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March 12, 2023 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
In-Person: An Evening with Paul Wilborn
Books & Books presents…
AN EVENING WITH PAUL WILBORN
(St. Petersburg Press, $19.95)
Sunday, March 12th, 6 PM | LIVE & IN-PERSON at Books & Books, Coral Gables
Signing to follow the conversation
About the Book:
Since the debut of his new novel FLORIDA HUSTLE seven months ago, St. Petersburg-based author Paul Wilborn has received rave reviews. Critics have lavished praise both locally and nationally, encouraging readers to enjoy this joyful “romp with the heart” and saying it’s “an irrepressible Florida frolic filled with lost dreams, forlorn love, and horror movie lore.” Today, the author is proud to announce that Kirkus Reviews (starred review) has named FLORIDA HUSTLE “One of the 100 Best Indie Books of 2022.”
The book is set in 1980s Florida. An aspiring filmmaker, obsessed with B-movie scream queen, flees his family’s Palm Beach mansion, teams up with an aging con man and his ambitious girlfriend and heads to a film set in the Everglades. He finds himself mired in a swamp of competing cons and hustles. Published by St. Petersburg Press.
Aspiring filmmaker Michael Donnelly has two obsessions. One is Italian horror movies, and the other is Dawn Karston, a teen-age scream-queen, known for dying horribly in a string of cheap slasher flicks.
Michael, who shares a Palm Beach mansion with his defense contractor father, believes Dawn deserves better material and that he is just the 17-year-old for the job. But obsession, like filmmaking, is a risky business. To Dawn and her LA manager, Michael’s comic book story boards, rendered in blood-red ink and mailed to the actor’s home address, look more like death threats than movie pitches.
With Dawn’s new project, Swamp Fiend 2, about to shoot in the Florida Everglades – just an hour from Michael’s house – the producers convince his family that something must be done.
When Michael gets wind of a plan to lock him up at a plush retreat for the rich and deranged, he flees to a sketchy motel in West Palm Beach. There, he enlists an aging con man and his fiercely ambitious teenage girlfriend to help him reach the set of Swamp Fiend 2. Michael doesn’t realize his new partners see him as an opportunity to satisfy their own obsessions.lorida Hustle is set in 1982, when America was led by a celebrity president, when the phenomenal success of Friday the 13th has spawned a string of slasher-film copycats, and when Florida was morphing from a low-rent vacationland into a mega-state famous for Disney theme parks, Seminole Indian casinos, and a flourishing B-movie industry.
About the Author:
A native of Tampa, Paul Wilborn collected multiple awards from the American Society of Newspaper Editors and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors during a journalism career that included stints at the Tampa Tribune, The St. Petersburg Times and the Associated Press in Los Angeles. He won the Green Eyeshade Award from the Atlanta Chapter of Sigma Delta Chi, the South’s top writing prize. Based on a selection of his writing, Wilborn was chosen for the Paul Hansel Award, Florida’s top journalism prize. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan.
Wilborn’s first book, Cigar City: Tales From a 1980s Creative Ghetto, won the Gold Medal for Fiction in the 2019 Florida Book Awards.
His plays have been produced at Stageworks, Off-Center Theater, Radio Theater Project and University of Michigan. A pianist and singer, he has led several bands including Paul Wilborn and the Pop Tarts and Blue Roses. He produced the long-running American Songbook Series at American Stage.