The Florida Book Awards in conjunction with the Florida Library Association held the fourth annual Florida Book Awards banquet this past Thursday. They changed venues this year, and the event took place at the Rosen Plaza on International Drive in Orlando. Although the crowd was smaller than in previous years, we enjoyed the company.
We hooked up with some old friends from Florida State University, and met some recent friends from the University of South Florida. We even made some new friends from the Burton Memorial Library in Plant City, and from WMNF 85.5 radio in Tampa.
Jack E. Davis, the gold medal winner in Florida Nonfiction, sat at our table. He won the award for his book An Everglades Providence: Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the American Environmental Century. He seemed a bit wary of the Everglades reclamation project currently underway. Since the project calls for continuous management with canals and dikes, how can it be considered restoration?
Another gold winner at the awards was Glynn Marsh Alam. She won in the Popular Fiction Category for her book, Moon Water Madness. She is a native of the Florida Panhandle, and graduated from Florida State University. She lived for a while in California, but has since returned to the area. Her stories take place in the Panhandle region. Moon Water Madness is her seventh book in the Luanne Fogarty mystery series. I like her stories, but of course I am biased after living almost twenty years in the area she writes about.
The Florida Book Awards Banquet is always a good time, and offers an opportunity to chat with authors and interesting people. We spend more time visiting, chatting and meeting new people than on ceremony. It is a fun activity for writers and readers.