Frontlist | The Savannah Book Festival Goes Virtual

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This year’s Savannah Book Festival will have a different feel than in years past, considering that there will be no actual physical festival itself, but rather a virtual one. The SBF kicks off their virtual series on Wednesday at 7 p.m. with a sit-down interview featuring the #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 20 thrillers, Brad Thor, as he discusses his new novel “Near Dark.”

Thor will be joined by SBF Board Member and SCAD professor Jonathan Rabb, who will serve the dual purpose of interviewing the critically-acclaimed author and act as a moderator for the virtual audience during a live-stream Q&A session once the interview is complete.

Thor’s accolades include best sellers “Backlash,” “Spymaster,” “The Last Patriot,” “Blowback”, and “The Lions of Lucerne,” along with “Dark Times.” The author has made appearances on television networks such as ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, and Fox News Channel to discuss how the real-life threats of terrorism parallel ideas in his novels.

The following week will feature a New York Times Bestselling author of more than 60 books as Sandra Brown takes the stage to discuss her latest thriller “Thick as Thieves” on Monday, October 19 at 7 p.m. The moderator for the session will be announced in the coming days on SBF’s website.

Brown has appeared on truTV’s “Murder by the Book” series as well as Investigation Discovery’s series “Hardcover Mysteries.” Television movies based on the author’s novels include “French Silk,” “Smoke Screen,” “Ricochet,” and “White Hot.”

The appearances by Thor and Brown, along with all other events put on by the Savannah Book Festival this year, will be broadcast live online through the streaming platform “Crowdcast.” Tickets are $15 each and can be bought with the link provided on the Festival’s website.

While the recent Covid-19 pandemic has presented new obstacles for the festival this year, including canceling the 2021 “in-person” festival, it has not deterred Festival organizers from providing the people of Savannah ways to connect with their favorite authors.

Savannah Book Festival Virtual Events | E. Shaver, Bookseller

“We begrudgingly had to cancel the February festival due to the pandemic and not being able to get author commitments for travel, along with the general feeling of our attendees,” said Erika Dongre, executive director of the Savannah Book Festival. “We decided to develop this virtual series that will continue through 2021 to continue bringing the great authors we have been able to in the past to our Savannah audience and beyond.”

Virtual viewers who attend Festival events online will be able to type out and submit questions throughout the author discussion, these questions will then be answered one-by-one by the moderator after the interview is complete.

Officials with the Savannah Book Festival said they plan to host one to two author discussions per month through Spring 2021.

Dave Barry (best-selling author and former Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Miami Herald) and John Connolly (international best-selling author of the Charlie Parker series, based on a fictitious former police officer on the search for his wife and daughter’s killer) are confirmed for November.

Barry won the Pultizer Prize as a result of providing a humorous twist to more serious topics in his column for the Herald. His latest book “Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old Happy Dog” hit bookshelves earlier this year, while Connolly’s latest instalment in the Charlie Parker series, “The Dirty South,” was recently published in August.

As far as what will happen after November, the situation is still fluid, organizers said. Literary types should make sure to check SBF’s website periodically, as new authors will continue to be confirmed during the upcoming months. One thing is for sure, the festival will still continue to move forward, with Savannahians experiencing this year’s events from the comforts of their own home.

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