PORT CLINTON — Local authors had a chance to meet fans and gain new followers at the Ida Rupp Public Library’s first Local Author Fair on April 23. Authors from Port Clinton, Marblehead and other northwest Ohio towns sold their books, representing a variety of genres. The event was organized by Ida Rupp’s programming assistant, Alyssa Biro.
“We had so many local writers and a lot of them reached out to us, so we thought that was a good way to do it,” said Courtney McGrath, assistant manager of Ida Rupp. “It’s a good place for them to meet and sell their books.”
Rich Norgard of Port Clinton and Donna Lueke of Marblehead are well-known authors in Ottawa County. Norgard, who writes under the pen name “RJ Norgard,” brought along his recently published mystery novel, “Road Kill,” which is the second book in Norgard’s Sidney Reed trilogy.
Lueke, author and poet, has sold copies of his four published works, including a children’s book and a book of Irish poetry. Her books “Autumn in Marblehead” and “Marblehead Mornings” feature the poetry of Lueke and the photographic art of Lori Roberts-Cobbledick.
“It’s nice to see so many authors here,” Norgard said. “There are faces that I don’t recognize, so I think it brought in a lot of people from the area.”
David Kimmel, also of Marblehead, is the author of Outrage in Ohio, which looks at the mysterious 1872 death of 13-year-old Mary Secaur of Mercer County, Ohio. Kimmel is a descendant of one of the murder suspects, and he incorporates documented facts, family background, and a bit of fiction into the book.
“I explain relationships through historical fiction,” Kimmel said. “It’s a very personal story and a historic story.”
Alexi Panehal has spent her summers on Kelleys Island since she was a girl, and she moved to the island permanently after retiring from foreign service in 2018. Her book “The Island in Winter” gives a insider’s view of island life in the cold. season. Panehal never traveled to the mainland during his three island winters, even though almost all of Kelleys’ businesses are closed.
“The book is about how we maintain our sanity on the island in the winter and how we stay healthy,” she said. “I was inspired to write this after an islander said to me, ‘I can’t wait for you tourists to go.’ I decided to live here permanently to see what they kept.
Brazilian author Emilia Rosa, who now lives in Huron, penned the charming and intriguing mystery romance “Finding Cristina.” The novel includes a bit of history and a little plot in an exotic location. Rosa has combined her intimate knowledge of Brazil with extensive historical research to create a realistic and entertaining tale. Rosa, a former model, went so far as to study period fashion trends for history. She was grateful to have had the opportunity to greet many of her fans at the Author Fair.
“I like meeting people. Sometimes people bring me their books that they’ve already bought and ask me to sign them,” she said.
When retired Norwalk teacher Dora Wilbur heard about Amy, a girl with Down syndrome who died aged 10 in 1979, Wilbur knew she had to write about her. From Amy’s story came the Christian devotional book, “Lessons from Amy”.
“Her mother is probably 80 now, but her daughter had such an impact on those around her that her mother always wanted someone to write a book about her,” Wilbur said. “I heard the story and I had to write it down.”
Wilbur also wrote two children’s books about a boy named Benjamin and his dog, Bon Bon.
Other authors at the event included Louis Thomas Masterson of Westlake, Frank E. Kuron of Toledo, Phil Farina of Toledo, Joel Rudinger of Huron, and Jim Bollenbacher of Huron.
Contact correspondent Sheri Trusty at [email protected]