New York Times best-selling author Pat Conroy will headline a unique literary presentation, â€œLaughter & Literature with a Hint of Southern Charmâ€ on Jan. 8 to benefit the Florida Heritage Book Festival.Â Tickets are on sale now for the 7 p.m. presentation at Flagler Collegeâ€™s Lewis Auditorium, 14 Granada St.
Last year, Conroy was named editor-at-large for Story River Books, a new South Carolina-based original fiction series published by the University of South Carolina Press.
“The event is significant because Pat Conroy is involved, of course, but it’s also significant because we’re bringing writers from his new imprint, Story River Books,â€ said Dr. Jim Wilson, Book Festival executive director.Â â€œConroy and Janis Owens will introduce two terrific writers from Story River,Â Mark Powell and Bernie Schein.”
Owens is a self-described Florida Cracker and Southern novelist who has been a featured author for the Book Festival, and in the â€œGreat Southern Cracker Roadshowâ€; Powell, a fiction writer and English professor at Stetson University in DeLand; and Schein, a retired middle school administrator and South Carolina author. The four will discuss their recent books and the state of Southern literature.
Powellâ€™s â€œThe Shelteringâ€ includes a forward by Conroy, and Scheinâ€™s â€œFamous All Over Town,â€ for which Owens has written the forward. Conroy is the author of five novels and 10 books, most recently The Death of Santini. Two of his novels, The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides, were made into Oscar-nominated films. Owens is the author of four books, the latest â€œAmerican Ghost,â€ and a cookbook.
The Florida Heritage Book Festival is a free event on the fourth Saturday in September at Flagler Collegeâ€™s Ringhaver Center. A fee-based Writers Conference is held on the Thursday and Friday preceding the festival.
The Book Festival proceeds benefit The Friends of the Libraries and Bookmobiles of St. Johns County Public Library System; The St. Augustine Record Newspaper Media in Education, a free program for schools and colleges in St. Johns County, and a scholarship award to student in the creative writing program of Flagler College.
Tickets — $20 each before the event and $25 at the door — are available online at www.fhbookfest.com and may be paid for with credit card or personal check. Or, by mail and payable to Florida Heritage Book Festival, PO Box 4011, St. Augustine, FL 32085.Â Please include an email address and/or a phone number with mail orders.