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Jami Attenberg is the author of seven books of fiction including Instant Love, The Kept Man, The Melting Season, The Middlesteins, Saint Mazie, and All Grown Up. Her most recent novel is All This Could Be Yours (2019). She is also the author of the memoir I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home (2022). Attenberg has written about food,…
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Nat Glover was born in 1943, in segregated Jacksonville, Florida. At seventeen, he unknowingly headed into an angry white mob and the Ku Klux Klan attacking young black protestors staging a sit-in at a downtown whites-only lunch counter. Known as “Ax Handle Saturday,” this harrowing encounter with racism would commit him to a lifetime of fighting f…
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The Spirit of Place Tim Gilmore is a prolific local history author who has written extensively about Jacksonville. As the writer and creator of www.jaxpsychogeo.com, a project that explores place and catalogs the Southern Gothic, he has told more than 700 stories of strange and historic locations in and around Jacksonville, Florida. He has also pub…
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Cat Sebastian writes queer historical romance. Her books have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist, and she’s been featured in the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, and Jezebel. She was born in New Jersey and lived in New York and Arizona before settling down in a swampy part of the South. When…
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The Legacies We Leave Behind For many childhood summers, Mark Woods piled into a station wagon with his parents and two sisters and headed to America's national parks. Mark’s most vivid childhood memories are set against a backdrop of mountains, woods, and fireflies in places like Redwood, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon national parks. On the eve of tu…
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Sohrab Homi Fracis’s new book of North Florida and elsewhere stories, True Fiction, won the 2023 International Book Award for story collections. American Book Award winner Rilla Askew says of it: "True Fiction is a tour de force." Fracis is the first Asian American author to win the Iowa Short Fiction Award, described by the New York Times Book Rev…
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Tracey Enerson Wood loves discovering amazing women whose stories have been lost to history and bringing them to life for today’s readers. Her debut novel, The Engineer’s Wife, historical fiction about the woman who built the Brooklyn Bridge, is an international and USA Today bestseller. Her newest book, The President’s Wife, is centered on Edith B…
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Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 14 psychological thrillers, winning the most prestigious awards in the genre: five Agathas, five Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also an on-air investigative reporter for Boston's WHDH-TV, with 37 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. National book critics call…
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Deb Rogers' novel Florida Woman was published in July 2022 by Hanover Square Press, an imprint of HarperCollins. Called "a bewitching debut" by Publisher's Weekly, Florida Woman was featured as an Indie Next Pick by the American Booksellers Association. Deb has lived and traveled throughout Florida working as an educator, policymaker and victim adv…
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Beatriz Williams is the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of Our Woman in Moscow, The Summer Wives, Her Last Flight, The Golden Hour, The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, and several other works of historical fiction, including four novels in collaboration with fellow bestselling authors Karen White an…
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In resistance to the homogenous policies that limited the possibility and wonder that grows from the earth, Dungy employs the various plants, herbs, vegetables, and flowers she grows in her garden as metaphor and treatise for how homogeneity threatens the future of our planet, and why cultivating diverse and intersectional language in our national …
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Anyone can be a writer – even an accomplished chef! The first step is deciding what you'll write about. It could be something you're passionate about or particularly skilled in... Or could it simply be the book (or cookbook) you think is missing from the world! Dennis Chan grew up in Jacksonville, where his family has owned twelve restaurants in th…
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Dr. Wayne W. Wood, Hon. AIA. Widely regarded as one of the foremost chroniclers of Jacksonville’s history and architecture, Dr. Wayne Wood has been called “the undisputed godfather of preservation in Jacksonville.” An author, historian, artist, and retired optometrist, Wayne is the founder of Riverside Avondale Preservation, the Riverside Arts Mark…
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Michael Wiley’s new novel is The Long Way Out, featuring Franky Dast, an exonerated ex-con who investigates a series of murders in Northeast Florida. Michael is also the author of three mystery and detective series, including the Shamus Award-winning Joe Kozmarski books, the Daniel Turner thrillers, and, most recently, the Sam Kelson PI novels, whi…
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Leela Corman is a painter, educator, and graphic novel creator, working in the realm of diaspora Ashkenazi culture and third-generation restorative work. Her books include the Unterzakhn (Schocken/Pantheon, 2012), which was nominated for the Eisner, the L.A. Times Book Award, and Le Prix Artemisia, and won the ROMICS Prize for Best Anglo-American C…
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Jessica Q. Stark is the author of Buffalo Girl (BOA Editions, forthcoming April 2023), Savage Pageant (Birds, LLC, 2020) and four poetry chapbooks, including INNANET (The Offending Adam, 2021). Savage Pageant was named one of the “Best Books of 2020” in The Boston Globe and in Hyperallergic. Her poetry has most recently appeared or is forthcoming i…
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Aaron Woodson is a Florida-based military combat veteran who has served in the US Air Force and US Air National Guard for over 15 years. He began his military career participating in military campaigns such as Operation Iraqi Freedom and Inherent Resolve. At a very young age, Aaron began to nurture an interest in and passion for poetry. He began to…
