MOUNT DORA — Master Florida storyteller Randy Wayne White said some of his fans didn't want to like the heroine of his of his new novel, "Deceived."
"They didn't like it because I am a male writing about a female and because they are jealous of Doc Ford," White said.
White will talk about and sign copies of "Deceived" on Friday, Sept. 6, in Orlando and in Mount Dora.
Marine-biologist-with-a-past Ford has been the hero of White's 20 New York Times best-selling mystery/thrillers. Hannah Smith, whose first leading role came in last year's "Gone," suits Ford to a T.
She is a big woman, tall and strong, a fishing guide and a part-time investigator. She traces her Southwest Florida family back generations — the area's history is hers as well. She is a perfect foil for Ford. Each is reliable, steadfast, boat- and weather-savvy and neither can pass up a wrong that needs righting.
In "Deceived," Hannah agrees to check on an old friend of her mother's but finds the woman killed, her house a mess and a killer with an ax.
The past oozes from beneath the shell mounds, connecting the old ways with contemporary problems, from drug use to the control of state medical contracts.
White said Hannah was inspired by his mother and other female relatives in North Carolina, where he grew up.
"They were self-educated and the funniest human beings I knew," he said. "Like them, Hannah not just survives, she thrives."
Along the way she prevents some older neighbors from signing away their property and barely escapes being tossed into a tire shredder.
White will appear at noon Friday at the Barnes & Noble store at 2418 E. Colonial Drive in Orlando and at 3 p.m. at Barrel of Games and Books at 128 W. Fourth Ave.
For more information about the Mount Dora appearance, call 352-735-1950.