By: Sharon Aron Baron
A novel written by a Coral Springs author inspired by real Florida crimes has taken home the gold in popular fiction at the 11th Annual Florida Book Awards.
Richard Wickliffe, along with his wife Anthea Louise, were honored for his third novel Storm Crashers at the annual awards banquet in Tallahassee which included a meeting with First Lady Ann Scott the next day at the Governor’s mansion.
Storm Crashers is the story of extremely brazen, high-tech thieves who prey upon wealthy communities that have been evacuated due to approaching hurricanes. Originally inspired when numerous burglaries were reported when mansions on Sanibel and Captiva islands were left exposed during Hurricane Charlie, the concept gained the attention of Hollywood, where Wickliffe, along with the help of others, was able to sell an option to 20th Century Fox where a script was written.
A 40-year resident of Coral Springs, Wickliffe is a graduate from Coral Springs High School who went on to graduate from Florida Atlantic University. He continues to live the city with his wife and three children – two who attend his former high school.
Coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, the Florida Book Awards is the nation’s most comprehensive state book awards program to celebrate the best Florida literature. The winning authors from across the state were honored at the event.
More than 200 eligible publications were submitted and previous winners included include authors Carl Hiaasen and Brad Meltzer.