A Gathering of Words
In only the second year of this annual
gathering, the Amelia Book Island Festival has created an offering for
readers and writers equal to some of the larger book events in the country.
Located on the northern east coast of Florida, Amelia Island is the
southernmost of the Golden Isles. Fernandina Beach is the only city in
the United States to have been under the
domain of 8 different national flags. The seaport village is composed of a
50-block historic district with many original structures dating back to the
late 19th century. Today, it is a resort village with many quaint
shops, restaurants and entertainment.
The four day celebration of books began Wednesday, October 2nd, with theatrical productions of Pride and Prejudice and Grace and Glory. On Thursday and Friday, author sessions were held at Florida Community College Jacksonville, while other authors visited area schools and libraries for readings.
The Book Island Festival was held Saturday, October 5th, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church with a lovely Spanish courtyard for attendees to relax in between sessions. Thirty-five local, regional and national writers mingled with approximately 200 festival attendees. Sessions covered self-publishing, memoir writing, poetry, Children's Literature, mysteries, historical fiction, history writing, and elements of getting published.
David Ball's China Run has been selected for Amelia Island's One Book/One Community program. Ball, keynote speaker for the Lunch-with-Authors, spoke on his thriller, which explores the dark side of Americans adopting Chinese babies. Ball's inspiration was his own experience adopting his Chinese daughter.
Lunch-with-Authors had a different author at each table with festival attendees. At my table was author G. W. "Bill" Reynolds III, author of the Jetty Man series and Roads End. Jetty Man is the Southern Gothic coming of age story of a young man in Mayport, Florida, which is in development for a feature film. Roads End is a novel about a south Georgia hunting club that captures the rites of passage for southern men.
© 2002, Joyce Dixon, All Rights Reserved