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.