AuthorFest: Do you like to read books? Meet people who write them

Author Terry Helwig, guest speaker at AuthorFest here next Thursday, gained national attention with her latest memoir, Moonlight on Linoleum. The book festival is a free event and the public is welcome to attend. Submitted

Author Terry Helwig, guest speaker at AuthorFest here next Thursday, gained national attention with her latest memoir, Moonlight on Linoleum. The book festival is a free event and the public is welcome to attend. Submitted

Author Karna Small Bodman, a part-time Naples resident, spoke and signed her books at a recent meeting of the Marco Island Writers organization at the Art League. The groupís next big event is AuthorFest, on Feb.7, also at the Art League. Chris Curle/Eagle Correspondent

Author Karna Small Bodman, a part-time Naples resident, spoke and signed her books at a recent meeting of the Marco Island Writers organization at the Art League. The groupís next big event is AuthorFest, on Feb.7, also at the Art League. Chris Curle/Eagle Correspondent

Twenty or more authors from Marco and elsewhere in Southwest Florida will gather to meet and greet book lovers at a free AuthorFest next week.

"We're very excited to have this event and hope a lot of people will show up," says Marco Island Writers chairwoman Joanne Tailele. "It's a free event and everyone is welcome.

"Our guest speaker is Terry Helwig, a prominent author who has won national acclaim with her latest book. It's a memoir, entitled Moonlight on Linoleum."

Helwig will speak and autograph her books. Also, complimentary wine and cheese will be served. Joanne says you do not have to register to attend the AuthorFest; just show up, meet the authors and maybe even buy a book or two.

Most authors will take cash or checks.

The event begins at 11a.m., Thursday, Feb. 7 and runs to about 3p.m. Ms. Helwig will speak at 2p.m.at the Marco Island Center for the Arts on Winterberry Drive

She is, we're told, as interesting in person as her books are in the reading. One of her big fans is another famous author, Sue Monk Kidd, who wrote, The Secret Life of Bees."

"I met Sue 27 years ago," Ms. Helwig says on her web site. "Over the years, we have formed a deep and abiding friendship that mirrors sisterhood.

"The most valuable writing advice Sue has shared with me is that she allows herself to write badly. This stunned me because Sue's writing is so spectacular. Sue assured me that not all of her sentences flow out of her perfectly polished the first time.

"I now give myself permission to write badly. It takes the pressure off. The key, of course, is to burnish, polish, edit and re-write until you have said precisely what you want to say in the best way possible. I call this process word-smithing."

We, Chris and Don, joined the Marco Island Writers last fall, not knowing for sure what to expect. So far what we have found helpful and impressive is the general enthusiasm the members have.

Some are published authors, but others are in various stages of the book-writing experience, every step along the way, from just thinking about maybe, someday, somehow writing a book, all the way to having finished a manuscript and having found a publisher.

Some are self-publishing, a segment of the book-publishing world that has changed enormously in recent years.

Self-publishing no longer is solely the bailiwick of what was called, "Vanity Press," in which people wrote about their lives or careers as a gift to their kids and grandkids, so they'd remember their ancestors.

Now many skilled writers are creating fiction and non-fiction books of quality. If they have marketing skills as well, they are writing, paying for the printing, going heavily toward ebooks and going door-to-door, figuratively speaking.

Writing a book is one of those painfully exhilarating experiences. As such, mixing and mingling with others who have the bug or the talent or both can help a lot.

For more information, see the Marco Island Writers web site, www.miwriters.com.

© 2013 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features