gardens Branch Library, 11303 Campus Drive, Palm Beach Gardens, 561-626-6133.
Sunrise resident Bradette Michel's debut novel, "For Their Own Good," (Harvard Square Editions) takes place in a 19th Century insane asylum. Michel leads a writers critique group at 5:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month at the Sunrise Dan Pearl Library, 10500 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise, 954-357-7440.
Literary Feast raised $165,000
The Literary Feast raised $165,000, which will help underwrite 20 Broward County Library programs, including computer instruction classes, the SAT/ACT Workshops for high school students, the Summer Reading Program, and the upcoming Creation Station Business at the Main Library for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
For those of us who love books, the closing of a bookstore is a sad time. Well Read Bookstore & Gallery has sponsored a number of well-attended book events in the five years it has been in business. But on June 27 Well Read (1374 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale, 954-467-8878) will close.
Items for the July column must be received by June 20. Email firstname.lastname@example.org