WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, May 29, 2021 - On the heels of its selection as a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards, Taylor Thomas Smythe’s debut novel Kingdom of Florida: The Golden Alligator was named a finalist in the 2021 Florida Authors & Publishers Association (FAPA) President’s Book Awards. This latest accolade means that the book is also eligible for additional awards and recognition when the final results are announced at a banquet in Orlando, Florida, near the end of July.
“I feel blessed to have received the news of not one but two incredible accolades for Kingdom of Florida in the same week,” said Smythe. “I’ve heard tons of great feedback on the book from family and friends over the past couple years since its release, but to have my work recognized for excellence on a statewide and national scale is truly incredible. It’s so affirming that the countless hours of solitary writing have blossomed into something that’s now getting national attention.”
Each year FAPA sponsors the President’s Book Awards, which recognizes book publishing excellence and creativity in design, content, and production for authors and publishers. This year, FAPA expanded the competition beyond North America to encompass the entire English-speaking world. Finalists are chosen by publishing professionals and librarians from both within and outside of Florida and are announced at the President’s Book Awards Banquet the last weekend of July.
Smythe added: “These awards are also a testament to the great work of illustrator Alice Waller, and also the influence of my friend, former teacher, and fellow author David Athey—to whom the first novel is dedicated. Thank you both for everything!”
The Golden Alligator is the first novel in the Kingdom of Florida series, which draws inspiration from such classics as The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, and follows the journey of a group of South Florida children as they discover a magical parallel world ruled by an evil prince. The sixth installment--Coral and the Treasure Hunters—is scheduled for release this June.
FAPA is an organization for authors, publishers and other professionals involved in the Florida publishing industry. The Florida Authors & Publishers Association, Inc., was originally organized in 1983 (then known as the Florida Publishers Group) by Betty Wright (Rainbow Books, Inc.) to provide Florida’s growing group of book publishers with an opportunity for education and networking and to provide its members with a clearinghouse for publishing information. FPG became FPA (Florida Publishers Association) and began with only six members. In 2012 FPA expanded the name to FAPA (Florida Authors & Publishers Association) to include a steadily increasing number of authors within the organization.
The first five individual Kingdom of Florida books are independently published and available via online booksellers and www.kingdomofflorida.com in a variety of formats.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, May 28, 2021 - Kingdom of Florida: The Golden Alligator, the first novel in author Taylor Thomas Smythe’s middle-grade fantasy saga, was selected as a finalist in the 15th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards.
The National Indie Excellence Awards celebrate independent publishing as a strong and vital sector of the industry. Recognizing excellence in all aspects of the final presentation, NIEA champions self-publishers and the independent presses who produce the highest quality books across a spectrum of metrics. Established in 2005, NIEA’s entrants are meticulously judged by experts from various facets of the book industry profession including publishers, editors, authors and designers.
“I am thrilled by the news,” said Smythe. “It’s truly an honor to be chosen as a finalist out of a pool of so many talented writers across the United States. It feels satisfying and gratifying to see my debut novel recognized in this way, and I can’t wait for readers to continue this adventure with me.”
Smythe continued: “As this award covers all facets of the book, including the writing, design, and more, I want to pay special tribute to Alice Waller for her excellent work conveying an imaginative vision of the Kingdom through her illustrations. I am so grateful for her work on these books.”
The Golden Alligator is the first novel in the series, which draws inspiration from such classics as The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, and follows the journey of a group of South Florida children as they discover a magical parallel world ruled by an evil prince. The sixth installment--Coral and the Treasure Hunters—is scheduled for release this June.
The first five individual Kingdom of Florida books are independently published and available via online booksellers and www.kingdomofflorida.com in a variety of formats. The NIEA press release, including the fill list of winners and finalists in the National Indie Excellence Awards, can be viewed here.
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA, May 4, 2021 - During a special YouTube premiere event at noon on May 4, author Taylor Thomas Smythe revealed the title, synopsis, release date, and a new illustrator for the forthcoming sixth installment in his Kingdom of Florida fantasy series. Kingdom of Florida: Coral and the Treasure Hunters, book six in the ongoing middle-grade series, picks up a few years after the events of last fall’s The Curse of Coronado and continues the adventures of now-teenage heroes Oliver, Ellie, Ben, and Annie.
Coral and the Treasure Hunters takes readers on three intertwined adventures set in two different eras in the Kingdom. While readers jump back into the continuing story of Oliver and his friends, they’ll also find plenty of surprises in the thrilling, swashbuckling quest that runs parallel to it. This secondary storyline is set several decades in the past, and follows the early days of Princess Coral on her mission to reclaim a treasure that was taken from her family.
“There are countless easter eggs sprinkled throughout the new book, and they connect to hints that I dropped in the earlier books,” Smythe noted. “As an author, it’s incredibly satisfying to see so many of those moments come full circle, and I think my avid fans are going to love it. Plus, we’ll get to experience a few familiar moments from a new perspective.”
In addition to the title and synopsis, Smythe also introduced viewers to artist Samantha Pollack, who will provide illustrations for the new story. Pollack, a Florida native now based in Pittsburgh, follows in the footsteps of Alice Waller, the illustrator for the first five installments in the series. As the story takes place several years after the prior books, Smythe explained that he wanted to add another artist to the Kingdom of Florida family to flesh out this new era in the world and timeline.
“I’m super grateful to Ali for her incredible work,” said Smythe. “And I’m thrilled for readers to see the equally-brilliant work that Sam brings to the table. The two of them have captured my literary vision so well and in unique ways.”
Kingdom of Florida: Coral and the Treasure Hunters will be available in early June. It is the penultimate novel in the series, which draws inspiration from such classics as The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, and L. Frank Baum’s Oz books, and follows the journey of a group of South Florida children as they discover a magical parallel world ruled by an evil prince. Smythe shared that the seventh and final book is slated to arrive in 2022, and he hinted at an additional surprise before the end of 2021.
The first five individual Kingdom of Florida books are independently published and available via online booksellers and www.kingdomofflorida.com in paperback, hardcover, Kindle ebook, and — for the first two installments — audiobook.