The 2020 Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading will go on — virtuallyIt has long been a high point of my year to see dozens of authors and thousands of readers come together on the University of South Florida St. Petersburg campus each fall.This year, the coronavirus pandemic would make such a gathering unsafe. But the festival team is putting together a virtual event that will present authors in video interviews and panels. We will release all of the videos on a festival website Nov. 12-14, so fans can watch them from the comfort of home. We’ll even give readers a way to buy signed copies of our authors’ books.As always, we’re aiming to present an exciting mix: authors of fiction and nonfiction, of books for adults and books for kids, famous writers and new ones, from Florida and beyond.Author recruiting continues, but we have already confirmed some amazing writers. Here are just a few to look forward to in the fall. James Lee Burke , one of the most revered of American crime fiction writers. He’ll be talking about A Private Cathedral , his 40th book and his 23rd about Louisiana police detective Dave Robicheaux. Michael Connelly , internationally bestselling author of the 22 Harry Bosch books and executive producer of the Amazon series Bosch . Connelly’s upcoming book is The Law of Innocence , the sixth in his series about “Lincoln Lawyer” Mickey Haller. Laura Lippman , author of the bestselling Tess Monaghan mystery series and other novels, including Sunburn and Lady in the Lake . She’ll be talking about My Life as a Villainess , her new collection of personal essays. Colson Whitehead , who won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Nickel Boys , his compelling novel inspired by the story of the Florida School for Boys. He also wrote the multiple-prize-winning The Underground Railroad and five other novels.Our author list already includes many returning festival favorites and some new names that we hope you will be as excited about as we are. We’ll announce the full roster in early fall in the Times. An updated festival website and Facebook event page will go live then, too.If you have questions for festival authors, please email them to me, with “Festival author question” in the subject line, at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll include as many as I can when I do the interviews.I wish I could see all of the festival fans and authors in person in November, but I’m looking forward to talking with so many fine writers, and I hope you’ll enjoy watching.And just think — you won’t have to scan the one-day festival schedule to figure out which writer to see in each time slot. You can see them all!