BOOKS

Library will host discussion by 'Skyway' author Jan. 11

Plus: A listing of area literary events and book releases


Published: Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 7:25 p.m.

Journalist and Florida native Bill DeYoung discusses and signs his book “Skyway: The True Story of Tampa's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down” (University Press of Florida, $24.95), 1 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Tower Road Branch and 3 p.m. Jan. 12 at Headquarters Library.

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Bill DeYoung is the author of “Skyway: The True Story of Tampa's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down,” a portrait of the rise and fall of a Florida landmark.

Charlie Ribbens

Facts

If you go

What: Book signing and discussion by Bill DeYoung, author of “Skyway: The True Story of Tampa's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down”
When: 1 p.m. Jan. 11, Tower Road Branch, 3020 SW 75th St. (Tower Road); and 3 p.m. Jan. 12, Headquarters Library, 401 E. University Ave.
Cost: Free

“Skyway” provides a portrait of the rise and fall of a Florida landmark. DeYoung weaves personal interviews and extensive research together to reconstruct how Florida's mightiest bridge was built and then destroyed.

Through first-person accounts of witnesses and survivors, DeYoung pieces together the harrowing moments of that morning's collision in 1980. The book details the bridge collapsing 150 feet into the bay sending seven cars and a Greyhound bus over the broken edge and into the churning water below killing 35 people. He also offers a history of the ill-fated bridge, from its construction in 1954, through the addition of a second parallel span in 1971, to its eventual replacement.

DeYoung is a native of St. Petersburg. Nationally recognized for his music journalism, he was a writer and editor at various Florida newspapers, including The Gainesville Sun, for three decades. He lives in Savannah.

The two events are free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

LITERARY EVENTS

■ “Following Your Creative Heart in the New Year”: Melissa Lee, artist, author, chef, blogger, agent and now publisher, speaks at the Writers Alliance of Gainesville, 2:30 p.m. Jan. 12, Millhopper Public Library, 3145 NW 43rd St.

Lee, a resident of St. Simon's Island, Ga., writes the popular blog, The Permanent Tourist, which she said is making money from paid advertising.

The meeting is free and open to anyone interested in the written word. For details, see www.thepermanenttourist.com of www.writersalliance.org.

■ “Making Realistic Goals for Your Writing and Sticking to Them”: Mary Ann de Stefano, editor, writing coach and owner of Mad about Words, speaks at the Writers Alliance of Gainesville, 2:30 p.m. Feb. 9, Millhopper Public Library, 3145 NW 43rd St.

De Stefano develops writing workshops and edits the Florida Writer's Association magazine and newsletter. She has more than 11 years experience in publishing with Harcourt Brace/Academic Press and 20 years as an independent writing consultant.

WAG meetings are free and open to anyone interested in the written word. For details, see madaboutwords.com or www.writersalliance.org.

NEW RELEASES

■ “Dear Oprah: How I Beat Cancer and Learned to Love Daytime TV”: Gainesville freelance writer and editor, Wendy Thornton, has published “Dear Oprah: How I Beat Cancer and Learned to Love Daytime TV” (Createspace), her personal story on surviving cancer.

Thornton's battle with an unusual form of cancer is told with humor and pathos and explores how to survive, how to recover, and how caregivers and friends can support their loved ones. Thornton was diagnosed with cancer just as her career was accelerating, her son was finishing college and her daughter was planning a wedding. Homebound for the first time in her life, she learned to appreciate daytime TV talk shows and learned how to slow down and enjoy life.

Thornton's work has been published in several literary journals and books. Most recently, she won second prize in New York's Literal Latte essay contest, and her essay on the rock group Sister Hazel was published in New Plains Review: A Journal of Social Commentary. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has been Editor's Pick on Salon.com multiple times. She is a founding member and former president of the Writers Alliance of Gainesville.

The book, available in e-book or paperback, can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other sites.

■ “Wrestling God”: Gainesville author Arthur Crummer combines a 1950s Huckleberry Finn with Holden Caulfield in a seemingly carefree hero in his new book, “Wrestling God.” Paul, whose head injury at age 12 compels the boy to obsessively write in his journal, revealing his struggles with truth, sin, lies, church teachings and the unsettling behavior of his preacher-father whom Paul wishes dead — just days before it comes true.

