Calling All Bookworms: The Palm Beach Book Festival is April 22


Lois Cahall, Founder & Creative Director of Palm Beach Book Festival, opens up about the popular event that will take place at the Harriet Himmel Theater in CityPlace on Saturday, April 22. An accomplished author, Lois shares what’s in store for participants – and a little bit more!

You founded the Palm Beach Book Festival in 2015. What provoked you to establish this event? And why Palm Beach?

I moved to Palm Beach in what I call self-imposed witness protection to write a big memoir (just completed.) I never thought I’d end up being so visible in a community that would need a festival like this. I found myself speaking at various yacht clubs and country clubs after my first novel became a #1 bestseller: PLAN C: JUST IN CASE. The guests all asked me to help them get published, start a festival, etc. I kicked and screamed a little bit, and then agreed. When I whine to James Patterson he says, You’re in it now, kid!

What should a newcomer expect when they attend the Palm Beach Book Festival?

I call it “The Oscars of books.” If you’re a book-lover, wow, get ready for a major experience. Back-to-back panels and sessions with exciting speakers and time in-between to meet NY Times best-selling authors and celebrities, get your books signed, take selfies, and share unforgettable moments. Last year Burt Reynolds brought everyone to tears with his talk.

Laurie Hernandez is one of the featured authors, and she’s mostly known for her breathtaking routines at the Olympics. How would you say dedicated athleticism compliments writing a novel?

Laurie’s book is not a novel, but a memoir of her life. It’s entitled I’VE GOT THIS and it tackles her drive and determination. I mean, 16-year-old, Olympic-winning, Dancing with the Stars-winning, NY Times best-seller children’s list. But I know one thing we all have that she doesn’t have: a driver’s license!

Gerri Hirshey was Rolling Stone’s first female contributing editor.How do you think a woman’s place in the world of journalism has changed, compared to 20 years ago?

That’s a loaded question. It’s more about how censorship and sensitivity has changed. I know from the time I began my work in TV and radio to today with radio and writing, everything has to be politically correct. We can’t express directly what needs to be said. I suspect that plays a big role in why Donald Trump won the Presidency. But women? Where do we begin? We have a lot more work to do to level the playing field.

Some speed round questions for fun.

• What is your favorite genre to read? Literary non-fiction.

• What age did you discover your love for writing? Fourteen. Bedroom diaries. I realized if I had six months left to live I’d type faster.

• Favorite quote from a book? I founded a book festival, so…Charlotte Bronte: The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

• First favorite novel? Shamefully it was ‘Gone with the Wind’. Proudly…anything Charlotte Bronte, Edgar Allen Poe.

• Hard cover or Paperback? Hard cover. And I always choose the book over electronic devices, unless I’m on a plane. Too bulky a bag for carry-on.

For the full agenda and to purchase tickets for this year’s Palm Beach Book Festival, visit

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