For the past twenty years, I’ve been immersed in crime—reading, writing, and learning. I fell into that genre and made a quick splash. But it was not the complete me—a life-long interest in animals begged to come alive. My crime novels and stories have always been peopled with iguanas, cats, dogs, apes, dolphins, horses, snakes—probably many I’m forgetting—but now, finally, I’m writing specifically about my dearest subject, and I have recognized a dark truth about myself in the process.
Vicki Hendricks is the author of five noir novels, including Cruel Poetry, a finalist for the 2008 Edgar Award, and several short story collections. She teaches writing at Broward College. Her plots and settings reflect participation in adventure sports and knowledge of the Florida environment. Her love of animals, apparent in her earlier novels, comes to the forefront in her new novel, Fur People.
This year, our honoree is the author of over thirty books, twenty-eight of which were New York Times bestsellers, two became films, six TV movies, and two television series. Selling nearly 10 million copies, he created the medical thriller genre, starting with the novel Coma. Of course, we are referring to Robin Cook. Dr. Cook graduated from Columbia University Medical School and finished his postgraduate medical training at Harvard. Currently he lives and works in Florida. His most recent novel, Cell, deals with medical ethics and the intersection of business and medicine. His main character, George Wilson, M.D., a radiology resident in Los Angeles, wakes one morning to find his fiancée dead. What he finds in his search for her killer is that medicine is on the brink of an enormous paradigm shift, foreshadowing a vastly different role for doctors everywhere.
Previous literary legend honorees include Stetson Kennedy, Jack Hunter, Carl Hiaasen, Randy Wayne White, Edna Buchanan, John Jakes.
From time to time, we’ve recognized a Florida author who is no longer with us, but who had a major impact on the literary world. We did this in 2012, honoring Ernest Hemingway with a posthumous Literary Legend Award, which was accepted by his niece. This year, we are excited to announce that in addition to recognizing Literary Legend Robin Cook, a posthumous award will be presented to one of the masters of the modern crime novel. He’s a man who could raise the reader’s pulse with his taut, moral tales of good and evil found in his popular Travis McGee series, but he was also one of the first writers of fiction to champion Florida’s environmental challenges. Of course, we're referring to John D. MacDonald, one of the great storytellers of our age.
To help celebrate the life and work of this American master, we’ve arranged for a special exhibit from the University of Florida’s John D. MacDonald Collection to be on display here at the Flagler College Library from the week prior to the Festival.