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Christopher Gorham is a lawyer and teacher of modern American history at Westford Academy, outside Boston. He has degrees in history from Tufts University and the University of Michigan, where he studied under legendary historian Sidney Fine. Gorham has a J.D., summa cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law, where he served on the editori…
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Author Jessica Hatch is a professional freelance editor and novelist with more than a decade of publishing experience. She worked her way through the slush pile at New York-based literary agencies like Writers House, New Leaf Literary & Media, and Fox Literary Management, and learned what attracts readers to a book at St. Martin’s Press. Jessica’s …
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Deborah Goodrich Royce’s thrillers examine puzzles of identity. Ruby Falls won the Zibby Award for Best Plot Twist in 2021 and Finding Mrs. Ford was hailed by Forbes, Book Riot, and Good Morning America’s “best of” lists in 2019. She began as an actress on All My Children and in multiple films, before transitioning to the role of story editor at Mi…
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Kristy Cambron is a vintage-inspired storyteller writing from the space where art, history, and faith intersect. She’s a Christy Award-winning author of historical fiction, including her bestselling novels, The Butterfly and the Violin and The Paris Dressmaker. Her work has been named to Cosmopolitan’s Best Historical Fiction Novels of 2021, Publis…
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Valerie Bowman’s debut novel was published in 2012. Since then, her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction. Vale…
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Madeline Martin is a New York Times and international bestselling author of historical fiction and historical romance. She lives in sunny Florida with her two daughters, two incredibly spoiled cats and a husband so wonderful he's been dubbed Mr. Awesome. She is a die-hard history lover who will happily lose herself in research any day. When she's n…
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In her self-published novel, Seen, Julie G. Delegal takes a story straight from Jacksonville’s headlines and tells a fictional version that explores a similar event from two perspectives. Join us to chat with Julie about the process of fictionalizing true events and how she was inspired to write this novel! Julie G. Delegal is a freelance journalis…
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Chris Barton and Alton Yates in conversation with local educator TiLena Robinson discussing Chris's book Moving Forward, a nonfiction children's book about Alton's roles in Space Age military experiments and in Jacksonville's 1960 civil rights sit-ins that culminated in Ax Handle Saturday. Chris Barton is the author of picture books including bests…
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Jim Rugg is an Eisner and Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist, designer, and YouTuber. His comics have been published by Marvel, DC, Image Comics, AdHouse Books, New York magazine, Dark Horse Comics, Titan Books, and Fantagraphics. Rugg’s comics career began with the publication of Street Angel in 2004. Street Angel comics are part of the National Arch…
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Marc Cameron is a New York Times bestselling author. Cameron’s Jericho Quinn Thriller Series debuted in 2011. Since then, he’s written eight Quinn novels and four Arliss Cutter novels featuring a deputy US marshal based in Alaska, including the most recent Cutter, Cold Snap. Marc is the author of five Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan novels for the Tom Clancy …
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Chris Crutcher’s first novel, Running Loose, was published in 1983, and by 1984 made USA Today's top ten banned books list, along with nine other long-celebrated novels. He is proud to report that nearly all of his subsequent works have been censored and/or banned somewhere in the great U.S. of A, and that those challenges have earned him two lifet…
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Nikesha Elise Williams is a two-time Emmy award winning producer, an award-winning author, and producer and host of the Black & Published podcast. Her latest novel, Beyond Bourbon Street, was awarded Best Fiction by the Black Caucus of African-American Librarians in the 2021 Self-Published eBook Literary Awards. It also received the 2020 Outstandin…
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Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA in creative writing from Simmons college. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Montague Siblings series, which kicked off in 2017 with The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, which was a New York Times bestseller, an ABA bestseller, has been optioned for film by Greg Berlanti for HBO, w…
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In her new book of historic photographs, Jada Wright-Greene celebrates the homes of African Americans throughout the state, including cabins, shotgun homes, and two-story residences in Jacksonville and beach homes in American Beach and Butler Beach. Join us to learn more about these homes and the process of researching their histories! Jada Wright-…
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If you love living in Florida, and love to be annoyed at “Florida Man”, you will definitely want to check out our upcoming Lit Chat with New York Times bestselling author Craig Pittman! Pittman writes fondly of the strange state we call home and all the interesting people who make it famous. Thanks to the Friends of the Beaches Branch Library for s…
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Dawnie Walton left Jacksonville after high school to pursue a successful career in magazines. Now she returns to town to chat with us about her first novel, which features a music magazine editor on a mission to discover the truth about an enigmatic music duo – a mission which includes a quick trip to Northeast Florida! Dawnie Walton is the author …
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Andres Rojas was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. at age 13. He’s been writing poetry since just about then, has an MFA and a JD from the University of Florida, and currently works for the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He is also the poetry editor for Compose. Interviewer Tim Gilmore counts Andres Rojas as one of his favorite poets on a bookshe…
