Three local authors received a Florida Book Award Gold Medal in Tallahassee. Dr. David B. Axelrod and Lenny Schneir, both from Daytona Beach, and Dr. Carol Thomas from Palm Coast, were presented their awards at an April ceremony at Mission San Luis followed by a luncheon the next day with First Lady Ann Scott at the Governor’s Mansion.
Their book, Merlin Stone Remembered, won gold in the category of Best Non-fiction Book by Florida authors. It recounts the life and work of pioneer feminist artist and scholar, Merlin Stone, who began her visits to Daytona Beach in 1999 and became a full-time resident in 2005. Merlin, best known for her book When God Was a Woman, passed away in February, 2011.
Lenny Schneir, her life-partner for 34 years, recruited Drs. Axelrod and Thomas to help him with the book. “It started while I prepared a speech for a memorial service for Merlin,” he explains. “Then, that went so well, it blossomed into a full, 332-page book.” The book was released in December, 2014, by Llewellyn Worldwide publishers (www.llewellyn.com).
Two hundred ten books were entered in the annual contest and nine won gold in their separate categories. The Florida Book Awards are considered one of the best state competitions in the US. The trio of authors will also be featured in a segment already recorded for public television station WFSU.