CARLSBAD — A collection of authors will be featured this weekend as part of the Dove Library’s “Book Bingo” to celebrate reading and the creative spirit.
The event, which is from noon to 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 29, showcases local author Jan Moran, along with keynote speaker Jenna Blum and eight others, each of whom will discuss their work, careers and other topics followed by a book signing.
Moran, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, had her first book published in 2015 after pivoting careers. Moran said she’s always had the writing bug, but finally went all-in and now has 27 published works to her credit.
“The readers get to go around and speak to each individual author,” Moran said of the event. “It’s really a lot of fun how they set it up.”
Moran’s focus has been on family sagas, historical fiction and a beach series. Her Summer Beach and Coral Cottage series has landed her as a USA Today bestseller.
The series interwind, she said, but while the town is fictional, her inspiration came from the beaches of San Diego and Orange County. The main theme in Moran’s books is multi-generational and she said there is a character for every age in her books.
She said her protagonists tend to skew younger, with women in their late 20s or early 30s. They focus on family dynamics and the impacts of those relationships.
Moran has also connected with small businesses to help her with research. For example, she partnered with chef Michael Antinoris, who owns Chuao Chocolate in Carlsbad, to help Moran with research for her book, “The Chocolatier.”
“One of the things I think readers are attracted to my books is friendship, and how we create family out of friends,” Moran said. “Although I write about sisters, I write about people’s friendship bonds who are deeply forged.”
Blum, a New York Times bestseller, hails from Boston and mostly focuses on fiction, although her most recent book, “Woodrow on the Bench,” is a memoir recalling years spent with her black Labrador, Woodrow.
The book recalls Woodrow’s final months, who suffered heart failure and Blum who would take him to his favorite park bench. From there, a community popped up from friends, neighbors and strangers who helped Woodrow and Blum in different ways.
In total, she has five published works — three novels, a novella and anthology and her memoir.
The theme of her novels, though, focuses on trauma investigations and how people positively connect despite the chaos bringing them together.
“I’m not somebody who picks a lane and sticks to it, necessarily,” Blum said. “Two of my books are World War II-themed and my second book, “The Stormchasers,” is about twins, one of whom is bipolar.”