Pinellas County is teeming with writers äóñsome aspiring amateurs, some seasoned professionals äóñ but sometimes they donäó»t get the attention they deserve. So weäó»ll be featuring a few of the best Pinellas-related titles, from all genres, and inviting you to jump in with both feet.
These arenäó»t all new books, though weäó»re aiming for recent. But they are all about Pinellas county or written by residents äóñ many of them active in the local literary scene. So get reading!
(Oh, and If you know of books that deserve to be featured here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us at @PinellasArts!)
Lisa Kirchner äóñ Hello American Lady Creature: What I learned as a Woman in Qatar
Kirchneräó»s nonfiction account of moving to a strange new land is, according to one commentator, like äóìBridget Jones meets Lawrence of Arabia.äó Kirchner moved to Qatar with a new husband, hoping for a last great adventure before starting a family. But challenges quickly mounted, and her book tracks her often-hilarious attempts to navigate one of the worldäó»s most male-dominated societies, along with a helping of personal struggle.
Kirchner teaches writing courses with Keep St. Pete Lit, hosts the True Stories storytelling event series, and regularly reads her own work around town.
Get it on Amazon.
Bill DeYoung äóñ Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bayäó»s Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down
For Pinellas natives of a certain age, the 1980 collapse of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge after being hit by a freighter is seared into memory. In this book, DeYoung details the entire story of how it happened, from the origins of the bridge itself, the lives of the victims and survivors and the painful downward spiral of the man who piloted the fateful ship.
Get it on Amazon.
Jonathan Kile äóñ The Grandfather Clock
A novel of intrigue that transports readers from Florida to Paris to Argentina, Jonathan Kileäó»s The Grandfather Clock has been praised by readers as a page-turner full of romance, suspense, and characters that jump off the page.
Kile, based in Gulfport, is part of the huge self-publishing wave, and writes a regular column on self-publishing for Creative Loafing äóñ hereäó»s a recent post. You can also read more about Kile and his book in the Gulfport Gabber [https://thegabber.com/tot-time-dad-publishes-first-novel/].
Get it on Amazon.
Tamara Lush äóñæTell Me a Story
Iäó»ll admit, I donäó»t personally think Floridaäó»s heat is all that sexy äóñ more like tiring and gross. But thatäó»s only half of the hook for Lushäó»s (apparently her real name!) romance series, which features a bookstore owner meeting a handsome billionaire at a literary event äóñ which may be a fictionalized version of one of Wordier Than Thou’sæStory Brothel sessions. Things proceed steamily from there, with hints of Scheherazade and Youäó»ve Got Mail.
You can check your temperature with a sample here.
Sterling Watson äóñ Suitcase City
Iäó»ve written about Sterling Watson elsewhere, but this is a book that deserves as much attention as can be thrown at it. Watson is a creative writing professor at Eckerd College, and here he serves up a dark noir that masterfully mixes literary style, social insight, gut-grabbing character details, and brutal, fast-paced action. Much of Suitcase City is set in the coastal mangrove bayous we know and love äóñ but it might make you less inclined to wander them at night.
Order from Akashic Books.