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Authors hold book signing at Shell Factory

By Staff | Oct 23, 2019

Kim Todd promotes her book, “Heaven’s Postcards,” at a book-signing event at the Shell Factory on Saturday. CHUCK BALLARO

While it was dark and gloomy outside, it was nice and dry inside the Shell Factory & Nature Park Saturday.

It was especially dry in the shop, where several local authors set up tables throughout the store to sign books and meet shoppers who might be interested in one of their titles.

The book signing event is something the Shell Factory does semi-annually to help support local authors and introduce them to new audiences.

The authors ran the gamut from fiction to children’s to books based on true stories, and the authors were glad to talk about their titles, experiences and inspirations behind their work.

Nancy Hamilton, author of “100 Things to Do in Fort Myers & Sanibel Before You Die,” said she used her experience with the Visitor & Convention Bureau for 25 years and her overall knowledge of the area to give readers places to try throughout Lee County.

“There are places like the Edison Museum, obviously, but there are also places like Ding Darling for nature and the hidden ones like ECHO Farm in North Fort Myers that does wonderful work, and the Great Calusa Blueway,” Hamilton said, adding the Shell Factory, which made the cut, supports local authors and appreciates what they do for them.

Kim Todd was doing her first book signing. Her title “Heaven’s Postcards” was based on her real-life story of the death of her son in a car accident 10 years ago and what happened in the aftermath, which she saw as messages from her son from heaven.

“I reached out to God and he kept showing up in incredible ways with all kinds of signs in the clouds and birds and nature,” Todd said. “It’s amazing what he did and it’s the story of dealing with the loss of someone you loved.”

Diana Welker had a book called “Death Roll” a fictional novel set in Southwest Florida about Pirate Gaspar’s descendants, with one scene being set in a fictional pizza parlor in North Fort Myers.

“I conceived of the idea for the book at the Shell Factory when I visited the Gaspar Room and saw the pirates,” Welker said. “I saw the plaque and saw he had more than 100 descendants and I thought they had to be running around here somewhere and they get into trouble like he did.”

It took Welker two years to write the book and it was released in January.

Mariah Lynn, also known as Mary Tatarian, brought several books with her, including four novels. She expects to have her fifth novel out in the spring.

“I don’t do many signings. I did one at the Bonita Library last week. I was hoping for a lot today, and it’s still early, but I think the weather has kept people home,” Tatarian said.

Beatrice Zazzaro, a North Fort Myers resident, was showing a couple of her children’s novels, though she has also written women’s fiction and horror.

“What I used to do for my granddaughter when she was growing up was for her birthday I would write her a story to make her feel special,” Zazzaro said. “She then asked if I could make some picture books and I said I could arrange that.”

She chose two stories, hired illustrators and editors, and created two books to make her granddaughter feel extra special.