Live and recorded author interviews from the three-day festival.
Book: A Time For Mercy
Link: John Grisham InterviewAuthor Bio: John Grisham is the author of thirty-five novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and seven novels for young readers. His most recent legal thriller is A Time for Mercy.
Book: 2019-2020 Newspaper in Education Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Award Grand Prize Winner, “Gunshot”
Link: Awards Ceremony VideoAuthor Bio: 2019-2020 Newspaper in Education Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Award Grand Prize Winner, Rashi Lakhotia is a junior in the biomedical sciences magnet program at Middleton High School. She has always loved to read and write, but the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing contest is the first writing competition she’s ever entered. Besides reading, she likes to do painting by the numbers, unsuccessfully bullet journal and go on long walks. Outside of school, she studies karate and takes piano lessons.
Book: Election 2020
Link: PolitiFact interviewAuthor Bio: PolitiFact is the Pulitzer Prize-winning website, owned by the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies. They began in 2007 as a project of the Tampa Bay Times with reporters and editors from the newspaper and its affiliated media partners reporting on the accuracy of statements made by elected officials, candidates and others involved in U.S. Politics. Its journalists evaluate original statements and publish their findings on the website, where statements receive a "Truth-O-Meter" rating. Ratings range from "True" for statements the journalists deems as accurate to "Pants on Fire" for claims the journalists deems as false. PolitiFact editors will discuss the truth about 2020 and how they sort fact from fiction in the craziest year imaginable.
Book: Naked Came the Florida Man
Link: Tim Dorsey InterviewAuthor Bio: Tim Dorsey was born in Indiana, moved to Florida at the age of 1, and grew up in Riviera Beach. He graduated from Auburn University in 1983. While at Auburn, he was editor of the student newspaper, The Plainsman. From 1983 to 1987, he was a police and courts reporter for the Alabama Journal, the now-defunct evening newspaper in Montgomery. He joined the Tampa Tribune in 1987 as a general assignment reporter. He also worked as a political reporter in the Tribune’s Tallahassee bureau and a copy desk editor. From 1994 to 1999, he was the Tribune’s night metro editor. He left the paper in August 1999 to write full time. Tim has since published 23 novels in several languages: Florida Roadkill, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, Orange Crush, Triggerfish Twist, The Stingray Shuffle, Cadillac Beach, Torpedo Juice, The Big Bamboo, Hurricane Punch, Atomic Lobster, Nuclear Jellyfish, Gator A-Go-Go, Electric Barracuda, When Elves Attack, Pineapple Grenade, The Riptide Ultra-Glide, Tiger Shrimp Tango, Shark Skin Suite, Coconut Cowboy, Clownfish Blues, The Pope of Palm Beach, No Sunscreen for the Dead and, most recently, Naked Came the Florida Man. Dorsey contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir. He lives in Florida and will never leave.
Book: His Very Best
Link: Jonathan Alter InterviewAuthor Bio: A specialist in the American presidency, Jonathan Alter has interviewed President Richard M. Nixon, President Gerald R. Ford, President Jimmy Carter, President George H.W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, as well as many other heads of state. He has written three New York Times bestsellers: The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope (2006); The Promise: President Obama, Year One (2010); and The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies (2013). Alter’s latest book is His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life. A Chicago native, Alter received his B.A. in history with honors from Harvard in 1979. He is chair of the board of the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project, which provides cash awards for nonfiction authors, and serves on the board of the Historians Advisory Council of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial. He is married to Emily Lazar and they live in New Jersey.
Book: Rules for the Southern RulebreakerAuthor Bio: Katherine Snow Smith has lived throughout the South as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, public relations executive, daughter, sister, mother, wife, divorcee and friend. The Raleigh native graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and started her journalism career covering three minuscule towns in South Carolina. After a stint covering business in Charlotte, N.C., she moved to Florida and started a 20-year career at the Tampa Bay Times. Smith covered business and, after having her first baby, started a parenting column called Rookie Mom. Now — three kids, two careers and one divorce later — she is embracing the fact that life has many chapters and writes about it in her first book, Rules for the Southern Rule-Breaker.
