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The Villages
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

70 local authors gather for book expo at Eisenhower Recreation Center

Villager Gary Toppi found he had a Maine connection with author Steve Burt, right, while purchasing joke books for his nephew.
Villager Gary Toppi found he had a Maine connection with author Steve Burt, right, while purchasing joke books for his nephew.

The first-ever Central Florida Book and Author Expo was held on Saturday at the Eisenhower Recreation Center. Seventy authors participated and the selection of books covered most every genre.

“This is the largest gathering of authors in this area that I know of,” said Mark Newhouse, Expo Chairman. “I hope it becomes an annual event. It is a real celebration of books and authors.”

Book lovers showed their support by turning out for the event. With authors happy to answer questions about their books and how they became writers and attendees interested in the answers, there was a real energy to this event.

Soni Markwood, right purchased a book for her grandson from author Valerie Pfundstein.
Soni Markwood, right purchased a book for her grandson from author Valerie Pfundstein.

Seasoned authors with twenty or thirty books to their credit sat along side authors displaying their first published book. Children’s books, military history and historical fiction were well represented. Memoirs and personal stories, science fiction and fantasy were in the mix as were spiritual books and straight fiction.

Tom Reynolds’ fictional account of a Villager who as he describes “is changing the world for the better one death at a time.”

Not taking himself too seriously as an author, Reynolds said, “Well, I had to do something in January and February when it is too cold to play golf.” In his book, The Lists: To-Do List, the Corvette Club, Katie Belle’s and other Villages businesses and clubs factor in to the story.

Author Steve Camp
Author Steve Camp

The authors had many reasons for forging ahead into the publishing world. Steve Camp, writing as Steve Howard, feels he was divinely inspired to write his book The Darien Chronicles: Objects for Reflection, A Journey into Love. Part fiction, part autobiography, Camp is putting the finishing touches on the second book in the planned trilogy. Kindergarten teacher Valerie Pfundstein noticed there were no books about veterans for young students, so she wrote one. Turning veterans into super-heroes has led to a series children’s patriotic books and Pfundstein now travels the country presenting school programs. Author Barbara Miller had so many people asking her how to get started, she wrote a book titled How to Write a Book and Tell your Story: easy steps to write, publish and promote your book.

Angela Hauzeuer always wanted to write. As soon as she retired she got started. She has now published three books in her Derek Madison Series, a fictional account of a divorced Dad and his attempts to rekindle his relationship with his daughters.

Newhouse, a celebrated children’s author, has published many books including his Rockhound Science Mystery series used in some school systems. “I grew up in a Bronx tenement. I started writing at age five to write a better world for myself. And look, now I am in the Villages celebrating my 70th birthday, happy and being published.”

Villager Gary Toppi found he had a Maine connection with author Steve Burt, right, while purchasing joke books for his nephew.
Villager Gary Toppi found he had a Maine connection with author Steve Burt, right, while purchasing joke books for his nephew.

Another prolific author, Steve Burt, was leaving the Expo to head to Orlando where he was receiving two awards at the Florida Book Festival. Publish Your Book Free was the 2017 runner-up in the How-to Category and Christmas Soup for the Soul: Ten Hearty Helpings, was the 2017 winner for best holiday-themed book.

The 2017 Book and Author Expo was sponsored by The Writer’s League of the Villages, American Legion Post 347 and the Villages Recreation Department. If you would like more information about The Writer’s league of the Villages, go to www.wlov.org.

  

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