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Panel to discuss the mysteries of writing

Posted On: January 14, 2020

A good mystery novel is both entertaining and captivating. But to many, becoming a published writer is a real-life mystery. With the NEA Big Read program getting ready to kick off later this month, the Daytona Beach Museum of Arts & Sciences is gearing up to host a panel discussion on unraveling the mystery of writing. The program is being presented at 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4 by the Daytona Writers Guild, a local coalition that promotes the arts and literacy through a variety of programs at book clubs, theaters, schools, fairs, libraries, conferences and other venues in the area.

The panel moderator will be Dr. Mary Custureri, who writes academic nonfiction, historical novels and a series of Happy Anderson primary books. She also is a professional speaker, writer, lecturer and consultant for teaching and learning strategies and has taught creative and technical writing. The other panelists who will take part in the discussion include:

Melody Dean Dimick: Winner of three Royal Palm Literary Awards from the Florida Writers Association. She is the current president of the Florida Writers Foundation and is also a member of the Florida Writers Association, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Florida Authors and Publishers Association and the Florida State Poets Association.

Dr. Doug Giacobbe: A professor of history at Daytona State College, a well-loved author and a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the Daytona Writers Guild.

Veronica Helen Hart: An award-winning author of The Blender Series of cozy mysteries from Champagne Book Group and CEO of Paranormalice Press.

Cal Thomas: A writer of travel articles and mysteries who is working on his third novel.

The panel discussion at the museum, 352 S. Nova Road, is part of this year’s NEA Big Read program. NEA Big Read is intended to encourage community reading through a series of programs designed around a single book. The Volusia County Public Library system received a $15,000 NEA Big Read grant and selected the best-selling Celeste Ng novel “Everything I Never Told You” as its title. The Volusia County Council matched that grant with an additional $15,000. The library system’s branches and other venues are hosting more than 130 programs such as book discussions, author talks, concerts and informative presentations based on the novel. The NEA Big Read program runs from Jan. 25 through Feb. 29. A complete list of local events can be found at

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