From left, authors Gary Schmelz and Harlan Wittkoph along with illustrator Ken Vinton will return to the Authors’ Table at the Shell Show this year. Shell Club photo
From left, authors Gary Schmelz and Harlan Wittkoph along with illustrator Ken Vinton will return to the Authors’ Table at the Shell Show this year. Shell Club photo

The highlight for many Sanibel Shell Show visitors is the opportunity to get an autographed copy of a favorite local author’s book. Here is the schedule for the Authors' Table at this year's Shell Show March 3-5 at the Sanibel Community House.

Thursday, March 3

Harlan Wittkoph will be on hand from 9 a.m. to noon with his book Alphie Finds the Seashell Alphabet, a story about a little alphabet cone. Anne Joffe will also be at the Authors’ Table with her newest book Shellcrafting II. Anne will be autographing this book as well as her popular first book Shellcrafting. Wendy Mills will join them at 10 a.m. She will be signing her first adult novel Positively Beautiful until noon. This book is said to be “A heartfelt, three-hankie exploration of a topic all too many teens must confront.”

Colin Redfern and Pam Boynton will take over the Authors’ Table from noon to 4 p.m.. Gary Schmelz will join them at 2 p.m. Colin Redfern’s book Bahamian Seashells: 1161 Species from Abaco, Bahamas is a comprehensive study of marine mollusks occurring in the Bahamas. Included are all the species most likely to be encountered in the northern Bahamas, together with many that are uncommon or rarely seen. The second edition contains 3600 new color photos, and 170 new SEM photos. Pam Boynton’s book Comtemporary Sailors’ Valentines – Romance Revisited showcases contemporary perspectives on a craft from the 1800s. Her book includes 18 top artists' insights about Sailors' Valentines, plus more than 300 photos of their exquisite work. Most of the artists featured in the book will be exhibiting in the Sanibel Shell Show. Fossil expert Gary Schmelz will be signing his book Fabulous Florida Fossil Shells. It contains photographs of 111 species, gastropods and bivalves, the very best of the best that he has collected over the course of his 39-year studies of these shells. He will also sign his books The Gift and Journey to the Edge of Eden.

Friday, March 4

Harlan Wittkoph and Anne Joffe will return to the Authors’ Table from 9 a.m. to noon. At 10:00, attorney and mystery writer John Mills will be signing his books until 1:00. They include: The Manatee Murders, Reasonable and Necessary, The Objector, and The Trophy Wife Divorce.

Colin Redfern and Pam Boynton will return to sign their books from noon to 4 p.m.. Gary Schmelz will be signing his books from 1:00 to 4 p.m..

Saturday, March 5

Rhys Llewellyn will open the Authors’ Table at 9 a.m. to sign Neptune’s Treasures and Sunrise at San Attarium. Neptune’s Treasures is an autobiography by Ed Hanley, as told to Rhys. Ed was a well-known Sanibel diver, a shell and fossil collector, and owner of Neptune’s Treasures, a fossil and shell shop on Sanibel. Sunrise at San Attarium is a fictional novel and a humorous account of a husband afflicted with a serious daydreaming issue. On the advice of a psychiatrist, he and his wife move from Vermont to an island off the coast of Venezuela in search of a cure. Rhys will be at the table until 3:00. Anne Joffe and Pam Boynton will be signing their books from 9 a.m. to noon.

Jane Kirschner and Joyce Matthys will be at the table from noon to 3 p.m. Jane’s children’s book Annabelle from Sanibel is a perennial favorite. When her peaceful island lifestyle is suddenly turned upside down by Hurricane Charley, granny Annabelle finds comfort and solace in her favorite treat, key lime pie. Her secret recipe is included. Joyce’s video productions have been viewed by literally thousands of people. Mollusks in Action and Trails & Tales of Living Seashells are played throughout the day at The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum and have been shown at shell club meetings around the world. Joyce will answer your questions about the Sanibel mollusks featured in the films and will sign copies of her DVD’s.

While there is no entrance fee to the Shell Festival grounds, a $5 donation is requested to attend the inside Shell Show. Anyone who makes the requested donation will also be granted free admission to The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum during the Shell Festival, an $11 value.

All the funds raised by the Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club are given in the form of grants to several local marine education and conservation organizations and for scholarship funds at the University of South Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University Departments of Marine and Ecological Science. All the funds raised by the outdoor activities go to the maintenance of the Sanibel Community House.

The Shell Festival is March 3, 4, and 5 at the Sanibel Community House, 2173 Periwinkle Way. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. except Saturday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.. For more information (239) 472-2155 or go to shell festival.