Virtual book convention, here I come

The 2020 Ohioana Book Festival is a virtual event this year, because we still haven’t gotten COVID-19 under some semblance of control. It still provides opportunities for readers to connect with writers, and I’m looking forward to the panel discussion on historical fiction this Friday, August 28, at 11 a.m.

The festival runs online from Friday through Sunday. It’s free, and will feature videos of authors reading from their work, interviews, panel discussions of every kind and basically just a lot of book people connecting with other book people.

I’ll be part of a Zoom webinar called “Journey to the Past: Historical Fiction,” along with other writers. We’ll be taking questions and enjoying the discussion. I’ll be talking about my Spider John historical mysteries, in which a reluctant pirate solves murders and other crimes while trying to get home to his wife and son after eight long years away. The third book in the series, A BOTTLE OF RUM, will be available for order from The Book Loft of German Village, along with its predecessors, THE BLOODY BLACK FLAG and THE DEVIL’S WIND. People who order through Ohioana can buy signed copies; I’ll pop down to The Book Loft of German Village in Columbus at some point and add my autograph to as many copies as they will let me.

If you are not familiar with The Book Loft, you need to be. It is a wonderful labyrinth of literature, with 32 rooms full of books, books and more books. It is not to be missed. The Book Loft also arranges book orders and sales for the festival, and in many cases is able to get you signed copies for the books you purchase.

Other panelists for the historical fiction discussion are:

Victor Hess, author of THE CLOCK TOWER TREASURE, the story of a 10-year-old boy who chases a local legend about a Shawnee treasure. It is set in the 1950s.

Jess Montgomery, author of historical mysteries THE WIDOWS and THE HOLLOWS, featuring Sheriff Lily Ross. These are set in rural Ohio in the 1920s, and I’m going to have to check this series out.

David Selcer, author of THE OLD STORIES, the fictional memoir of a righteous man whose journey takes him from a Russian battleship to the Canadian Northern Railway and other interesting places. It’s a story of assimilation and life lessons.

And then, of course, there is me, the guy who writes the pirate murder mysteries set in the 1720s. The fourth book in the Spider John series is called PIECES OF EIGHT, and it is scheduled for release in March 2021 (provided COVID-19 doesn’t force schedule changes or anything.)

I have never done a virtual book event, so I am not sure what to expect, but I am sure it will be fun. I won’t be able to sign books for readers in person and chat with them for a bit, which I love doing, but I’m all for keeping things safe until we get on the other side of this pandemic situation. Authors and readers talking about books all weekend? I’m up for that, even if it is virtual.

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