You may know MacLeod’s hand-drawn cartoons that feature sometimes Kathy-comic-strip quirky, sometimes odd takes on inspirational posters, including phrases such as “Just keep on feeding me perfectly controlled explosions of joy, and we’ll get along just fine,” and “We need to talk; after that you need to shut up.” However, the funny-phrased cartoonist is also a writer, publishing three books since 2009 while living in Miami Beach. The books feature creative advice for creative people and entrepreneurial encouragement with titles such as 2012’s “Freedom is Blogging in your Underwear,” 2010’s “Evil Plans” and 2009’s “Ignore Everybody.” This accessible author even offers signed copies (with personalized inscriptions) of his books at Books and Books, Lincoln Road.
A debut children’s book meant to engage and inspire, Sean-Patrick Karshis’ “Adventure Draw” is part coloring book, part fill-in-the-blank storytelling, challenging the child to doodle aliens, blooming fields and robots among a cast of pen-drawn characters that feel delightfully Shel Silverstein influenced. Karshis resides in Miami with his daughter and is active in events such as social presentations for kids and for Bookstore in the Grove’s Local Author Night.
A local freelance writer with a history of ups, downs, rent loans and finally a self-proclaimed member of the 15-minutes-of-fame club, Pete Collins’ gritty portrayal of beefed-up Miami Lakes criminals in his serial column “Pain & Gain” caused the writer more pain than gain until very recently. While Michael Bay’s group had purchased rights to the story in the early 2000s, it was only in April 2013 did the Mark Wahlberg/Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson film hit theaters. Hopefully the pain will inspire another streak of great storytelling.
Jamaica-born poet, novelist and children’s author, Geoffry Philp covers powerful subject matter with compelling pacing and context. Subjects include father-son relationships and the Jamaican and Caribbean diaspora. In addition to writing, Philp also teaches creative writing at Miami Dade College and participates in author events including Miami International Book Fair 2012 with his most recent work, “Bob Marley and Bradford’s iPod.”
Historian and novelist Les Standiford creates powerful narratives covering weighty and complex subjects ranging from a plan to cross the ocean via railroad to the infamous abduction of Adam Walsh. His latest work, “Desperate Sons,” delves into the radical roles of the Sons of Liberty during the American Revolution and has received critical acclaim. Standiford resides locally with his family and is also the Director of Creative Writing at Florida International University.
Related: Best Books About Miami
Alicia Bustamante is a freelance writer covering all things Miami. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.