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Bestselling author Frank regales Camden crowd

Posted: June 14, 2015 1:26 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2015 1:00 a.m.
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Best-selling author Dorothea Benton Frank reads a passage from her new book, “All the Single Ladies,” during a special event sponsored by Books On Broad held in the Robert Mills Courthouse Friday.

Speaker, popular writer, sought after raconteur – all these descriptions easily fit Dorothea Benton Frank.

The best-selling author was in town Friday on tour with her new book, “All The Single Ladies,” at a special lunch event  held in the Robert Mills Courthouse on Broad Street.

Catered by Lilfred’s and sponsored by Books on Broad, the event drew more than 100 Frank fans.

Laurie Slade Funderburk, owner of Books on Broad, noted that the event not only coincides with the release of Frank’s new book but also helps commemorate another milestone event.

“What a great way for us to celebrate our third birthday,” Funderburk said. “Books on Broad turns three this month.”

Frank took to the lectern as the crowd finished lunch to talk a little about the new book, which was released Tuesday, June 9, and to read a couple of passages.

“Like all my novels, a lot of it has to do with the weather – I can look forward to many bad hair days when I finally get to retire back to Sullivan’s Island,” she quipped. 

Frank’s descriptions of the typically hot, humid, and capricious summer weather of Lowcountry South Carolina, set against the backdrop of the lifestyle of languid tradition that encapsulates much of the personality of Charleston, sets much of the tone and feeling of the novel, she said.

Without giving much of the plot away, the book centers around several women, old friends who have reconnected due to the death of a shared friend and are trying to solve the mystery of why their friend has died at the relatively young age of 47, Frank said.

“It’s about friendship and about chosen family – we all have blood relatives we must endure – but hopefully we have good friends, chosen family, to whom we can turn in times of real need,” she said. 

On an interesting side note, Frank told the crowd most of the characters are either named for people who work for her publishing company, Harper-Collins, or are names of people who have donated to such causes as cancer research.

She also spoke briefly of life on the road – more specifically, on a book tour.

“I thought it would be fun to talk a little about the tour because quite frankly, a book tour is just so weird,” she said, eliciting laughter from the crowd. “You travel everywhere and people are so nice and you start to think, this is your life, and then you realize, no it’s not – get over yourself.”

Funderburk said she was very pleased with the turnout, noting Books On Broad has been fortunate to attract writers of Frank’s stature. In fact, several authors, including Pat Conroy, Mary Alice Monroe and Karen White have all made stops in Camden for events put together by Books on Broad, Funderburk said.

“I’m so delighted with the response to this event,” Funderburk said. “We’re delighted to have Dorothea Benton Frank, one of the most loved writers of Southern Fiction, and we hope to have even more events like this.”

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