Crummer, president of Writers Alliance of Gainesville (WritersAlliance.org), was published in the first edition of the literary magazine Bacopa and twice selected in the Hippodrome's monologue competitions.

He holds a Ph.D. in mathematics, BS in mechanical engineering and is retired from teaching at the University of Florida.

Crummer performs with his band at statewide festivals, has won numerous first-place ribbons in statewide competitions, and has led music workshops since 1995 in Dobro, slide guitar, flat-pick and finger-style guitar, as well as gospel singing.

In 2008, Crummer received the prestigious Edward Flemming Jr. award, which recognizes musicians who exemplify the spirit of old-time music.

■ “A Year in the Life of Dr. Fox”: Gainesville resident Frederick L. Malphurs has published his latest novel, “A Year in the Life of Dr. Fox” (Xlibris), the story of a highly regarded family in the Mexican city of Culiacan, whose daughter is kidnapped, tortured and murdered by criminal associates of the Pacific drug cartel. The book was recently chosen for a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award.

Malphurs, a University of Florida graduate, spent 37 years working for the Department of Veterans Affairs and is the former CEO of the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health Care System.

He has published “My Life in the VA: Lessons in Leadership” and the novels “Meanie Mouse Versus the Orlando Operators: The Adventure Begins,” “Mexia: A Novel,” “The Memoirs of J.C. Mulkey” and “Spies and Lies: The Paradox.” He has also published a play, “The Patio Club.”

■ “The Ghost”: The most recent novel by Navarre author, Mark Conte, was released recently as an ebook. “The Ghost” (Alpha Wolf Publishing), a mystery thriller about a serial killer in Northwest Florida, is based on a true story and is available on Amazon.com for $3.99. The print edition will be available starting today.

Conte, who is a member of the Authors Guild and the Academy of American Poets, was director of the Florida State University Poet Series and was appointed Master Poet by the Florida Arts Council.

Conte has had fiction, poetry, articles and guest columns in 67 publications, including Yankee magazine, Crazy Horse, Southern Poetry Review, Potomac Review, Poetry International, Philadelphia Daily News and The New York Times.

Conte also has two books of poetry, “Walking on Water” (1986) and “The Judas Scroll” (2004), and has published three novels, “In the Arms of Strangers” (2003), “Five Days to Eternity” (2004), “Of Flesh and Stone” (2009) and a collection of stories, “Delilah and Other Stories” (2001).

■ “Cousin Raymond”: Alachua author Gene Cowell has released “Cousin Raymond,” a crime thriller set in New York's Greenwich Village and Florida's Big Bend Wilderness.

Cowell's fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories and other literary publications and has contributed articles to magazines including Islands and Diversion.

“Cousin Raymond” is available on Amazon.com ($9.77 paperback, $3.99 Kindle edition).

■ “The Yardman”: Gainesville novelist Jim McMillen has released “The Yardman” (Telemachus Press Paperback, $14.99) about a man who lives in anonymity working as a yard-care man in a small West Texas town in 1938 until a woman is brutally slain.

The book is available at The Perfect Gift in Haile Plantation Village, or can be purchased in print or eBook from Amazon.

McMillen, a retired daily newspaper publisher, lives in Haile Plantation with his wife, Delorise.

MEETINGS

■ Talking Service: A reading and discussion program for veterans, their family and friends meets 7-8:30 p.m. the third Monday of the month, ■ Beltram Peace Center, 1236 NW 18th Ave. (376-0044 or smithdc2@bellsouth.net)

■ The Book Rack Book Club: Meets 3 p.m. the first Thursday of every month. The Book Rack, 4936 NW 39th Ave. (224-3945)

■ Gainesville Poets & Writers: Meets 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Books-A-Million, 2601 NW 13th St.

■ Mystery Reading Group: Bring any mysteries you have, 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, High Springs Branch Library, 135 NW First Ave., High Springs. (454-2515)

■ Weekly Poetry Jam: Gainesville's longest-running open poetry reading, 9 p.m. Thursdays, Civic Media Center, 433 S. Main St. (373-0010, CivicMediaCenter.org)

■ Writer's Alliance of Gainesville: Anyone interested in the written word is welcome; see www.WritersAlliance.org for exact dates, Millhopper Branch Library, 3145 NW 43rd St. Free.

■ Tempting Reads Book Club: Group meets 6 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month. Newberry Branch Library, 110 S. Seaboard Drive, Newberry. Open to the public. (472-1135)

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