by | Jun 10, 2021 | Karna Small Bodman, The Writer's Life | 9 comments

By Karna Small Bodman

With millions of people beginning to travel again, the question is: where is everyone going and what are they finding once they get there? It turns out that our Southwest Florida Airport, serving people coming mainly to Naples, Sanibel, Cape Coral and Fort Myers, reports an explosion of visitors with a 2,000% increase in passenger traffic – the highest in the nation! It’s no wonder, considering the natural beauty, small-town charm, alluring beaches and tropical weather we enjoy here.

When they arrive, they not only find a lovely vacation spot, but many decide to look at listings and purchase a home here. As one realtor put it, “We have an incredible influx of buyers from high-tax states including New York, New Jersey, California, Connecticut and Illinois considering there is no state income or estate tax here in Florida, among other attractions.” Agents are even giving virtual tours and receiving frenzied offers from people buying homes they’ve only seen on Facetime.

If you’re contemplating a visit, you might want to check out books by bestselling authors who discovered the delights of living and working in Naples decades ago. One of the best known was Robert Ludlum. Our Rogue founder, Gayle Lynds, co-authored several terrific thrillers with Ludlum: The Hades Factor, The Paris Option, and The Altman Code. A current Naples resident and friend of the Rogues is Scott Turow. In fact, Scott’s latest thriller, The Last Trial has two major scenes set in Naples, although he told me, “The hero likes Naples less than I do.” To find out why, you’ll have to read this story, described by The New York Times, as “A meticulously devised courtroom drama, rich with character detail. Turow again demonstrates what he does best: roll out a complex, keenly observed legal case, yet save a boatload of surprises for its ending.”

Other well-known authors have called Naples home include Janet Evanovich and Robin Cook among dozens of others. Bestselling writer, Randy Wayne White lives on nearby Sanibel Island, was named “A Florida Literary Legend” by the Florida Heritage Society and is the author of the acclaimed Doc Ford Middle Grade series. His new book, Stingers, was released just a few weeks ago. It tells the story of Doc, a Marine Biologist who invites a trio of young people to a remote island where they discover limestone caves and treasure hunters in search of Spanish gold. The former editor in chief of National Geo Traveler says, “Nobody navigates the natural beauty and dangerous twists of Florida’s mangrove backwaters better then Randy Wayne White.”

Finally, in one bit of “self-promotion,” my latest thriller Trust but Verify features a member of the White House staff and an FBI Special Agent who race to unravel an explosive plot that threatens the lives of international financial leaders and would sink Stock Markets world-wide. The reason to include it in this list is because the story opens right here in Naples, Florida.

So, if you’d like to take a break and check out “Paradise” as we term our area, whether to spend a few relaxing days or use your time to look for a new home, as the old TV commercial put it, “Come on down. We’ll leave the light on for you!”

Have you thought about traveling now or even relocating to an area where you could work remotely and have more space for your family? And do you have any good “Beach Reads” you’d like to suggest for the new batch of travelers this summer? Let us know by leaving a comment below. And thanks for visiting us here at Rogue Women Writers.

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  1. Dick Bodman

    Good blog. Tells a lot about the delights and intrigues of Florida as well as some very good authors.

  2. Lisa Black

    I knew about Robin Cook and Janet Evanovich, but not about Robert Ludlum and Scott Turow!!!

    • Karna Small Bodman

      Yes, and there are so many more authors who call Naples home. I remember going to a book signing at the Naples Regional Library when they were featuring local authors – and there were SIXTY of us there. This certainly is an inspiring place to sit down and write a story.

  3. Jenny Milchman

    Was there for SIBA in 2012, and absolutely fell in love with the area. Hope to be back someday. And what fun book recs–including your own!

    • Karna Small Bodman

      Thanks, Jenny – I too hope you can come on down to the Naples area again soon. As the old song says, “This joint is jumpin'”

  4. Carla Neggers

    Beautiful area! We’d read a number of Randy Wayne White’s books before visiting Sanibel Island (and eating at his restaurant). And Trust But Verify has quite an opening in Naples! I love the idea of “beach reads.” Great blog. Thanks, Karna.

    • Karna Small Bodman

      Appreciate your reading my latest, TRUST BUT VERIFY, Carla…..also hope you can come back for another visit soon!

  5. Kerry C Dustin

    Thanks. I recently shard a Randy Wayne White book with a friend and he was so appreciative he brought me a bottle of Senegal when he returned it. Now, if I can figure out how to share this blog, I know he will enjoy Gambit.

    • Rogue Women Writers

      Kerry – nice to see your comment here. And hope you can share this blog – just highlight the title at the top, copy it and email it to anyone you wish! Appreciate your interest!!!