Book: Tampa Bay NoirAuthor Bio: Gale Massey’s debut novel, The Girl From Bind River, received a 208 Florida Book Award. Her award-winning stories and essays have appeared I the Tampa Bay Times, Sabal and other publications. She has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and Eckerd College’s Writers in Paradise. A Florida native, she lives in St. Petersburg. Massey contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir.
Book: From Saloons To Steak Houses
Link: Andrew T. Huse InterviewAuthor Bio: Andrew T. Huse is a librarian with the University of South Florida Libraries’ Special Collections department. He lectures across the state about Florida history and foodways. In addition to his new book, From Saloons to Steak Houses: A History of Tampa, he is the author of The Columbia Restaurant: Celebrating a Century of History, Culture, and Cuisine.
Book: I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird
Link: Susan Cerulean InterviewAuthor Bio: Susan Cerulean is a writer, naturalist and activist based in Tallahassee. Her latest book is the memoir I Have Been Assigned the Single Bird: A Daughter’s Memoir. Her other books include Coming to Pass: Florida’s Coastal Islands in a Gulf of Change: Tracking Desire: A Journey after Swallow-tailed Kites; UnspOILed: Writers Speak for Florida’s Coast, coedited with Janisse Ray and A. James Wohlpart; and Between Two Rivers: Stories from the Red Hills to the Gulf, edited with Janisse Ray and Laura Newton. She was a founding member of the Red Hills Writers Project and was named Environmental Educator of the Year by the Governor’s Council for a Sustainable Florida.
Book: 12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady's Fight for RedemptionAuthor Bio: Casey Sherman is an acclaimed journalist and author of ten books, including The Finest Hours, a New York Times bestseller that became a major motion picture, and CBS Films' Patriots Day. With Dave Wedhe, he co-wrote 12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady's Fight for Redemption. A graduate of Boston University, Sherman is also a contributing writer for Esquire and Boston Magazine, an international correspondent for FOX News, the co-founder of Whydah Productions, and a much sought after national speaker. He lives in Massachusetts.
Book: This Thing Called Life
Link: Neal Karlen InterviewAuthor Bio: Neal Karlen’s ninth book is This Thing Called Life: Prince's Odyssey, On and Off the Record, a memoir of his 31-year friendship with, well, Prince. Karlen was an associate editor for Newsweek, a contributing editor for Rolling Stone, a regular contributor to the New York Times, and an on-air essayist for CBS News and National Public Radio. His other books range in topic from vaudeville, minor league baseball, and Midwest mobsters to religious fundamentalism, linguistics, and the Kabbalah. Karlen’s articles have appeared in both the New Yorker and the punk rock fanzine the Squealer, and his fiction has been published in the Indiana Review and Mandala. He has lectured from Bangor to Bakersfield on everything and nothing, and lives in his native Minneapolis.
Book: Bad News Travels
Link: James Swain InterviewAuthor Bio: James Swain is the Washington Post bestselling author of 22 mystery novels and has worked as a magazine editor, a screenwriter and a novelist. His books have been translated into a dozen languages and have been selected as Mysteries of the Year by Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. His latest novel, Bad News Travels, brings back his series characters Jon Lancaster and Beth Daniels. The author of two previous novels in that series, The King Tides and No Good Deed, Swain has been nominated for five Barry Awards, has received a Florida Book Award for fiction, and was awarded France’s prestigious Prix Calibre .38 for Best American Crime Writing. He lives in Keystone.
