Naples Authors, Publishers, and Booksellers Keep Busy
BOOK BEAT Naples Sun Times September 12-18, 2007
by Philip K. Jason
Our literary community continues to be as prolific, energetic, and creative as ever. What follows are some updates on the doings of authors, publishers, and sellers of books in Naples in particular and Southwest Florida as well.
Multi-genre author Dorothy Jane Mills is giving a series of talks at The Carlisle. Each talk is related to one aspect of her writing career. The first in the series, on “Women in Baseball,” has already been given. Three more are coming up, so mark your calendar for:
“The Austrian Nazis of the Thirties,” which focuses on how to write a historical novel and refers to Mills’ trilogy of “The Sceptre,” “The Labyrinth,” and “The Treskel.” Mills will appear in Austrian costume as she discusses how real events and real people are blended with fictional invention on Thursday October 4 at 3pm.
On Thursday November 8 at 3pm, her topic is “What’s a Vegetarian?” Dorothy Mills
will explain how and why people become vegetarians or decide to eat less meat. She will provide the background for her highly praised vegetarian cookbook, “Meatless Meat.” Mills will provide free recipes and vegetarian food samples. Along the way, expect to learn something about writing a cookbook.
“Children’s Books for Christmas” is the topic of her talk scheduled for Thursday December 6 at 3pm. Mills will explain how and why she wrote her ten children’s books in 1965 and how she lost control of them, then regained it by buying back her own words. Five of these little books have been recently republished. The author will read from letters she received from children who grew up with the books, especially the one that became a classic, “Ann Likes Red.”
At each presentation, books by Dorothy Jane Mills will be for sale. If you intend to come, call the Carlisle activities director, Sue, at 449-7724.
One of the more interesting projects to come out of Naples is the “Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry,” an annual collection that features reprinted work of established poets and presents the first appearances of less-known but highly talented writers. Volume V in the series is just out and features the work of Dorianne Laux, Marie Howe, and Jane Hirshfield. The literary editor of this series, which gains in quality and prestige from year to year, is Neapolitan Marylin Krepf.
One of my special pleasures in this volume was to reacquaint myself with fellow Marylander Alan Britt, a writer whose poems I’ve long admired and who is well represented by “Laundry with Mahler” and “Cockatiel.” Neapolitans will savor “Reflections” by my fellow columnist Michael Hickey. Every reader will make his or own discoveries, given the diversity of styles and subjects that have found their way into this rich assembly. Mine include the work of Danielle Sellers, Blaise Allen, and Cape Coral writer D. L. Foor.
Visit the website http://www.meridiananthology.com to find out more about this volume, its predecessors, and how to order them.
Charles Sobczak, perhaps the most successful self-published author in our extended community (he writes out of Sanibel), has reached a milestone of sorts. While most first novels, even those from major publishing houses, never get beyond a first printing of perhaps 5,000 copies, and while the average for a self-published novel is about 400 copies, his 1999 breakthrough novel “Six Mornings in Sanibel” has sold over 21,000 copies and is now on its sixth printing. This is quite an amazing achievement. If you haven’t encountered this fine book, an easy to take wisdom tale set on the Sanibel fishing pier, you can help sell out the sixth edition.
Mina Hemingway has relocated her Florida Book Store from the Pavilion to a more spacious location in the Uptown Shopping Center on Immokalee Road just east of Sam’s Club. The official opening date is September 15. The new location, which is about triple the space of the old one, will allow her to stock and display many more titles and to provide a warm and friendly atmosphere for booklovers to browse and have a cup of coffee. Mina conceives of the new store as a community gathering place. It will also be home to many more literary events.
Philip K. Jason, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of English from the United States Naval Academy. A poet, critic, and free-lance writer with twenty books to his credit, this “Dr. Phil” chairs the annual Naples Writers’ Conference presented by the Naples Press Club.