The 2012 Festival of Reading surpassed all expectations with our internationally best-selling authors captivating audiences throughout the county! March 26th – 31st the Lake County Library System held the 2012 Festival of Reading, In the Garden. Residents and visitors were offered a delightful mix of fantasy, romance, mystery, and history in our enchanted library gardens. We made every effort to inspire people to read, to settle down with a good book and contemplate words and meaning. Beginning with author and teacher Vic DiGenti, we offered our local writers workshops on E-publishing and spicing up a plot and continued with Bob Grenier on history and research.
Programs continued with award winning author and documentary filmmaker, Bill Belleville, who explored people, places and ideas that shape our state through his critically acclaimed collection of nature essays, Salvaging the Real Florida: Lost & Found in the State of Dreams. The program was supported by the Florida Humanities Council with funding from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs.
Multiple award winning authors Charles and Caroline Todd joined us on their national book tour with The Confession, the latest Ian Rutledge novel. These acclaiamed HarperCollins authors spoke to filled rooms at the Lady Lake Public Library and again at the W.T. Bland Public Library. The historical research completed for their series of thirteen novels set in post World War I England was captivating. Their novel, A Test of Wills remains in the 100 favorite mysteries of the 20th Century. (Independent Mystery Booksellers Association)
New York Times bestselling author Deborah Crombie was just amazing. After receiving nominations for virtually every major mystery award for her piercing police procedurals featuring Scotland Yard Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James, Ms. Crombie received additional accolades from Lake County residents for her latest novel, No Mark Upon Her. This New York Times Notable Book of the Year author is also included in the 100 Best Crime Novels of the Century.
The talented and funny C. S. Challinor entertained with descriptions of her newly released novel Murder of the Bride, sure to be a #1 bestseller! She is the highly acclaimed author of the Rex Graves cozy mystery series featuring Rex Graves, Scottish barrister-sleuth.
Internationally recognized award-winning maritime writer Robert N. Macomber wowed the audiences in the Leesburg Public Library and Cooper Memorial Library. What a terrific experience for our library staff and our community! It was apparent that his knowledge of the naval Civil War in Florida was extensive. An outstanding speaker and author, Mr. Macomber is the recipient of multiple awards in Military Fiction.
We were honored with a special guest appearance by poet Vivian Shipley, a two-time recipient of the Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement. Two of her books—Gleanings: Old Poems, New Poems and When There Is No Shore—were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Ms. Shipley's workshops were beautiful and flowing and she provided many helpful tips on getting published.
In 2012 we initiated a school outreach program with Young Adult author J. Gabriel Gates, a true master of literary horror. The author spoke of creating the novel and of his experiences to over 900 students from Lake Minneola High School, Tavares Middle School and Mount Dora High School. His passion for the written word began at a young age which was demonstrated in his programs at the schools and the libraries. His upcoming novel, Blood Zero Sky promises to be the most exciting, scary, thought-provoking, dystopian teen novel ever.
The unique garden programs offered this year were informative and well attended. Featured author Monica Moran Brandies, horticulturist Nadine Foley, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent Julie England, Naturalist/Land Steward Wendy Poag contributed to our knowledge of the growing and landscape use of Florida native plants, the use of herbs and spices and the beauty of the scrub.
Author and movie producer Jeff Lamb returned to the Fruitland Park Library with his upcoming movie, Save the Gator Queen. This red carpet event included an opportunity to meet the cast and crew and even win a walk on part.
The Authors’ Reception held this year in the beautiful new Lady Lake Public Library was a great success thanks to our world class authors, the Tavares High School Culinary Department under the supervision of Chef Marcus Herrington, CEC, and the clever artists and winners of this year’s Bookmark Design Contest. Each winner received their award from our own Lake County Commissioner and Library Liaison Welton Cadwell and Public Resources Director, Wendy R. Breeden.
Lake County applauds our sponsors including HarperCollins Publishers, SECO, Lake County Economic Development and Tourism, Florida Humanities Council and Raintree Books. They and the continuing supporters of the Festival of Reading are listed on our website at