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Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on March 23, 2010

The Lake County Library System holds a week-long reading festival each year. It must be the best attended library event in the state.  Friday night, March 19, found my husband and I along with 20 other authors at a delightful Author’s Reception in Leesburg Library. Leesburg doesn’t seem like a big town but the library is a two-story modern building with a café. While waiters circulated with canapes, we met library patrons, readers, staff members, and fellow writers. We had the opportunity to shmooze and hand out promo materials. It was a great event for mingling and getting to know everyone. I knew many faces: Agent and author Lucienne Diver from the Knight Agency, Authors Cynthia Thomason, Julie Compton, Dara Edmonson, Catherine Kean, Michelle Young, Dolores Wilson, Elizabeth Sinclair, Elaine Viets, Mark Schweizer, and more.                                                 
Nancy Cohen & Lucienne Diver

Nancy Cohen & Lucienne Diver


Nancy Cohen

Nancy at Reception

Cynthia Thomason, Elizabeth Sinclair, Delores Wilson

Cynthia Thomason, Elizabeth Sinclair, Delores Wilson

Dara Edmonson & Nancy Cohen

Dara Edmonson & Nancy Cohen

Elaine Viets

Mystery Author Elaine Viets


Julie Compton & Dara Edmonson

Julie Compton & Dara Edmonson

We crashed later that evening at the Holiday Inn Express in Tavares located on the tranquil Dead River. A quaint seafood restaurant, Fin’s, is nearby. It was about fifteen minutes away on 441 which was good, because my workshop started in the morning at nine o’clock back in Leesburg.

I spoke on How to Get Published: The Business of Writing. My talk covered the basics on manuscript preparation, query letters, synopsis, how to get an agent, the value of networking, contests and critique groups, self-editing, and more. We had about forty people in the audience and they asked good questions. I enjoyed speaking to such an enthusiastic crowd.

Nancy presents workshop

Nancy presents workshop

For a lunch break, my husband and I cruised 441 and settled on the Red Lobster. Then we headed back to the library for my afternoon session, a panel entitled “Murder, Love, and Laughter” with mystery authors Elaine Viets, Mark Schweizer, Elizabeth Sinclair, Delores Wilson, and Nancy J. Cohen.


Nancy, Mark, Elizabeth, Elaine, Delores

Nancy enjoys speaking to group


Kudos to Judy Buckland, Lake Co. Library System’s Program Coordinator, for a terrific turnout and a great event.  Thanks, also, to Raintree Books for selling our work.

And now for the plug: Support your local libraries! Take out books and DVDs, join Friends of the Libraries, attend their events. I can’t tell you how many readers have written to me to say they first discovered my mysteries on the library shelves. Libraries are more like media centers these days with videos, computers, even digital downloads. Take advantage of this public service and visit your local library. Hugs to all librarians!



  1. Deanna said

    So good to see Elaine Viets looking so good and doing what she has always done…

  2. What a fabulous local library event. I can’t wait to showit to my town librarian in Colchester, CT. Who is the sparkplug behind the scenes? Somebody smart and energetic, I’m betting.
    Good luck to yu all and tons of sales.

  3. I had a great time at the event. It’s so important to support our libraries.

  4. Wow, what a great event. I hope you sold a ton of books. You look great!

  5. This is a great event, and Judy (and her crew) do a fantastic job organizing it. The community really turns out, and Raintree Books (independent!!!!) is phenomenal.
    So glad you had a good time. The pics, with the smiles, speak for themselves.

  6. what a wonderful event! Looks like you had a great time.

  7. Judy Buckland is the driving force behind this event, along with the other librarians in Lake County. They really make writers feel welcome. And Raintree Books, bless them, carried our back lists.
    It was fun to be on a panel with Nancy.

  8. This library system could be a model for others with how they support authors, organize this event, and garner publicity. It must take a tremendous effort. Kudos again to Judy and her wonderful staff.

  9. This was truly a great event. Thanks for writing it up, Nancy. What I like about the Festival of Reading is that there are workshops for everyone, from the novice writer to the avid reader. Lake County and Judy Buckland, take a bow!

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