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Colette Bancroft, Times Book Editor

Colette Bancroft

Colette Bancroft is the book editor of the Tampa Bay Times. She joined the Times in 1997 and has been a news editor, general assignment features writer and food and travel writer, as well as a frequent contributor of reviews of books, theater and other arts. She became book editor in 2007. Before joining the Times, Bancroft was a reporter and editor at the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson and an instructor in the English departments of the University of South Florida and the University of Arizona. Bancroft grew up in Tampa.

Phone: (727) 893-8435

Email: cbancroft@tampabay.com

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  1. Review: Lori Roy weaves a Southern Gothic spell in 'Let Me Die in His Footsteps'

    Books

    To many of us, lavender smells like serenity, sweet and calming. But to Annie Holleran, the fields of lavender on her family's Kentucky farm smell like too much: too much secret history, too much strangled longing, too much violence and grief. Lavender, like love, can turn from sweet to cloying, even stifling.

    Those lavender fields and the tobacco farms around them are the setting for Let Me Die in His Footsteps, the third novel by writer Lori Roy, who lives in Tierra Verde. Her debut, Bent Road, won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for best first novel, and her second book, Until She Comes Home, was an Edgar nominee....

    Lori Roy was born and raised in Manhattan, Kansas where she attended and graduated from Kansas State University. Her work has appeared in the Chattahoochee Review. She currently lives with her family in west central Florida. Bent Road is her first novel.
  2. Notable: Books about comic books

    Books

    Notable

    In the funny pages

    Can't get enough comic book heroes at the movies? These books will feed your fandom.

    The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Comics (Watson Guptill) by Comfort Love and Adam Withers, husband-and-wife creators of The Uniques and other comics, is an illustrated handbook for creating and publishing comic books, manga and Web comics....

  3. Events: William Valentine to sign his new novel on May 31

    Books

    Book Talk

    William Valentine (Costa Rican Reprise) will sign his thriller at 2 p.m. May 31 at Haslam's Book Store, 2025 Central Ave., St. Petersburg.

    Debra Dockter (Deadly Design) will discuss and sign her YA thriller at 7 p.m. June 2 at Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa.

    Wildlife photographer David FitzSimmons (Curious Critters Marine) will present a children's program and signing at 4 p.m. June 6 at Inkwood Books....

  4. Summer books set the stage for your vacations

    Books

    For some of us, choosing the right book to read on vacation is almost as important as choosing the right destination.

    Publishers know well how many people think of vacation as an opportunity to read — summer always brings a flood of new books, and this year is no exception.

    The biggest literary event of the season, of course, will be the publication of Harper Lee's second book ever, Go Set a Watchman, on July 14. I don't know any more about it than you do, since Lee's publisher is not providing advance review copies to critics. Will it be as memorable a novel as To Kill a Mockingbird, or an author's early effort that should have stayed in the desk drawer, or something in between? We'll all find out together....

  5. Notable: Books in flight

    Books

    Notable

    Airborne

    Three new nonfiction books look at human flight, from its early days to its future.

    Beyond: Our Future in Space (W.W. Norton) by Chris Impey, a distinguished astronomer, looks at the wanderlust that has inspired space exploration and the advances, from solar sails to suspended animation, that could shape its future.

    First to Fly: The Story of the Lafayette Escadrille, the American Heroes Who Flew for France in World War I (Atlantic Monthly Press) by Charles Bracelen Flood is the compelling story of the squadron of adventurous young American pilots who were among the first to engage in air combat....

  6. Tell us about your BookCon plans

    Books

    Tell us about your BookCon plans

    Are you planning to attend BookCon 2015 in New York City on May 30-31? If so, the Tampa Bay Times would like to talk to you. Contact Colette Bancroft at cbancroft@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8435.

  7. Events: Fawn Germer to discuss 'Work-Life Reset'

    Books

    Book Talk

    Bestselling author Fawn Germer (Work-Life Reset) will discuss her memoir of trekking 70 miles on Pinellas beaches at 7 p.m. Thursday at Dunedin Public Library, 223 Douglas Ave.

    Local author Shary Hauer (Insatiable: A Memoir of Love Addiction) will read from and sign her book at 6 p.m. Thursday at Barnes & Noble Clearwater, 23654 U.S. 19 N....

  8. In 'The Tempest: Esta Isla Es Mia,' Freefall Theatre merges Shakespeare and Cuba

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG

    The set for the next production at Freefall Theatre includes 9 tons of sand on the stage. But don't expect a day at the beach.

