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Romance novelist will visit small bookstore

Page After Page, at 3737 16th St. N, will have a signing Saturday.

By CAROL LOVE

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 21, 2000


ST. PETERSBURG -- Page After Page, a small independent bookstore, will host its first major book signing Saturday.

Best-selling mainstream romance author Suzanne Brockmann will sign copies of her books, old and new, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Serendipity and the Internet played a role in this little store's snaring a major author for a signing.

"One of my friends, Margaret, and I were talking about getting someone to come in that people would really want to see," said store owner Judy Moore. "Margaret e-mailed (Brockmann) and said that she was really nice and that's she's going to be down here for a vacation and would be happy to stop by. She had a new book coming out, so the timing was perfect."

Brockmann is in Sarasota visiting family this week and will stop for the signing at Page After Page, 3737 16th St. N, on her way to the airport to catch a flight back to her home in Boston.

"I actually prefer to do signings at smaller independent bookstores, for a number of reasons," Brockmann said. "They tend to be more "romance friendly,' with a large number of regular, loyal, romance-reading customers. ...

"Writing can be so isolating, and although the Internet connects me to many readers, there's truly nothing like meeting them face to face at a signing. I like to talk to them, find out what they're thinking, what they're reading, where they're from."

The author's frequent visits to this area have inspired her to use the Sarasota beaches as the setting in four of her novels.

Her new book, The Unsung Hero, was released June 7 by Ivy, a division of Ballantine publishing. As in several of Brockmann's other books, this book features a hero who is a Navy SEAL finding love, intrigue and duty amid 300 some odd pages.

Brockmann, who has won several national romance writing awards, explains her fascination with Navy SEALS.

"I've written 10 books with SEAL heroes, and they've all been extremely successful. (They) make great romantic heroes! As far as the military goes, they're elite -- the best of the best. I've become something of an expert, although it's hard to get up-to-date info on the SEALs." It has been 14 months since Moore and her husband, Hugh, reopened Page After Page on 16th Street N . Lease negotiations didn't work out at the store's original Fourth Street N site.

Judy Moore says the store has been much busier at its new corner location. In fact, this has been the busiest year in the store's 31/2-year history.

"It seems like we get a lot more people from the neighborhood," she said, "and being right here off the interstate, we get a lot of people who are just passing through."

Moore also hopes this book signing will increase the store's customer base.

If you're interested

For more information about the book signing, call 520-1232. Information about Suzanne Brockmann and her novels is available at http://www.suzannebrockmann.com.

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