Book: The Popper Penguin Rescue
Link: Eliot Schrefer InterviewAuthor Bio: Eliot Schrefer is the author most recently of The Popper Penguin Rescue, a sequel to the 1938 children’s classic Mr. Popper’s Penguins. Schrefer is also the author of The Lost Rainforest, a middle-grade series about rainforest animals saving their land from a mysterious invader. After a childhood spent in Illinois, Connecticut, California, Maryland, and Florida, Schrefer attended Harvard University. His first novel, Glamorous Disasters, was a somewhat autobiographical tale of a young man living in Harlem and paying off college debt while tutoring Fifth-Avenue families. He turned to young adult fiction with The School for Dangerous Girls, about a boarding school for criminal young ladies. Endangered, his fifth novel, was a finalist for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature, one of NPR’s “Best of 2012,” and an editor’s choice in the New York Times, which called it “dazzling, big-hearted.” Schrefer journeyed to the Democratic Republic of Congo while researching the novel, and traveled more widely to write a quartet of novels about the great apes, one book for each primate. The second in that series, Threatened, was also a National Book Award Finalist. He contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir. Most recently, Schrefer joined the faculty of Fairleigh Dickinson's low residency MFA program, as well as the MFA in writing for children at Hamline University.
Book: Bad Axe a Thorn Novel
Link: James W. Hall InterviewAuthor Bio: James W. Hall is the author of 21 novels, four books of poetry, two short story collections, and two works of nonfiction, including Hit Lit, a study of twelve of the biggest bestsellers of the 20th century and what they have in common. His new book, Bad Axe, is the 15th novel in the Thorn series; the first, Under Cover of Daylight, was published in 1987. Formerly a professor of creative writing at Florida International University in Miami, where he taught for 40 years, he now lives with his wife, Evelyn, and two King Charles spaniels in the mountains of North Carolina.
Book: The Law of InnocenceAuthor Bio: Michael Connelly is the author of 34 previous novels, including the No. 1 New York Times bestsellers The Night Fire and Dark Sacred Night. His books, which include the Harry Bosch series, the Lincoln Lawyer series, and the Renée Ballard series, have sold more than 74 million copies worldwide. His latest book is The Law of Innocence, a Lincoln Lawyer novel. Connelly is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels. He contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir. Connelly is the executive producer of Bosch, starring Titus Welliver, and the creator and host of the podcast Murder Book. He spends his time in California and Florida.
Book: Miami Noir the Classics
Link: Les Standiford InterviewAuthor Bio: Les Standiford, who edited Miami Noir: The Classics, is the author of 24 books and novels, including the award-winning John Deal thriller series. His nonfiction publications include Last Train to Paradise, the One Read choice of a dozen public library systems, and Bringing Adam Home, a Wall Street Journal number one true crime best seller. He is director of the MFA program in creative writing at Florida International University in Miami and of the Writers in Paradise conference at Eckerd College.
Book: HamnetAuthor Bio: Born in Northern Ireland in 1972, Maggie O’Farrell grew up in Wales and Scotland and now lives in Edinburgh. She is the author of The Hand That First Held Mine (winner of the Costa Novel Award); Instructions for a Heatwave; This Must Be the Place; and the memoir I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death. Her latest novel is Hamnet.
Book: The Nickel BoysAuthor Bio: Colson Whitehead is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Underground Railroad, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award and was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review. He is also a recipient of the MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships. In 2020, he won his second Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Nickel Boys. He lives in New York City
Book: Tampa Bay NoirAuthor Bio: Danny Lopez, a pen name for Phillippe Diederich, is the author of the novels Playing for the Devil’s Fire and Sofrito, and the Dexer Vega mysteries The Last Breath and The last Girl. The son of Haitian exiles, he was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Mexico City and Miami. Lopez contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir.
Book: The Times I Knew I Was Gay
Link: Eleanor Crewes InterviewAuthor Bio: Eleanor Crewes is a London-based illustrator, author and graphic artist who graduated from University of the Arts in London in 2016. Her debut graphic memoir, The Times I Knew I Was Gay, originated as a self-published zine in 2017. It eventually became a small book, published by Good Comics and exhibited at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Thought Bubble, Brighton Illustration Fair and Lakes International Comic Arts Festival. This new and expanded version represents her American debut.