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Alyssa Day is the pen name (and dark and tortured alter ego) of author Alesia Holliday. As Alyssa, she is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author with more than a million books sold, and she writes the Warriors of Poseidonand Cardinal Witches paranormal romance series and the Tiger’s Eye Mysteries, a paranormal mystery series. As Alesia,…
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Mia P. Manansala is a writer and book coach from Chicago who loves books, baking, and bad-ass women. She uses humor (and murder) to explore aspects of the Filipino diaspora, queerness, and her millennial love for pop culture. She is the winner of the 2018 Hugh Holton Award, the 2018 Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, the 201…
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Debora G. De Farias graduated in Dentistry from the University of Brasilia, followed by a Master Degree in Health Sciences. She also obtained her equivalent D.D.S degree from the University of Florida, when she moved to the United States in 2001. Debora is passionate about her health career, literature and arts. An avid reader since the age of four…
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Dive into the “weird, wonderful, and obscure” parts of Jacksonville history, including Willowbranch Park’s role in LGBTQ+ and music history and the Main Library’s collection of Le Moyne-DeBry Fort Caroline engravings. Bill Delaney is a writer, editor and higher education professional from Jacksonville whose work focuses on the culture and history o…
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In The Girl from Blind River, Gale Massey presents a thriller about a young woman trying to protect and escape her family at the same time. In Rising and Other Stories, she digs deep into the everyday lives of women overcoming obstacles. Join us for a chat with Gale Massey about these stories and her writing process! Gale Massey’s debut novel, The …
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USA Today-bestselling author Sherry Thomas decided that her goal in life is to write every kind of book she enjoys reading. Thus far she has published romance, fantasy, mystery, and a wuxia-inspired duology. Her books regularly receive starred reviews and best-of-the-year honors from trade publications, including such outlets as the New York Times …
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Historian and author Leslie Kemp Poole will discuss her research on Florida women's roles in the state's environmental movement, the topic of her book Saving Florida: Women's Fight for the Environment in the Twentieth Century. Jacksonville Public Library + MOCA(Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville) present Art & Conversations, a series of innova…
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Join Keith Ashley and Denise Bossy from the University of North Florida as they discuss Jacksonville's indigenous history and share research tips!  Ashley and Bossy will debunk some major myths about the indigenous communities of Northeast Florida and share research tips to those interested in conducting their own research. Dr. Keith Ashley is an A…
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Kristen Arnett’s novels and short stories explore queer life and life in Florida, combining the two with her signature dark humor. Join us to chat with the New York Times bestselling author about the stories that motivate her to write, what she’s learned from writing, and more! Kristen Arnett is the author of With Teeth: A Novel and the New York Ti…
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Interested in learning more about authors from your community? What is their writing process and what inspires them? Learn more at Lit Chat with Therese Tappouni, who will talk about her book, Caught Between Worlds. Tappouni will be joined with moderator Stacey Horan, a local author and podcaster. Both authors reside in Jacksonville and are passion…
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Rochelle Alers has been hailed by readers and booksellers alike as one of today’s most prolific and popular African American authors of romance and women’s fiction. With more than eighty titles and nearly two million copies of her novels in print, Ms. Alers is a regular on the Waldenbooks, Borders and Essence bestseller lists, regularly chosen by B…
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Willow Branch Library sits in a corner of Willow Branch Park, a popular location for local musicians during the late 1960s to develop and expand their audience. Named after the “Human Be-In,” San Francisco’s 1967 counterculture celebration, Jacksonville’s “be-ins” spawned several notable acts, including the Allman Brothers Band. In Jacksonville and…
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Marsha Dean Phelts joined us back in March of 2021 to chat about American Beach and her two books, An American Beach for African Americans and The American Beach Cookbook. Phelts will cover the myths of the beach -- what is the first, the most, the oldest? -- and the informational treasures unearthed there. She will also talk about the women of Ame…
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Have you ever read a sci-fi or fantasy book and wondered, what kind of a mind thinks up these new worlds? Find out and get a peek inside of one at our Lit Chat with Chuck Wendig! Chuck Wendig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Star Wars: Aftermath, as well as the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, Zer0es/Invasiv…
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We all know a “Florida Man”, but how many of us want to admit to being one? In The Thing About Florida, author Tyler Gillespie takes on the strange people and stories of the Sunshine State from the perspective of a fifth-generation Florida native. Gillespie joins us to talk about what he discovered in his quest to learn more about the state we all …
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New York Times Bestseller Taylor Anderson talks about the last book in his Destroyermen series, Winds of Wrath. The Destroyermen Series follows the crew of the WWI destroyer USS Walker which is mysteriously transported to an alternate version of earth where unfathomable new wars, and embattled new species, pose even greater threats. Join us to find…
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