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Baiting bookworms with Matlacha Authors Day

November 27, 2013
By SHERRI CONER ( ) , Pine Island Eagle

Like many other Pine Island dwellers, DL Havlin spends a lot of time on the water.

But between visits to the bait shop and his fishing boat, Havlin works most mornings before the sun wakes up. He authors books.

And recently, somewhere between the water and the words, he hatched a new island-centered idea.

Article Photos

Author DL Havlin signs
a book for Judy Green
at a recent event.

Photo provided

With 21 years of experience in the publishing industry, Havlin has had a front row seat for change, watching more and more big name book store chains shrink or close their doors.

After so many years, he has an established readership. But the plight of the novice writer is a worry. Havlin said he is also concerned about meeting the needs of avid, older readers.

Reading books on ipads and iphones isn't everybody's interest.

In fact, Havlin knows firsthand that lots of older word lovers prefer to curl up with a tangible story. Smelling the ink and dog-earing the pages can be just as important as reading the book.

While brainstorming about how to help writers and readers meet somewhere in the middle of technology, Havlin created Matlacha Authors Day.

Members of the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce also got involved.

"This chamber is the only one that is an advocate for the whole Greater Pine Island Area," said Jennifer Jennings, Welcome Center director. "We know this unique event will create a buzz all over the county and beyond. It is this chamber's job to support our members' businesses, the arts, musicians and authors of this great community."

Proudly, Havlin states that more than 60 of Florida's most talented authors will visit Pine Island for the Matlacha Authors Days.

"I wanted to give legitimate authors some kind of stage so they could establish a readership," Havlin said with a grin.

During both days, various authors will speak to guests. Children of all ages are invited to gather for story time. And longtime musicians and songwriters Kip Lawrence and Annie Wenz will offer free songwriters seminars.

Businesses, art galleries and restaurants embroidering that stretch of colorful, artsy Matlacha will draw new visitors, but residents of Bokeelia and St. James City will likely see new faces, too.

"People come to Pine Island to enjoy being on island time," Jennings said. "They enjoy taking that step back in time. We are a secret paradise."



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