Florida Matters: 2017 Festival Of Reading

Nov 8, 2017

Books, music, authors, food -- it's time for the 25th annual Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading. This week on Florida Matters we're talking with three of the authors that will be featured in the event, held Saturday November 11 at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

You can hear the full show above, or listen to extended individual interviews between Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham and our featured authors:


Mark Helprin is the critically-acclaimed best-selling author of Winter's TaleIn Sunlight and in Shadow and A Soldier of the Great War, among others. His new novel is Paris in the Present Tense, whose protagonist, Jules Lacour is a man in his seventies, a professional cellist and a survivor of the Holocaust living a quiet life in Paris when he has to confront a series of emergencies and confront his own ideas about right and wrong.

Credit Levi Walton, courtesy of Sarah Gerard

Sarah Gerard's debut novel Binary Star was named a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction. Her new work is a collection of essays called Sunshine State, in which she uses her experiences growing up in the Tampa Bay area to explore intimacy, religion, homelessness, incarceration and more. Publishers Weekly called Gerard a "virtuoso of language."


The prolific mystery writer William Heffernan is the author of 19 novels and winner of the Edgar Award. Before he became an author he was a reporter in New York City and was nominated three times for the Pulitzer Price. His new novel, The Scientology Murders, centers around protagonist Harry Doyle, a homicide detective in the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, and villains working for the Church of Scientology.

Click here to view the complete list of authors at the Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading. Do you have a favorite author at the festival?  Let us know on Facebook, on Twitter or by emailing