Book: Tampa Bay NoirAuthor Bio: Colette Bancroft has been the book editor at the Tampa Bay Times since 2007. In addition to writing reviews and interviewing authors, she directs the annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading. She served two terms on the board of the National Book Critics Circle. Bancroft earned degrees in English from the University of South Florida and the University of Florida, and she wishes she had finished her dissertation on the novels of Raymond Chandler.
Book: The CommitteeAuthor Bio: Sterling Watson is the author of eight novels, including Deadly Sweet, Sweet Dream Baby, Fighting in the Shade and Suitcase City. Watson’s short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Prairie Schooner, the Georgia Review, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the Michigan Quarterly Review, and the Southern Review. He was director of the creative writing program at Eckerd College for 20 years and now teaches in the Solstice MFA Program at Pine Manor College in Boston. Of his sixth novel, Suitcase City, Tom Franklin said, “If this taut literary crime novel doesn’t center Sterling Watson on the map, we should change maps.” Watson lives in St. Petersburg. The Committee, set in Gainesville during the 1950s, is his latest novel. He contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir.
Link: Phil Klay InterviewAuthor Bio: Phil Klay is a graduate of Dartmouth College and a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in Iraq’s Anbar Province from January 2007 to February 2008 as a Public Affairs Officer. After being discharged he received an MFA from Hunter College of the City University of New York. Klay’s New York Times-bestselling short story collection Redeployment won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2014. Redeployment also received the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation’s James Webb award for fiction dealing with U.S. Marines or Marine Corps life, the National Book Critics’ Circle John Leonard Award for best debut work in any genre, the American Library Association’s W. Y. Boyd Literary Award for Excellence in Military Fiction, the Chautauqua Prize, and the Warwick Prize for Writing; and was short listed for the Frank O’Connor Prize. He was also named a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree. Klay’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and the Brookings Institution’s Brookings Essay series. His new book and first novel is Missionaries.
Book: Murder Your DarlingsAuthor Bio: For more than three decades, Roy Peter Clark taught writing at the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists in St. Petersburg. He graduated from Providence College with a degree in English and earned his PhD from Stony Brook University. In 1977 Clark was hired by the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) as one of America’s first writing coaches, to improve newspaper writing nationwide. He has taught writing at news organizations, schools, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies in more than 40 states and on five continents. Clark has authored or edited 19 books about writing, reading, language and journalism. His latest book is Murder Your Darlings: And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser. Humorist Dave Barry has said of him: “Roy Peter Clark knows more about writing than anybody I know who is not currently dead.” He plays keyboard in a rock band. He lives with his family in St. Petersburg, where he has become famously fond of pelicans.
Book: Tampa Bay NoirAuthor Bio: Karen Brown is the author of two novels, The Clairvoyants and The Longings of Wayward Girls, and two short story collections, Little Sinner and Other Stories and Pins and Needles: Stories. Her work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, The O.Henry Prize Stories and many literary journals. She teaches creative writing at the University of South Florida. Brown contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir.
Book: A Wild Winter SwanAuthor Bio: Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, Mirror Mirror, After Alice, Hiddensee and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Wicked, a beloved classic and basis for the blockbuster Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in print with a new hardcover edition. Maguire has lectured on art, literature and culture both at home and abroad. His latest novel is A Wild Winter Swan. He lives with his family near Boston.
Book: A Private CathedralAuthor Bio: James Lee Burke is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time winner of the Edgar Award, a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master and the recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. A legend of the mystery genre, he's authored 38 novels and two short story collections. A Private Cathedral is his 40th book and his 23rd novel about Louisiana detective Dave Robicheaux. Burke lives in Missoula, Montana.