    The Tempest: Esta Isla Es Mia is an adaptation of one of William Shakespeare's greatest plays. Eric Davis, Freefall's artistic director, wrote the one-man play and will star in it. This will be the first one-person play presented on Freefall's main stage....

    Eric Davis wrote and stars in Freefall Theatre’s “The Tempest: Esta Isla Es Mia,” an adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”
  9. Authors Michael Connelly, Michael Lister talk books in St. Petersburg

    Books

    Corky Lahey and Marylin Vallis didn't just show up early for a book talk and signing by Michael Connelly and Michael Lister on Thursday night in St. Petersburg.

    "We were here for batting practice," Lahey said. "We've been here since 3 o'clock."

    The couple, who split their time between Hudson and Long Island, said Connelly is their favorite author. They're not alone. His crime fiction — 27 novels and counting — has sold more than 58 million copies worldwide....

    Michael Connelly, left, and Michael Lister talk about their novels and influences Thursday at Genaro Coffee in St. Petersburg.
  10. Review: Spenser's latest case takes him to Tampa in Ace Atkins' 'Kickback'

    Books

    Oh, Spenser, bless your big old meticulous heart.

    If Robert B. Parker's Boston private eye weren't already one of my fictional heroes, he would be after his response to another character in Kickback who tells him someone works in "Tampa Bay."

    " 'Tampa Bay is a body of water,' I said. 'Is he in Tampa or St. Pete?' "

    Actually, for that accuracy about Tampa and environs, which play a substantial role in the latest Spenser book, we can thank author Ace Atkins, who was chosen to continue the series after Parker's death in 2010. In the 1990s Atkins was a reporter at the Tampa Tribune and the then-St. Petersburg Times, and he knows the area well. (In 2006 he published White Shadow, a terrific crime novel set in Tampa and based on the real-life 1955 murder of crime boss Charlie Wall.)...

    This photo released by Penguin shows author Ace Atkins poses in the Arcade Resturant in Memphis. (AP Photo/Jay Nolan, Penguin)
  11. Events: Author David C. Edmonds to appear at Wordier Than Thou

    Books

    Book Talk

    Local author David C. Edmonds (Lily of Peru) will be the featured reader at the next Wordier Than Thou open mic event at 7 p.m. May 19 at Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Admission is $5.

    Local author Joseph DeMark (Finding Aaron Laws: A Walter Spotsman Mystery) will discuss and sign his novel at 2 p.m. May 21 at Clearwater East Public Library, 2251 Drew St....

  12. Notable: gifts for graduates

    Books

    Notable

    Grist for grads

    It's the time of year when graduates are gifted with inspiring books; here are three new ones.

    A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life (Simon & Schuster) by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman recounts how film and TV producer Grazer (24, Arrested Development, Empire) has expanded his creativity through "curiosity conversations" with people from all walks of life....

  13. Review: Tampa Repertory presents a subtle and layered 'Betrayal'

    Stage

    TAMPA — Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter's 1978 play Betrayal is one of his best known and most frequently produced works. The three-person drama is an icily clever dissection of adultery and marriage, which by the time Pinter is done with them don't look all that different.

    Tampa Repertory Theatre's production of Betrayal captures Pinter's ambiguities and ironies, and its actors rise to the challenge of its unusual structure. The play is set in London over almost a decade, from 1968 to 1977, but its action moves back in time rather than forward. The first scene shows us former lovers Emma and Jerry meeting two years after their seven-year affair has ended; the final scene shows their first kiss. Much of the dialogue in Betrayal is multi-layered, its true meaning only revealed as the play moves back in time. ...

    (Paramount Pictures)
  14. Michael Connelly, Michael Lister to talk books in St. Petersburg

    Books

    A once-infamous real-life murder case and a famous fictional detective have significant roles in Florida author Michael Lister's latest novel.

    Innocent Blood is a prequel to Lister's previous six mysteries about former cop turned prison chaplain John Jordan. The new book recounts the first case Jordan ever investigated, back when he was 18 years old: the Atlanta child murders in 1979-81....

    Innocent Blood is Florida author Michael Lister’s latest work. He and Michael Connelly will appear together in St. Petersburg on May 14.
  15. Notable: women's worlds

    Books

    Notable

    Women's worlds

    Mom, is that Mother's Day gift card burning a hole in your pocket? Consider new books by terrific female authors.

    The Children's Crusade (Scribner) by Ann Packer is a sweeping family saga set in Northern California and spanning three decades and two generations, told from the points of view of Bill and Penny Blair and their four adult children....