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AuthorFest: A Book Lover’s Delight

“After some months, Momma’s dream of living happily ever after with ‘Mr. Rodeo’ began to crumble… The dope did her in… Brief periods of calm were now overshadowed by long periods of fighting between Momma and Mr. Rodeo. Violent dramatic battles were followed by tearful reconciliations, and more than once, Momma woke us in the middle of the night and told us to start packing. We obligingly removed our clothing from our drawers, only to have her return a few minutes later and tell us to put everything back… But for me, the climax came one night when Momma and Mr. Rodeo stumbled into the house and the girls and I took refuge on the single bed in the back bedroom. Their yelling became louder. We heard running footsteps and slamming doors; and a few moments later we heard the unmistakable sounds of gunshots in the night… I was overtaken by fear in that bedroom. I sensed danger all around us in a way that transcended logic… I had no idea who fired the shots. Momma might be dead or she might be a murderer. Which would be worse?”

Terry Helwig’s autobiography, “Moonlight on Linoleum: A Daughter’s Memoir,” tells her story of growing up as the oldest of six girls with a mother who was not always “present.” Helwig shared portions of her memoir at AuthorFest, held on February 7, at the Marco Island Center for the Arts, in conjunction with the Marco Island Writers.

Thirty Southwest Florida authors of all writing genres lined the walls of the Lauritzen and Rush Gallery as eager reading enthusiasts purchased books and had them signed by the authors.

Marya Repko is a writer of historical books on the Everglades. Repko has written brief histories on Everglades City, the Fakahatchee, Sanibel Island and Marjory Stoneman Douglas. She has also written a series for children that includes the histories of Everglades City and Sanibel.

Robert Messier reviews movies – hundreds of them. In his book, “100 Years of Thrillers and Chillers,” one will find reviews on such movie genres between the years of 1912 through 2012.

Sherri Coner writes, “love stories – sprinkled with signature amounts of sarcasm and humor!” Coner promoted her most recent book, “Loving Me(n)” among others such as “Lies & Legacy,” “In a Moon Smile” and “Forever the Willows.”

Marco Island resident, Dom Fiorda co-wrote “Spirit Time: The Adventures of Ernest Spirit,” with Kendra Brady. Fiorda sold a number of books, signing every one.

Don Farmer of the Naples Daily News brough his book, “Roomies: Tales from the Worlds of TV News and Sports.” As a journalism student at the University of Missouri, Farmer was roommates with Skip Caray, the son of legendary Chicago Cubs sports announcer, Harry Caray. Tales of his adventures with Skip are plentiful.

The immensely successful AuthorFest was put together by the Marco Island Writers (MIW), whose Chairperson, Joanne Tailele, was on hand the whole day and most impressed by the turnout. Tailele encouraged patrons to join the Marco Island Writers as guest speakers like Terry Helwig are often a part of MIW monthly meetings. Writers also have the chance to share ideas, have their works edited and practice different writing techniques. The goal of the group is to grow and learn from one another.

The Marco island Writers meet at the Marco Center for the Arts on the second Wednesday of every month from 6 to 8 PM. For more information on how to join, contact [email protected] or call 239-784-2637.

About The Author

Natalie Strom has lived in Goodland for over two years and has worked in Goodland on and off for more than five years. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is also a former Buzzard Queen of Stan’s Idle Hour in Goodland. email: [email protected]
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