amelia island book festival 2012
Many famous and interesting authors at 2012 Book Festival

Amelia Island’s Annual Book Festival is just around the corner and frankly, even though I am an avid reader (and writer), I have often wondered why a little island in North East Florida even bothers with something so mundane, New Yorkish as a book festival. Surely, it can not be much of an attraction for visitors, my ignorance dictated. Until my wife and I took over the operation of the Amelia Oceanfront Bed and Breakfast and noticed in recent weeks how quickly we sold out between February 16 and 20.

Pretty much the same goes for the Amelia Island Film Festival a week later and then of course the Annual Mother of Attractions, the Concours d’Elegance, when there is no room or RV parking spot available between here and Jacksonville. Yes Amelia Island plots its widespread diversity of attractions in a remarkable way: Arts, literature, music, automobiles, water and land sports, nature, food, every aspect of the good life gets its moment in the spotlight on Amelia Island.

We are blessed this year again with some top novelists honoring us with their attendance. I am especially excited about meeting one of my top 5 favorite writers of all time: David Morell.   Even though he may be known best for his creation of John Rambo in the 1972 novel “First Blood”, that became a movie franchise sensation in the 1980s,  I truly love his historic action spy trilogy “The Brotherhood of the Rose”, his 1990 novel “the Fifth Profession” and frankly “Creepers” still keeps me out of old closed up buildings.

I’m less familiar with the works of Steve Berry, except of course the Cotton Malone series,  but hope to correct that in the near future, just as I’m looking forward to hosting playwright novelist David Matthew Barnes and learn more about his work and interests, especially sharing his crusade for women in rock. Paula McLain is another author I only know by association (The Paris Wife).

Of course these are only less than a handful of the almost forty novelists, poets, authors/illustrators/musicians/filmmakers  that are honoring us with their presence this year. Check out the list and the programs and decide how you can enjoy and benefit from learning from their lectures, educationals and socials.

The Book Festival this year has an early start with magnificent Tom Kimmel performing “Story & Song, Words & Music” this Friday evening in the Burns Hall at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church on the corner of Atlantic and 8th Street. Book Festival Preview with Paul Kimmel