PHOTOS: Author Randy Wayne White returns to Marco Island

Author Randy Wayne White, left, poses with the team from Sunshine Booksellers: Stuart Unsworth, Joan Kryzkowski, and Theresa Unsworth. White returned to Sunshine Booksellers Tuesday afternoon, speaking to a crowd that filled the store and signing copies of his new novel, 'Gone.' Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Author Randy Wayne White, left, poses with the team from Sunshine Booksellers: Stuart Unsworth, Joan Kryzkowski, and Theresa Unsworth. White returned to Sunshine Booksellers Tuesday afternoon, speaking to a crowd that filled the store and signing copies of his new novel, "Gone." Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

The big news about Randy Wayne White's new book is what it's not. Rather than, as one might expect, a 20th installment in the Doc Ford mystery/adventure series that has made the fortune and reputation of the Sanibel author, White has debuted an all-new series, with a female protagonist.

"Gone," the novel billed as the first novel in the Hannah Smith series, was released Tuesday, and the same day, the author dropped by Sunshine Booksellers southern location on Collier Blvd. to talk about it and sign copies for his fans. The crowd of about 50 filled the store, although the number was fewer than Wayne's last appearance in March, for his previous novel, when his fans filled the parking lot as well.

"We brought in 100 copies of the book, and we've made a serious dent in them," said Wanda Riviere of Sunshine Booksellers, as some fans bought multiple copies to be autographed. Asked how to handle a potential agent or publisher who required payment from the author, Wayne said run the other way.

"The key to writing professionally is they pay you," he stressed.

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