Fiction Among Friends
St. George Island Writers' Retreat
Four authors from the (Tallahasee) area won honors in the 2007 Florida Book Awards: Adrian Fogelin, David Kirby, Julianna Baggott and Elna Green.
"I am totally surprised!" said Fogelin, who also drew all of the 45 illustrations in her children's book, "The Sorta Sisters." "I am so proud! That's absolutely wonderful!"
Nearly 100 books were entered in seven categories in the 2007 Florida Book Awards, now in its second year of existence. Anyone can nominate a book for the award.
Fogelin won a gold-medal award again this year for her children's book "The Sorta Sisters." Last year, the 56-year-old won a gold for her young-adult book "The Real Question."
Fogelin, Author-in-residence at the St. George Island Writers' Retreat
Adrian Fogelin, the daughter of a fiction writer, grew up believing that writing was an exciting occupation. Her mother, Maria Bontempi Fogelin, showed her that a writer lives a double life: real life, which includes many places where the plot sags, and the life of the story, over which the writer has full control and the dull parts are edited out.
Although Adrian always wrote short stories, poems, and sporadic journals, she took many detours on the way to becoming a writer. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design as a sculpture major. Fresh out of college, she worked for six years as an illustrator at the Baltimore Zoo. She lived aboard a boat in the Florida Keys, had her own art gallery, managed a public library, taught at a community college, and even did a stint as a maid in a timeshare. Fortunately, there is no such thing as a wrong turn for an author. Wearing so many hats has given her plenty to write about.
Adrian now lives in Tallahassee, Florida with her husband, Ray Faass. She is the author of seven novels for young readers, all published by Peachtree. The first, "Crossing Jordan" has received numerous awards. It was chosen to represent the state of Florida at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. In translation it placed second for "Premio Bancarellino," the most prestigious Italian award for children's literature. It has made six state reading lists. Her other titles are "Anna Casey's Place in the World," a Sunshine State Young Readers Award selection and the winner of the Carol D. Reiser Children's Book Award; "My Brother's Hero;" and "Sister Spider Knows All," a Parents' Choice Honor Book; "The Big Nothing," a 2004 Young Adult Top Forty (PA). Released last fall by Peachtree Publishers was, "The Real Question." When asked for a little hint about the plot, Adrian said, "It is about a stressed-out over-achieving high school student named Fisher Brown who falls in with a somewhat older guy. They take a road trip that is supposed to last only a weekend. By the time they part company Fisher is flat broke and sleeping under a bridge." Fans of Adrian Fogelin were thrilled to learn that "The Real Question" has just been named a gold-medal winner in the Florida Book Awards young adult category.
Adrian's latest work is "The Sorta Sisters", and Adrian, also illustrated this work (45 drawings plus the cover).
In addition to sitting at home in old clothes glued to her computer, Adrian is a frequent lecturer, and teaches creative writing and journal/memoir workshops all over the country.