Fernandina Beach, FL – Mark your calendars for the “dream team” of literary superstars headed to Amelia Island, February 16 – 18, 2017, as the area celebrates the 16th Annual Amelia Island Book Festival (AIBF).
Revel in the company of world-renowned and NYT bestselling authors Steve Berry, R.L. Stine, David Baldacci, Mary Kay Andrews, Joseph Finder, Lara Adrian and others, to benefit the Festival’s acclaimed Authors in Schools Literacy Program. The program brings noted authors to every public school in the county, gives the students an opportunity to hear and meet these authors, and the experience is highlighted by presenting that author’s book to each student.
The Festival is proud to announce that Steve Berry is returning as honorary chairman for a second year. The international number-one bestselling author, known for his trademark mix of fact, fiction, history and speculation, has just published his provocative new thriller The 14th Colony, making this number eleven in the famous Cotton Malone series. Steve is author of other bestsellers such as The Patriot Threat, The Lincoln Myth, The King’s Deception, The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson Key, The Emperor’s Tomb, The Paris Vendetta, The Charlemagne Pursuit, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Templar Legacy, The Third Secret, The Romanov Prophecy and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with 20 million copies in 51 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of The New York Times, USA Today, and Indie bestseller lists. It’s no wonder that Steve has just signed a new deal with Minotaur Books for four more Cotton Malone adventures!
In addition, he and his wife, Liz, will conduct their highly sought after, Lessons from a Bestseller Writers Workshop to support Authors in Schools. This is a terrific four-hour course on the craft of writing. Writers of all stages, from beginning to published, can benefit from the session. Through their History Matters Foundation, Steve and Liz are making a huge difference in communities across America. Winner of the AIBF’s first-ever Stellar Award and numerous other accolades, Steve has been a friend of the Festival for many years.
R.L. Stine is coming to Amelia Island! No matter what your age, everyone knows of Goosebumps and its beloved author. Stine is one of the bestselling children’s authors in history, stimulating young and old alike with his jovial style. Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Goosebumps. His astounding list of accomplishments is mind-boggling—he’s written more than 300 books (130 books in the Goosebumps series alone); there are 400 million copies, printed in 32 languages, a TV series, a movie, countless accolades and awards, and a teen series called Fear Street, that just won the Chicago Tribune YA Book Prize and a movie from 20th-Century Fox based on the Fear Street series is scheduled for release in 2017.
On Authors in Schools day, Mr. Stine will visit three schools across Nassau County—in Callahan, Yulee and Fernandina Beach. He’ll also present on Saturday afternoon during the Author Expo/Readers Extravaganza being held at the Fernandina Beach Middle School.
David Baldacci is the featured keynote speaker at the festival’s kickoff luncheon, Thursday, February 16. Baldacci has published 32 novels for adults—all (including his most recent, The Last Mile) have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print worldwide. He has also published five novels for younger readers, including the #1 bestseller The Finisher, which is in development for feature film.
By popular demand, AIBF is repeating last year’s favorite and signature event the Author Face-off Dinner Gala on Friday, February 17 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort with a new cast of top authors in the hot seats. Joining Steve Berry and R.L. Stine on stage are Mary Kay Andrews, Lara Adrian and Joseph Finder.
Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Town, and many, many more. Her 24th novel, The Weekenders launched in May 2016. A former reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she also has written ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series, under her “real” name, which is Kathy Hogan Trocheck. Her mysteries have been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, Agatha and Macavity Awards.
Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels, most recently Guilty Minds. His books have won numerous awards, including the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel for Buried Secrets (2011), the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel for Killer Instinct (2006) and the Barry Award for Best Thriller for Company Man (2005). The Boston Globe has called him the “master of the modern thriller.” Two of his novels have been made into major motion pictures, including High Crimes, which was adapted into the hit 2002 movie starring Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman; and Paranoia, the basis for the 2013 film starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and Liam Hemsworth.
Lara Adrian is the New York Times and #1 internationally best-selling author of the Midnight Breed vampire romance series, with nearly 4 million books in print and digital worldwide and translations licensed to more than 20 countries. Her books regularly appear in the top spots of all the major bestseller lists including the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Indiebound, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc. And, they have won several awards. Shee also writes as TINA ST. JOHN and her seven historical romances have won numerous awards including the National Readers Choice; Romantic Times Magazine Reviewer’s Choice; Booksellers Best and many others.
All the AIBF fundraising events: The kick-off Luncheon, Writers Workshop, the Author Face-Off Dinner Gala and the pre-festival events such as the Murder Mystery Dinner, (set for Friday, October 28, 2016) “Hit the Pin for Literacy” charity golf tourney (set for Friday, November 11, 2016) contribute to the goal of buying books for the students in Nassau County Schools.
The three-day festival culminates on Saturday, February 18, with a free-all day line-up of guest authors. The Authors Expo/Readers Extravaganza features more than 100 noted authors, breakout sessions, activities for kids, food, fun and family festivities as well as some bestselling author presentations which require a reservation as space is limited.
“Without the help of Steve and Liz Berry, we would not be able to attract this awesome caliber of authors to our boutique festival,” says Marie Fenn, 2017 AIBF president. “Equally as important, we have an exceptional group of Board directors who are working diligently to make this our best Festival ever. This group is supplemented by a dedicated cadre of some 80 additional volunteers. You’ll be hearing soon from some of these folks regarding sponsorship opportunities and tickets to our fundraising events. This is a county-wide effort dedicated to helping students succeed.”
It all adds up to helping kids in our community get even more excited about reading. Be part of it and help us raise money as we aim this year to exceed our 2016 achievement and provide 8,000 books,” says Jim Weinsier, AIBF vice president.
The 2016-2017 AIBF Volunteer Board Officers and Directors are: Raffaela “Marie” Fenn, president; James Weinsier, vice president; Anne Read, secretary; Fran Shea, treasurer; and Wendee Ashmore, Barbara Heggenstaller, Lauree Hemke, Mary Jane Johnson, Bob Langert, Elsa Mitschele, Foy Maloy, Mandy Purvis, Terry Ramsay and Jamie Thompson. For continual updates to events, breakout sessions, author signups, tickets and sponsorship and donor opportunities, visit www.ameliaislandbookfestival.org. The Amelia Island Book Festival is a not for profit 501(c)3 Corporation seeking to open up the world through books. Our mission is to promote life-long learning and an appreciation for books by providing quality events featuring local area and world-renowned authors.