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Indie Author Day at Lovegrove Galleries

October 12, 2016
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

Leoma Lovegrove held her first "Indie Author Day'" Saturday afternoon at Lovegrove Galleries on Matlacha Island.

"Indie Author Day is a one-day, all-out occasion for local authors, libraries and publishing industry experts to celebrate, educate and collaborate," Lovegrove said. "Art galleries usually don't celebrate authors, but when I realized the library wasn't going to hold the event I thought, 'Why not?' This is a wonderful opportunity for everyone to meet our local writers, hear about their inspirations and get an unparalleled glimpse into the indie publishing business."

The first Indie Author Day included Fran Thomas, John D. Mills, Carol Ervin, Tom Hall, Michael Silberg and illustrator Lovegrove.

Article Photos

From left, John D. Mills, Leoma Lovegrove, Mike Silberg, Carol Ervin, Tom Hall and Fran Thomas at the Indie Author Day event.


Thomas is a local author and former editor of the Pine Island Eagle. Her book, "The Lady is a Mayor," is the first in a series of Calusa Town Novella series.

"This is a highly fictionalized version of of Pine Island that I call Calusa," Thomas said. "Every character is fictional although I call on many of our island characters for inspiration. In this book the island, Calusa Island, has a mayor and the mayor disappears in the middle of the night taking the town's bank account with him. One of the council members, Geneva Price, becomes mayor."

"The Lady is a Mayor" is a comedy that will offer a break from the current political comedy. If you need a break from national politics, the book also offers a lighter look at politics in a fictional small town. The book is available from in print and as an e-book.

Mills is a fifth generation native of Fort Myers. He grew up fishing the waters of Pine Island Sound and it's still his favorite hobby. He graduated from Mercer University in Macon, Ga., with a law degree and started his legal career as a prosecutor for the State Attorney's Office in Fort Myers. He is currently in private practice.

Mills has self published six local murder mystery books. Five of the six are all set in Pine Island Sound and the sixth is set at the Thomas Edison home in Fort Myers. "The sixth book, 'Sworn Jury,' is where they find a dead lawyer in a Model T Ford after a big formal and I discovered everybody loves dead lawyers," Mills said.

Mills books are all about lawyers, alive and dead.

In his first book, "Reasonable and Necessary," Det. Doug Shearer with the Lee County Sheriff's Department solves the murder of a doctor exposing HMOs for cost cutting practices. The doctor is killed when his charter boat explodes and Shearer's investigation begins.

All of Mills books are available from

Ervin lives on Pine Island. She published her first novel, "The Girl on the Mountain," in 2012, which became book No. 1 of the Mountain Women Series.

Ervin gets inspiration from the environs of her home in West Virginia.

"I've lived in West Virginia for many years and I am inspired by beauty of the mountains, the foliage and the people I met there when we arrived about 42 years ago," Ervin said. "We moved to a rural area and it was like stepping back 50 years. The people were very much in touch with an earlier time. They did things the old way, spoke in a certain dialect, and they were just wonderful people. My first book starts in 1900 and the fourth is just before the first World War. So the four books are moving slowly."

Ervin's first book "The Girl on the Mountain" is about a character by the name of May Rose. Her husband has disappeared and untrue rumors are circulating through the small town ruled by a large lumber company.

"I don't have writer's block," Ervin said. "I write early in the morning and write until my eyes are tired. Writing is my favorite thing to do it's my escape.

"I've had modest sales of my print books but gratifying sales of my e-books," Ervin said.

In addition to the four "Mountain Women Series" books, Ervin has written a romantic suspense entitled "Ridgetop" and a science fiction book entitled "Dell Zero." All of her books are available on

Tom Hall and Robin Tuthill wrote their first book, "Female Pioneers of Fort Myers," last year.

"All of the stories about the founding and settling of Fort Myers are about the men - cattlemen, cattle-brokers, real estate developers, and there have been some very interesting men," Hall said. "But when I started researching the history of Fort Myers, it occurred to me that women made some significant contributions.

"A couple of Marches ago, just before National Women's History month, I put together a 'Walking Tour' of Fort Myers Founding Females," Hall said. "My co-author was one of the people who took the tour and came up to me afterwards and asked 'Have you ever thought about writing a book?' So we partnered and wrote a book."

"Female Pioneers of Fort Myers" contains many stories of success against the odds. "Female Pioneers of Fort Myers" brings to the front everyday female leaders who helped transform Fort Myers from a rough-and-tumble cow town into a modern-day city.

Hall and Tuthill are working on two additional books: "Fort Myers Epic Fires" and the second book is about Fort Myers historical hurricanes.

"Female Pioneers of Fort Myers" is available at and also at the Edison-Ford gift shops.

Silberg, husband of Leoma Lovegrove, also wrote a book, "Falling in love with the Prince of Life."

"My book is about Bible prophesy. It's centered around Jesus, his ministry and what he taught about what would happen when he returns," Silberg said. "The book also explores what did Jesus mean when He commanded us to 'be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect;' we need God, but does He need us? The Bible speaks of a second death - what is the first? If Jesus died for us, why do we still die? Who are we?"

"Falling in love with the Prince of Life" is available at

Lovegrove illustrated Silberg's book as well as Betty Reese Freberg's book "Frebie Dog Tales: The New Mailman, The Dog Catcher, and The Judge."

"Frebie Dog Tales" is a story told by a lovable dog, Frebie, who likes to run free. His adventuresome spirit causes him trouble with the new mailman and the dog catcher which leads to him facing the possibility of being arrested and going before the judge. Frebie shares his experiences and consequences of running free.

"This was a lot of fun to illustrate," Lovegrove said. "It's a beautiful book. It was an honor to illustrate 'Frebie Dog Tales' for Betty Freberg. I knew Frebie as well and it made it more personal to paint a dog that I knew. He was a big hairy thing and I always loved the way Betty would say Frebie in that Texas accent of hers. I hope people enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed illustrating it."

"Indie Author Day is a nationwide celebration," Lovegrove said. "October 8, 2016, is the first Indie Author Day where libraries all across North America host their own Indie Author Day. Here are Lovegrove Galleries you can also check out all the new art in the gallery and enjoy a day browsing the shops and a drink or bite to eat at one of the outstanding waterside restaurants here in historic Matlacha Island.

"I saw this as an opportunity for people to meet some of our very talented local writers," Lovegrove said. "A day when writers can connect with like-minded readers and learn about what it's like to self and indie-publish. I hope we do it again next year."

Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens is located at 4637 Pine Island Road, Matlacha Island.



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