‘Dante Chamber,’ Authors Academy dis­cu­sions

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - TRAVEL & LIFE - By Oline Cogdill Cor­re­spon­dent This col­umn will be on hia­tus un­til Sept. 2. Email events to olinecog@aol.com. Email olinecog@aol.com

Matthew Pearl’s clue­laden de­tec­tive sto­ries are also well-re­searched, at­mo­spheric his­tor­i­cal nov­els that suc­cinctly mix fact and fic­tion. His nov­els il­lus­trate the true art of his­tor­i­cal mys­ter­ies, show­ing just how rel­e­vant the is­sues of an­other cen­tury are to mod­ern times.

Pearl’s new novel, “The Dante Chamber,” is a fol­low-up to his New York Times best-sell­ing “The Dante Club.” Set in 1870, “The Dante Chamber” re­volves around a se­ries of Lon­don mur­ders in the style of the penances Dante memo­ri­al­ized in “Pur­ga­tory,” with verses also from “The Divine Com­edy.”

Pearl, who grew up in Fort Laud­erdale and at­tended the Uni­ver­sity School of Nova South­east­ern Uni­ver­sity, will dis­cuss “The Dante Chamber” as part of the David Pos­nack Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter’s Diane & Barry Wilen Jewish Book Fes­ti­val, begin­ning at 1:30 p.m. June 15 at the Stir­ling Road Li­brary, 3151 Stir­ling Road, Hol­ly­wood. For reser­va­tions and price, call 954-434-0499, ext. 336, or visit jc­c­books.com.

Pearl also will dis­cuss “The Dante Chamber” at 8 p.m. June 15 at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, 305-442-4408.

Authors Academy con­tin­ues

Mur­der on the Beach, 273 Pineap­ple Grove Way, Del­ray Beach, has been voted one of 62 Best In­de­pen­dent Book­stores in the World by the read­ers of At­las Ob­scura.

The store con­tin­ues its an­nual Authors Academy with work­shops led by pub­lished authors and pub­lish­ing ex­perts. The work­shops are held 10 a.m. to noon on Satur­days at the store. Each work­shop is $25. For reser­va­tions, call 561-279-7790, email mur­dermb@gate.net or visit FLau­thor­sacademy.com.

Work­shops through Au­gust are:

June 9: Adding Depth to Your Char­ac­ters. Go­ing deeper into main and sup­port­ing char­ac­ters, ex­plor­ing their de­sires, mo­ti­va­tions and per­spec­tives. In­struc­tor: Solange Ritchie

June 19: Build­ing Im­pres­sive Sto­ries with the Char­ac­ter-Wanted-How­ever-On­go­ing ex­er­cise. In­struc­tor: Christo­pher Hawke

June 23: Write Your Mem­oir Story: Here’s What Hap­pened! Work­shop fo­cuses on the open­ing para­graphs of your own true story; an in­ci­dent or a night in the past, when your story took an­other turn. In­struc­tor: Brenda Serotte

June 30: Mas­ter­ing Plot Twists. How to in­te­grate un­ex­pected twists and turns at tac­ti­cally sound mo­ments in sto­ries. In­struc­tor: Jane Cle­land

July 7: Di­a­logue: The Voices in Your Head. Be­liev­able di­a­logue es­tab­lishes char­ac­ters as real peo­ple, and helps move the plot. In­struc­tor: Elaine Vi­ets

July 14: Free­lance Like a Pro. A mag­a­zine vet­eran dis­cusses how to pitch, re­search and pro­duce rel­e­vant sto­ries that will ap­peal to edi­tors. In­struc­tor: DJ Niko

July 21: Point of View. Clar­i­fy­ing the story’s fo­cus al­lows the ac­tion to carry the story for­ward. In­struc­tor: Mark Spi­vak

July 28: Scrivener Ba­sics: An Au­di­ence In­ter­ac­tive Live Demo. Us­ing ba­sic novel tem­plate in Scrivener. In­struc­tor: MJ Carl­son

Aug. 4: Writ­ing: It’s a Busi­ness. Authors have to mar­ket them­selves, keep on top of so­cial me­dia, know their print run, and read their con­tract. In­struc­tor: Marcia King-Gam­ble

Aug. 11: Just the Facts, Ma’am. Weav­ing facts to make fic­tion re­al­is­tic. In­struc­tor: Eliot Klein­berg

