Sanibel author Charlie Sobczak has been chosen as a finalist for the President's Book Award by the Florida Publishers Association. On Sept. 28, the FPA notified Indigo Press, L.L.C. that its latest title, "The Living Gulf Coast A Nature Guide to Southwest Florida," was nominated for the best non-fiction work published statewide this year.
"I hope I win," said Sobczak. "But I hope even more that my book educates people about wildlife. While winning would be great, it's more important to me that my book gives wildlife a voice and so far it has helped save the lives of three snakes."
The Florida Publishers Association has nominated this book as a finalist for the President’s Book Award.
It was a near case of mistaken identity until a friend of Sobczak consulted his Living Sanibel book and learned the snakes in his yard were water snakes not dangerous moccassins. According to Sobczak, that is one of the biggest reasons he wrote the "Living" books.
"I want to help the wildlife," he added.
The Living Gulf Coast is a nature guide covering six counties of Southwest Florida, including Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Glades and Hendry. The book includes 291 species of birds, all the mammals and more than 90 species of reptiles and amphibians found in this region as well as 162 various parks, preserves and eco-destinations located within the region.
"Competition was exceptionally high this year because, for the first time in the history of the contest, the entries were open to all Florida Publishers, including University Presses," noted Sobczak about being nominated as a finalist.
His latest title, "Living Sanibel, A Nature Guide to Sanibel & Captiva Islands," has quickly become a favorite for its appreciation of our unique natural environment and island habitats. Excerpts from Living Gulf Coast and Living Sanibel can be found in Sobczak's weekly columns published in the Sanibel-Captiva Islander or online at captivasanibel.com.
In 1999, Sobczak formed Indigo Press LLC with the publication of his first book, "Six Mornings On Sanibel." From the original print run of 3,000 copies, the novel has went on to become the best selling book on Sanibel Island. It is currently in its sixth printing with more than 25,000 copies sold.
His "Way Under Contract, A Florida Story" novel was published in 2001 and went on to win the coveted Patrick Smith Award for Best Florida Literature and is credited with bringing Sobczak's writing to the attention of Florida readers.
Subsequent novels by Sobczak include "Rhythm of the Tides," "A Choice of Angels," "Alligators, Sharks and Panthers: Deadly Encounters with Florida's Top Predator-Man" and "Chain of Fools."
In 2005, Sobczak was named Alliance of the Arts Writer of the Year in Lee County. His third novel, "A Choice of Angels," was given a starred review by Booklist, the official publication of the American Library Association, as well as receiving a national bronze award from Foreward Magazine for best work of religious fiction.
Along with writing, Sobczak works full time as a realtor with the VIP Realty Group. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Molly Heuer and two sons Logan and Blake. Sobczak is lifetime member of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, and past president of Solutions to Avoide Red Tide (START) and the Sanibel Island Fishing Club. He is also a member of PURRE and an avide offshore angler.
The final President's Book Award Gold, Silver or Bronze -- will be announced out at the FPA's annual awards banquet, which is being held Nov. 5 at the Helmsely Sandcastle Hotel on Lido Beach in Sarasota, Fla.
For additional information about the Florida Publishers Association please visit their web site at www.flbookpub.org. To read an excerpt from The Living Gulf Coast or to learn more about Indigo Press, go to www.indigopress.net. The book is available throughout Southwest Florida and can be found in all major online bookstores.