As 2013 nears, our libraries, parks and centers are planning activities and events that celebrate Florida's 500th anniversary. Viva Florida 500 is a tremendous opportunity to expand the perception of Florida by highlighting 500 years of history and unmatched cultural diversity. The Lake County Library System’s 10th annual Lake BookFest, will be reaching out with the powerful message, Viva Libros! Events will take place from March 11th through the 16th, 2013 and many of our BookFest programs will be part of the State initiative.
With funding assistance from Visit Florida, 80 beautiful photos of native Florida wildflowers by acclaimed photographer John Moran will be on display from January 28th - March 15th in the W.T. Bland Public Library. The exhibit which will kick off our Viva Florida 500 series is co-funded and managed by the Florida Wildflower Foundation, boasts a colorful bouquet of unique wildflowers, some of which occur nowhere else in the world. More than 3,000 species are found in La Florida, “land of flowers” – which was named by Juan Ponce de Leon when he arrived on Easter in 1513. The land’s bounty of spring flowers almost certainly influenced his name choice. We will use this exhibit to promote the BookFest and will feature it as part of our signature BookFest event, the Authors’ Reception.
The Lake BookFest Schedule includes an opening in the Tavares City Hall featuring an exhibit of Florida artist, Catherine Stockwell, introduced by Vice Mayor/author Bob Grenier. Confirmed authors include Bill Belleville, an award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker specializing in environmental issues; Dr. James Clark, former reporter for United Press International and the author of six books including Presidents in Florida; Mary Anna Evans, author of the award-winning Faye Longchamp archaeological mysteries; Robert N. Macomber, an internationally recognized award-winning maritime writer, lecturer, television commentator, and defense consultant; Bob Morris, author of the Zack Chasteen series of mysteries; Dr. Darlin Neal, a UCF assistant professor and author of the story collections, Rattlesnakes & The Moon and Elegant Punk; Vivian Shipley two-time recipient of the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and Pulitzer Prize nominee; Christopher Tozier YA fantasy author and 2011 State of Florida Artist Fellowship recipient; Ryan Van Cleave, 2011 Gold Medal Winner in the Florida Book Awards. As part of the Viva Florida programming, the Marion Baysinger Memorial County Library will host a program on Florida's Ancient Mysteries with Jules Turcsyani. Speakers will include authors and Cracker storytellers William Good and Bob Lovell.
HarperCollins is again supporting the BookFest with Wendy Corsi Staub, the critically acclaimed award-winning author of nearly eighty books, Wendy Corsi Staub is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller with her psychological suspense novels. The women's fiction she writes under the pseudonym Wendy Markham have also frequently appeared on the USA Today, Barnes and Noble Top Ten, and Bookscan bestseller lists.