With the gift-giving season upon us, there’s no better time to explore local writers – and get your friends in on the act. Here are a few recent (and one not-so-recent) books that highlight local talent and local places, and would make great gifts for the book-lover in your life.
Yellow Jacket Press: Glass Bottom Sky
Released in October, this anthology commemorates ten years of poetry from Tampa Bay’s own premier independent poetry press. Yellow Jacket has published dozens of chapbooks from local authors, and this collection includes work from some of those authors as well as friends of the press. It’s a great chance to get to know local names like Cole Bellamy, Liz Robbins, and Enid Shomer.
Get it on Amazon.
15 Views of Tampa Bay
While we love new releases, sometimes it’s worth digging into the archives. 15 Views of Tampa Bay is a fascinating 2013 project from Orlando-based Burrow Press. 15 Tampa authors, including Jeff Parker, Peter Meinke, and Hunt Hawkins, were invited to contribute one story each about the area. But unlike most anthologies, these stories were written in sequence, and each had to be linked to the previous story in some way. Originally published on the web, the sequence was paired with stories about Orlando for the single-volume 15 Views II: Corridor, which includes another round of stories about Tampa, paired with a series based in Orlando.
Get it from Burrow’s Web Store
Oh, and here’s a hilarious/surreal interview with Burrow Press’s editor, John Henry Fleming.
Sydney Knox – Blood Empire
A fictionalized account of a real episode of Roman history, Blood Empire mixes the violent conspiracies of Game of Thrones with the broader context of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It’s fast-paced and full of characters that jump from the page. But it also retains much of the substance of what really happened to Emperor Constantine’s son, Flavius Crispus. That makes it great for fans of both high drama and history. Knox, now based in St. Petersburg, has released two volumes of the series, with more on the way.
(Disclosure – Knox is a friend, and I helped her edit a small section of the first book. So I know it’s good!)
Check it out on Amazon.
Bob Dixon – Snafu Fubar: Nothing Heroic
Revolving around two would-be Floridian superheroes too lazy to leave their porch, this no-holds-barred comic novel is getting rave reviews from readers. It’s been called “nothing short of hilarious” and “one big, non-ending train wreck. But in the good sort of way.” (It’s also, by all accounts, not for the easily offended.)
Grab it on Amazon.