Book: Tampa Bay NoirAuthor Bio: Ladee Hubbard’s 2017 debut novel, The Talented Ribkins, set in Florida, won the Ernest J. Gaines Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for debut fiction. Her next novel, The Rib King, will be published in January. Hubbard contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir.
Book: Confessions on the 7:45
Link: Lisa Unger InterviewAuthor Bio: Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of 18 novels, most recently Confessions on the 7:45. With millions of readers worldwide and books published in 26 languages, Unger is widely regarded as a master of suspense. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few writers including Agatha Christie, and was also shortlisted for the Hammett Prize and Macavity Awards. Unger's critically acclaimed books have been voted "Best of the Year" or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, IndieBound and others. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure. Unger contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.
Book: How to FlyAuthor Bio: Barbara Kingsolver is the author of eight novels, including beloved bestsellers like The Poisonwood Bible and Pigs in Heaven. She has also published several books of nonfiction and the memoir Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, which won a James Beard Award. Her honors include the National Humanities Medal, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Her latest book is the poetry collection How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons).
Book: Where I Came From
Link: Rick Bragg InterviewAuthor Bio: Rick Bragg is the author of eight books, including the bestselling Ava’s Man and All Over But the Shoutin’. His new book is a collection of columns and essays, Where I Come From. He is also a regular contributor to Garden & Gun magazine. He lives in Alabama.
Book: The Book of Lost Names
Link: Kristin Harmel InterviewAuthor Bio: Kristin Harmel is the New York Times bestselling and No. 1 international bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names, The Winemaker’s Wife, and a dozen other novels that have been translated into numerous languages and sold all over the world. A former reporter for People magazine, Harmel has been writing professionally since the age of 16, when she began her career as a sportswriter, covering Major League Baseball and NHL hockey for a local magazine in Tampa Bay in the late 1990s. Her favorite stories at People were the “Heroes Among Us” features—tales of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. One of those features—the story of Holocaust-survivor-turned-philanthropist Henri Landwirth—partially inspired her 2012 novel, The Sweetness of Forgetting, which was a bestseller all over the world. Harmel was born in Massachusetts and spent part of her childhood in St. Petersburg. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Florida, she spent time living in Paris and Los Angeles and now lives in Orlando, with her husband and young son. She is also the co-founder and co-host of the weekly web show and podcast Friends & Fiction.
Book: True Love
Link: Sarah Gerard InterviewAuthor Bio: Sarah Gerard’s essay collection Sunshine State was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the Southern Book Prize, and was longlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Her novel Binary Star was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was named a best book of the year by NPR, Vanity Fair and Buzzfeed. Her new novel is True Love. Her short stories, essays and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, T Magazine, Granta, the Baffler, the Believer, Vice, Electric Literature and the anthologies We Can’t Help It If We’re From Florida, One Small Blow Against Encroaching Totalitarianism and Tampa Bay Noir. She lives in Pinellas County.
Book: Tampa Bay NoirAuthor Bio: Lori Roy is the two-time Edgar Award-winning author of five novels, the most recent of which is Gone Too Long. Two of her novels have been named a New York Times Notable Crime Book. Roy lives in St. Petersburg. She contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir.
Book: Still Knife Painting
Link: Cheryl Hollon InterviewAuthor Bio: Cheryl Hollon writes full time after leaving an engineering career designing and building military flight simulators in amazing countries such as England, Wales, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan and India. Fulfilling a lifetime dream, she combines her love of writing with a passion for creating art. She lives in St. Petersburg.
