Floridians are a writerly bunch. The Tampa Bay area has an abundance of prolific authors in a variety of genres who hail from the state, or who set their books in Florida. We talked to three local writers who reside in the Gulfport/St. Petersburg area and have new releases in 2020.
Author: Stephen Burdick
Title: “Deemer’s Inlet”
Release date: August 14
What it’s about: A small-town police chief on the Gulf Coast of Florida struggles to solve two murders while dealing with local politicians and residents. More problems arise when he begins to suspect the newcomer dating his administrative assistant and one of his own people may be involved.
“I took the leap and began writing in 2007, reading the works of Randy Wayne White, Dan Brown and Robert B. Parker, attempting to find my own style. With the encouragement of friends, I continued to write when I wasn’t working, and, once I retired, dove into it full-time. In 2014, I joined the Gulfport Fiction Writers who meet at the Gulfport Public Library. Intimidated at first by so many talented authors, I decided the only way to better myself was to employ their critiques and keep writing. The single most important thing they offered each other was the desire to see all members succeed. Though the faces in the group have changed over the years, the willingness to help enrich an author’s level of work remains.”
Author: Alison R. Solomon
Title: “Before She Left – Book 4 in the Gulfport Mystery Series”
Release date: April 5
What it’s about: Ella Jay has vanished without a trace. The detective assigned to the case thinks Ella’s fiancée, strong-willed Breezy Carmichael, should accept that she’s been dumped, but Breezy senses something strange going on. For no apparent reason, in the small town of Gulfport, where everyone knows everyone else’s business, husbands and wives are deserting their spouses. Could Ella’s disappearance be part of the same mystery?
“The quirky town of Gulfport is the ideal place to set a mystery series and readers enjoy spotting some of their favorite local haunts. As a former social worker, I always bring issues of social justice or mental health into the novels. I want folks to feel that, not only have they been entertained, they’ve also learned something.”
Author: Linda Davis
Titles: Books 2 and 3 in the “Gus the Goose series: Gus the Goose and the Silly Rabbits” and “Gus the Goose and his Friendship with Millie the Horse”
Release date: August 1
What it’s about: The books are about a very happy goose that tries to do good for his friends on the farm but always seems to get into trouble. Yet he manages to make everything better and learn valuable lessons in the meantime.
“I spent nearly 50 years in hospitality around the world. I woke up one day and no one wanted my services. My kids wanted me to write a memoir a la Anthony Bourdain but there were so many stories to tell it started looking like ‘War and Peace.’ I began writing books for young readers after my first grandchild was born. The series is published by Waldorf Books and made available first via the Texas school library system then sold to the general public.”