Bookstore hosts local author showcase

Barnes & Noble hosted an author showcase for 17 authors from the Big Bend area on Friday.

Authors at the event offered a variety of genres from fiction and history to poetry and children’s books. The showcase drew friends and family of the authors as well as literature lovers from the area. Toya O’Hora, the community relations manager who organized the showcase, said Barnes & Noble usually draws about 100 people to the semi-annual event, which began in 2009. 

“We’ve had tons of authors, and none of them have been repeat authors,” O’Hora said. “There are so many authors in this area. It’s great fun.”

O’Hora said the importance of the showcase was to give local authors exposure they usually would not get. Since most authors showcased are either print on demand self-publishers or from small house publishers, their books are not typically found in stores. 

“I think it’s wonderful that Barnes & Noble is hosting this event to give local artists a chance to showcase their talent and to let the public know about what we are writing,” said Lady Dhyana Ziegler, author of “Midnight Train FROM Georgia: A Pip’s Journey” and ethics professor at Florida A&M. “It’s nice being a local artist, and I just started working with Barnes & Noble to distribute the book.”

All of the authors liked the idea of Barnes & Noble hosting the showcase and hope it gives other aspiring local artists the push to keep after their dreams of writing. Erika Becker, whose father had a book being showcased, thought the idea was great. 

“I have learned about some books from local writers in the area that I wasn’t aware of for my kid, so it’s nice,” she said. “There seems to be a good variety: history, children’s books; fiction. They have a good mix.”

O’Hora said any local authors interested in getting involved with the next showcase can email her at for more details on how to get involved.