Book: Hello SummerAuthor Bio: Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of 27 novels, including her latest, Hello, Summer, and Sunset Beach, The High Tide Club, The Weekenders and Beach Town; and one cookbook, The Beach House Cookbook. A native of St. Petersburg, she earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Georgia. After a 14-year career working as a reporter at newspapers including the Savannah Morning News, the Marietta Journal and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she left journalism in 1991 to write fiction. Her first novel, Every Crooked Nanny, was published in 1992 by HarperCollins. She went on to write ten critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. In 2002, she assumed the pen name Mary Kay Andrews with the publication of Savannah Blues. In 2006, Hissy Fit became her first New York Times bestseller. To date, her novels have been published in German, Italian, Polish, Slovenian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czech and Japanese. She and her family divide their time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, Ga. In between cooking, spoiling her grandkids, and plotting her next novel, Mary Kay is an intrepid treasure hunter whose favorite pastime is junking and fixing up old houses.
Book: The Awkward Black Man
Link: Walter Mosley interviewAuthor Bio: Walter Mosley is the author of the new short story collection The Awkward Black Man and more than 50 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 25 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. In 2013, he was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame, and he is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award, a Grammy, PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award and an Edgar Award. He lives in New York City
Book: The Revelators
Link: Ace Atkins InterviewAuthor Bio: Ace Atkins is the author of 26 including ten Quinn Colson novels, most recently The Revelators, and eight New York Times–bestselling novels in the continuation of Robert B. Parker ’s iconic Spenser series. HBO has optioned the Quinn Colson novels with a series currently in high development, and Atkins ’ second novel for Robert B. Parker estate, Wonderland, was recently made into the film Spenser Confidential with Mark Wahlberg and Winston Duke. He contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir. A former newspaper reporter and SEC football player, Atkins also writes essays and investigative pieces for several publications, including Garden & Gun, the Wall Street Journal and Outside. He lives in Oxford, Miss., with his family.
Book: Tampa Bay NoirAuthor Bio: Yuly Restrepo Garces was born in Medellin, Colombia, and came to the United States 20 years ago as an asylee. Her writing has appeared in Catapult, Natural Bridge and Zone 3. She is an Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate, a McDowell fellow and an assistant professor of English at the University of Tampa. She contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir.
Book: My Life as a Villainess
Link: Laura Lippman InterviewAuthor Bio: Laura Lippman has been called one of the “essential” crime novelists of the past hundred years, with 24 books published in 30 languages. Her latest book is an essay collection, My Life as a Villainess. A former journalist, she continues to write for numerous publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Real Simple, New York magazine and Glamour.com. She lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.
Book: Tampa Bay NoirAuthor Bio: Luis Castillo grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Southern California. For three decades he has been a television sports producer, working for CNN Headline News, TBS Sports and Fox Sports. He lives in Largo with his family. Castillo contributed a story to Tampa Bay Noir.
Book: ValentineAuthor Bio: A native of West Texas, Elizabeth Wetmore is most at home in the desert, near the sea, or on the side of a mountain. She lives in Chicago, but she dreams of being bicoastal (Lake Michigan and Lake Travis). She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and two fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council as well as a grant from the Barbara Deming Foundation. She was a Rona Jaffe Scholar in Fiction at Bread Loaf and a Fellow at the MacDowell Colony. Valentine is her first novel.
Link: Ariel Sabar InterviewAuthor Bio: Ariel Sabar is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Atlantic, the New York Times, Harper's Magazine, the Washington Post, and This American Life. His debut book, My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq, won the National Book Critics Circle Award. His new book is Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife. Sabar graduated magna cum laude from Brown University and has lectured about his books and magazine stories at Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, the Royal Geographical Society of London, and Yale University, where he was a Poynter Fellow in Journalism. He has reported from Africa, Europe, Scandinavia, and the Middle East, and has been interviewed about his journalism on NPR, PBS NewsHour, and the BBC World Service.
Book: I am Anne Frank
Link: Brad Meltzer InterviewAuthor Bio: Brad Meltzer is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of thrillers like The Escape Artist, nonfiction books like The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington, gift books like Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter, and of course, the Ordinary People Change the World series for children. He also helped find the missing 9/11 flag with his History Channel television show Brad Meltzer’s Lost History. His latest Ordinary People books are I Am Anne Frank and I Am Benjamin Franklin. (And did you know that a picture of Brad is hidden in every I AM book?)
