Travel Article
Winter 2020
Miami Book Fair 2019
Page 2 of 2
Trend Magazine Online™

By Jay Whipple

Trend Magazine Online™

Books, Books, and More Bookscont'd.!

Miami Book Fair 2019 Part II Travel Article Pic
Picking up where I left off in part one, I was still blown away by the myriad of eclectic books', authors', and publishers' from all walks of life coming together to represent their works here in The Magic City. It is quite a challenge to even comprehend the sheer magnitude of bringing together author presentations in 21 venues, 500 plus authors (with a book for every age and interest), a children's alley, cooking demo, and live music at the 2019 Miami Book Fair but it was so accomplished by the organizers. And having this grand event at its founding location near the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus in Downtown Miami brought the event full circle. As such, I allowed my good spidey senses to direct me to the places and people that I needed to meet and greet for the purpose of sharing our experience with you the reader.

Miami Book Fair 2019 Part II Travel Article Pic
Next up I came across a book cover and title that grabbed my attention mainly because it featured a black and white cover with the face of a man that has a striking resemblance to actor, director, and producer Mel Gibson. It brought home the point to me that choosing the right book cover can make the difference in whether a reader breezes by your work or stops to take a peek which is what I did. It turns out that the author was yet another military veteran and as I stated in part one I do go out of my way to support my fellow comrades in arms and their endeavors whenever I can. This author stated that he was a Navy veteran and his name is L.C. Markland. He also stated that his book No Holds Barred "No Holding Back" was a military-oriented read and I jokingly said that I was really looking forward to the screen adaptation only to find out later a 1989 movie was produced under the same name starring former Pro wrestler turned actor Hulk Hogan.

Miami Book Fair 2019 Part II Travel Article Pic
The next opportunity that caught my attention was a stage that was being set up and at that time they were performing a sound check also known as a microphone check microphone checka; just ad libing a bit. This area, at the corner of North East 2nd Avenue and North East 3rd Street, was dubbed The Porch and was billed as "the most chill space" at the fair! It featured local performances by improvisers', comedians', cabaret dancers', live musicians', and film and art impresarios' all week long. One of the quirkiest performances was by The Rock Bottom Remainders; a rock band consisting of classic authors who have collectively published more than 150 titles, and have sold more than 350 million books that have been translated into more than 25 languages. This year's band included fair authors Dave Barry, Sam Barry, Carl Hiaasen, Greg Iles, Josh Kelly, Erasmo Paolo, Ridley Pearson, Scott Turow, Gene Weingarten, and Alan Zweibel.

Miami Book Fair 2019 Part II Travel Article Pic
There were quite a few vendors on hand as well to take advantage of the huge crowd that this event draws each November. I was there on media business and was not able to indulge but for the more than 10,000 that visit on the weekend there were a plethora of options from food to insurance and other businesses looking to capitalize on this annual opportunity. We may set up a tent for Trend Magazine Onlinetm or perhaps Queen City Tourssm to promote the QCT Miami Daily City Toursm and QCT Miami Daily Black Heritage Toursm to gain additional exposure in the South Florida market of visitors' and newcomers' to the area. These tours provide a great sampling of area history as well as current and future plans for Miami and the surrounding areas to include Broward and Palm Beach Counties as well as Key West. Potential customers are now able to tour for free by clicking on the aforementioned links.

Miami Book Fair 2019 Part II Travel Article Pic
I stopped at this next tent display simply because of the woman with the infectious and genuine smile coupled with her smoked grey sleeveless shirt that read "Don't Mind Being Black" which turns out is an American Poetry Book that "Gives you a peek into a community that is oftentimes misunderstood, overgeneralized, and easily dismissed" according to Google Books. In addition, this "Collection of poetry offers a glimpse of the day in the life of a sculptor, painter, and poet Jake Webster; and poet, performer, writer, publisher Zorina Exie Frey" who also owns I.W.A. Publications which specializes in creating S.E.O. content and consulting aspiring writers and experts to publish a book. She is a graduate of Indiana University who earned a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications and Web Design certificate, as well as a certificate in Literary Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, MA. Zorina is also a member of the South Florida Writers Association of Miami, FL, who sponsored the tent. I had to wait a few moments to get her to pose for this pic as she was very busy communicating with various fair attendees.

Miami Book Fair 2019 Part II Travel Article Pic
Next up was author C.L. Brown whose striking resemblance to the late great singer, actor, musician, composer, and arranger Isaac Hayes (1942 - 2008) drew me to his tent display. He has written several books to include "Loud Whispers of Silent Souls," which is a gathering of poems in which "You will find a collection of hidden treasures, quotes that will inspire and uplift your soul. You will smile. You will cry. You will love. You will inspire. You will relate." We had an interesting conversation about how much more important the written word is over oral words in terms of longevity and accuracy. And that once something is written it is permanent and will outlive the author for generations to come. Even if people today do not understand what we write we must write for future generations to learn and perhaps receive inspiration. Keep writing Mr. Brown!

Miami Book Fair 2019 Part II Travel Article Pic
My next interaction was different in that I did not find them, they found me by way of a very outgoing young lady who was not afraid to approach a complete stranger on the street and introduce herself. Turns out she was not a writer or publisher but was working for a worldwide organization known as Friends of Heifer which I later found out is an official 501(c) (3) non-profit organization based in Little Rock, AR. They work in 21 countries by supporting farmers and their communities by teaching them to utilize their land to produce life-sustaining commodities for themselves and others for a fee in somewhat the same fashion that Native Americans taught the Europeans to survive off the land here in what today is known as the United States. It turns out that the very outgoing young lady was a bit camera shy and chose to leave the picture-taking to her associate.

Miami Book Fair 2019 Review Pic
The "Read Jamaica" sign at this next tent is what grabbed my attention because of my Caribbean roots in the Bahamas. My late grandfather was from Exuma and I am always interested in what's going on in that part of the world. I did not get a chance to interact with the folks working the display because they were busy with fair attendees so I took the liberty to look them up on the Internet and in the process came across a Read Caribbean Panels 2019 public event that took place on Saturday November 23, and Sunday November 24, in room 8301 on the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College in Downtown. The two day event covered Caribbean Myth, Mythology, and Science Fiction; Caribbean Writers: Race, gender, and Representation; Caribbean Journey's Through Time and Space; Haitian Drama in it's Death Throes; Is Haiti a Nation State?; and Caribbean Voices: Rising Tides.

Miami Book Fair 2019 Part II Travel Article Pic
My last stop on this very insightful journey was prompted by a sign with a very familiar but confusing name that most folks mispronounce at first sight. They will typically pronounce Jai-Alai as "Ji-a-lia" as opposed to the correct pronunciation of "Hi-Li" which is a sport that originated in the Pyrenees Mountains over Basque Spain over four centuries ago. It started as a handball game that was played on Sundays and holidays in small villages at the local church hence the name translates to "Merry Festival." Today it is a fast-paced and dangerous game played on a court behind a sturdy fence with a rock hard ball and a croquette looking racket that is used to hurl the ball at break neck speed onto a concrete wall. It is a very popular betting sport in South Florida. I am not sure as to just how they were able to use the name but suffice it to say that their tag line is "We Bet on Books."

Click here to plan a group visit next year!

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