Eva Marie Everson knew she had come to the right place when she crossed the No. 4 bridge and her cell phone service promptly stopped working.
That was 2004.
Fast forward to 2011 and a book signing Saturday at Kona Joe’s Island Cafe. The Savannah, Ga., native now lives in Orlando and has written 26 books. Her latest, “Chasing Sunsets: a Cedar Key Novel,” is the first in her Cedar Key series of three books. The next will be out in 2012 and the last in 2013.
“I couldn’t tell the story in one book,” Everson explained as to her reasons for writing a series. And the public also likes serial books, she said.
Her book signing packed the cafe with fans and curious onlookers and gave Everson a chance to talk about what led her up to this day in her life — which coincided with her 54th birthday.
It was no coincidence that Cedar Key residents, Edie Zaprir, co-owner of the cafe, and Anne Miller, were there. Both are mentioned in the book, and both signed their pages in the book for fans.
Everson said she began writing and journaling at a young age, but in the seventh grade a teacher told her, “You can’t do that.” So, she buried that dream and was a secretary, worked at a bank and went to nursing school. But she was always writing.
Then one day in 1997, she felt ill and told her husband that she needed to lie down. She literally did not get back up for five years. During that time, friends brought her books to read and she “got lost in the stories.” But, she said she also thought to herself, “I could do better.”
After two years of being bed ridden, one day she felt good enough to go for a walk, and as she walked a story formed in her head and she wrote it down.
That was 1999.
Everson was also very interested in the Old Testament and had the opportunity to attend a week-long training conference where she met some publishers. Barely a week later, an editor called and she was on her way to being published.
Since 2000, she has written and published 26 books, including one written with her friend Miriam Feinberg-Vamosh. “Reflections of God’s Holy Land — A personal journey through Israel,” is a photographic and written account of their visits to Israel.
When she is not in Cedar Key, she said she teaches in Orlando. She has taught writing at Indiana’s Taylor University in the past and is particularly proud of her “Teaching fiction through film” course.
Eva Marie Everson can be contacted on FaceBook and at evamarieeverson.com. Her latest book is available at Kona Joe’s Island Cafe at the corner of State Road 24 and Sixth Street. The cafe is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 543-9898.