Do you live in a place where a famous author was born? Does your town have any cool literary museums or monuments? Does Stephen King live at the end of your street? Was Twilight set in your hometown
I thought that this was a pretty fun question. Florida is a pretty transient state (most people become shocked when I admit I'm a native, that's pretty unheard of around these parts :P ), so I limited my authors to those that have impacted that state.
Zora Neale Hurston is a fixture in Eatonville, a tiny black community that rests right next to Winter Park, Florida. Many people know Hurston from her work, Their Eyes Were Watching God. (I hate to admit this, but I've never read it). Historically, she is associated with the Harlem Renaissance, and worked closely with Langston Hughes. She was well travelled, exploring the Caribbean and the Southern American States researching African American folklore. Sadly, she died extremely poor, and was buried in an unmarked grave in Fort Pierce.
Every year, Eatonville puts on a Zorafestival which celebrates her life and writing.
Second on my list is Ernest Hemingway. I remember first reading A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls in 8th grade (maybe 9th?). I had no idea who he was really, but remember being bored at times with the themes of war. Still, I trudged through them. Later in life, I read The Sun Also Rises and some of his short stories. I think that Hemingway (at least for me) falls in the group of "authors who I appreciate after reading up on their biography". Overall, he's not what I'm into, and quite honestly, I couldn't really carry on much of a discussion about any of his books since I read them so, so, SO long ago (and to be even more honest, have no desire to re-read them). *But* I have been to his house in Key West and yup the cats are still roaming. There are approximately sixty. When I first went there in college, I joked that my goal was to grab a "hemingway" cat (six-toed kitty) and take it home as my souvenir. I, of course, did not; but I did play with them through out the tour. (Oh and the cats have a very impressive drinking fountain - a urinal from Sloppy Joe's, the famous bar).
And finally, someone more current - Stephen King. Stephen King is a seasonal resident in Florida, living in Sarasota during the winter months. (His daughter, a permanent Floridian, ministers at a Unitarian Universalist Church in Plantation, Florida with her girlfriend, who is also a Reverend.) I first began reading Stephen King in the third grade. I remember picking up Skeleton Crew (a collection of short stories) and reading it at the laundry mat. A stranger commented on my choice, but I didn't see the big deal. Then, at school during our scheduled silent reading time, I took it out. My teacher was shocked, made me stop reading the novel and sent home a note to my mom asking if she was aware of her child's choice in books. My mom, a little annoyed because I think her parental controls were being questioned, wrote back and suggested the teacher pay attention to my reading level instead. In middle school, I devoured Stephen King novels. I remember buddies and I having competitions to see who could finish his lengthier works first: The Stand, It, Tommyknockers. I generally always won.
To be fair, I haven't picked up a Stephen King book since my middle school years. I do have The Stand (I remember it was my favorite and want to re-read it) and On Writing on my shelf. I'd like to get around to that soon. Also, I'll probably check out Duma Key since its location is a fictionalized island off of Sarasota. King places the main character in many restaurants and places in Sarasota. I get a kick out of traveling to places that show up in books. Might be a fun read.