Book: Cat Tale
Link: Craig Pittman InterviewAuthor Bio: Craig Pittman is a native Floridian and an award-winning journalist. He spent 30 years at the Tampa Bay Times and now writes a weekly column on environmental issues for the Florida Phoenix. He is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, which won a gold medal from the Florida Book Awards. His latest, published in January, is Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther. The Florida Heritage Book Festival recently named him a Florida Literary Legend, and he has just started a podcast called "Welcome to Florida." He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and children.
Book: Governing on the Wrong Side of HistoryAuthor Bio: Gary R. Mormino is professor emeritus of history at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, where he taught for more than four decades. He is the winner of the Florida Humanities 2015 Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing and serves as Florida Humanities scholar in residence. In addition to Millard Fillmore Caldwell: Governing on the Wrong Side of History, he is the author of Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida and coauthor, with George Pozzetta, of The Immigrant World of Ybor City: Italians and Their Latin Neighbors in Tampa, 1885–1985. He lives in St. Petersburg.
Book: In the Land of Good Living
Link: Kent Russell InterviewAuthor Bio: Kent Russell’s essays have appeared in the New Republic, Harper's Magazine, GQ, n+1, the Believer, and Grantland. He is the author of I Am Sorry to Have Raised A Timid Son and, most recently, In the Land of Good Living: A Journey to the Heart of Florida. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Book: Squeeze Me
Link: Carl Hiaasen InterviewAuthor Bio: Florida native Carl Hiaasen has been a reporter and columnist for the Miami Herald since he was 23 years old. He is the author of 15 bestselling novels for adults, six books for young readers and several nonfiction books. Among other honors, he has received lifetime achievement awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the Florida Humanities Council. Starting with Tourist Season in 1986, Hiaasen’s wildly satirical novels have mined the rich real-life comedy of his home state. His latest book is Squeeze Me.
Book: The Changing South of Gene PattersonAuthor Bio: Raymond Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. One of the nation ’s leading civil rights historians, he is the author of several acclaimed and prize-winning books, including Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice (the source of an Emmy-winning documentary on PBS American Masters) and The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America. Arsenault’s most recent book is Arthur Ashe: A Life. He and Roy Peter Clark co-edited The Changing South of Gene Patterson: Journalism and Civil Rights, 1960-1968.
Book: 12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady's Fight for Redemption
Link: Dave Wedge InterviewAuthor Bio: Dave Wedge is a veteran journalist and the bestselling author of Boston Strong, which was adapted for the 2017 feature film Patriots Day. He writes for VICE and was an award-winning investigative reporter and columnist for the Boston Herald for 14 years. With Casey Sherman, he co-wrote 12: The Inside Story of Tom Brady's Fight for Redemption. Wedge has also written for Esquire, Newsweek, and DigBoston, among other outlets. A graduate of Boston College, he is a regular commentator on local and national networks, including CNN, FoxNews, CBS, MSNBC, CNBC, Good Morning America, CBC and E! True Hollywood Stories
Book: St. Pete Eats A Cookbook
Link: Kanika Tomalin InterviewAuthor Bio: Kanika Tomalin, the deputy mayor and city administrator of St. Petersburg, was the driving force behind St. Pete Eats: A Cookbook. The book is a collection of recipes sourced from restaurants around St. Pete, featuring creations from popular dining spots like Red Mesa Restaurant and celebrity chefs like Ray Lampe, a.k.a. Dr. BBQ. The cookbook gives a healthy twist to some of the city’s local favorites as part of Tomalin’s Healthy St. Pete initiative. Proceeds from sales of the cookbook go directly to St. Pete businesses and the city of St. Petersburg’s Fighting Chance Fund, which provides grants to locally-owned and independently-operated small businesses and their employees that have been negatively affected by COVID-19.