Aug. 18: Fear­less Writ­ing: A Stress-Free Work­shop. Find­ing the heart of the book in progress. In­struc­tor: Elizabeth Sims

Aug. 25: Every­one Judges a Book by Its Cover. A pro­fes­sional cover de­signer will show the ba­sics of images, lay­outs and photo edit­ing. In­struc­tor: Vic­to­ria Lan­dis

Broward Li­braries hon­ored

The Broward County Li­braries Divi­sion has re­ceived three awards from the Florida Li­brary As­so­ci­a­tion for out­stand­ing li­brary ser­vices, re­sources, pro­grams and staff dur­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s an­nual con­fer­ence in May in Or­lando.

The Ac­tive Learn­ing Cen­ter, which of­fers a free play space to pro­mote school readi­ness for chil­dren up to age 5, re­ceived the Betty Davis Miller Youth Ser­vices Award. It is lo­cated on the sec­ond floor of the Main Li­brary in Fort Laud­erdale.

Sa­muel Mor­ri­son, the re­tired di­rec­tor of the Broward Coun­ties Li­brary Divi­sion, was pre­sented the Life­time Achieve­ment Award, which rec­og­nizes a li­brar­ian with a long-stand­ing, distin­guished record of pro­fes­sional achieve­ments and ac­com­plish­ments. Mor­ri­son spent more than 30 years as a li­brary pro­fes­sional that in­cluded bring­ing the African-Amer­i­can Re­search Li­brary and Cul­tural Cen­ter to fruition.

Robert An­stett, who as co­or­di­na­tor of Dig­i­tal Ini­tia­tives over­sees the li­brary’s var­i­ous Cre­ation Sta­tion lo­ca­tions of­fer­ing free re­sources, train­ing and high-tech equip­ment, won the Out­stand­ing Para­pro­fes­sional Award. This rec­og­nizes a li­brary para­pro­fes­sional or sup­port staff mem­ber who has made a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion to li­braries in Florida.

Groff ’s Florida

Lau­ren Groff ’s novel “Fates and Furies” es­tab­lished her as an ex­pert at dis­sect­ing the highs and lows of mar­riage as she looked at a cou­ple whose mar­riage was never easy, but, in its own way, very strong. Groff ’s short story col­lec­tion “Florida” fea­tures the strong char­ac­ters she’s known for, but uses as­pects of the Sun­shine State as its emo­tional cen­ter. The sto­ries in “Florida” span decades and towns as the state’s land­scape, cli­mate and his­tory in­flu­ence the char­ac­ters. Goff will dis­cuss “Florida” at 8 p.m. June 6 at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, 305-442-4408, book­sand­books.com. The event is free, but rsvp for a ticket as this will be a pop­u­lar event.

An­other case for FBI ex­pert

In her sec­ond novel, “Firestorm,” Solange Ritchie con­tin­ues the ad­ven­tures of Cather­ine Pow­ers, a FBI foren­sics pathol­o­gist. In “Firestorm,” the FBI ex­pert is on the trail of a mur­derer as fires rage through South­ern Cal­i­for­nia neigh­bor­hoods. Ritchie will par­tic­i­pate in a sum­mer writ­ing work­shop at 2 p.m. June 16 at the Alvin Sher­man Li­brary, Nova South­east­ern Uni­ver­sity, 3100 Ray Fer­rero Jr. Blvd., Fort Laud­erdale; email hgranger@nova.edu.

Short story re­vival

Short sto­ries have been hav­ing a re­vival, of sorts, with a num­ber of an­tholo­gies be­ing pub­lished. Elaine Vi­ets will dis­cuss “The Devil­ish Art of Writ­ing Short Sto­ries” begin­ning at 11:30 a.m. June 16 dur­ing the monthly meet­ing of the Florida chap­ter of Mys­tery Writ­ers of Amer­ica at Em­bassy Suites, 661 NW 53rd St., Boca Ra­ton. Cost is $25 for mem­bers; $30 for non-mem­bers. For reser­va­tion, email har­riet@ot­ten­heimer.com


Matthew Pearl will dis­cuss “The Dante Chamber” at two events in South Florida on June 15.


Jane Cle­land will par­tic­i­pate in the Authors Academy.


Lau­ren Groff will ap­pear at Books & Books.

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