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Authors On The Ranch

  • 03/27/2022
  • 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • 1561 Lakefront Drive, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34240


Meet local authors Dianne Ochiltree from 10:00 AM - NOON and Ward Larsen from NOON - 2:00 PM

Sunday, March 27, the Friends of the East Manatee Library at Lakewood Ranch will host two local authors. Visit our tent and learn how you can support the future library that is under construction in Lakewood Ranch.


Dianne Ochiltree writes for children. Their education is her passion, and she lives it every day. She wants children to fall in love with reading and encourages them to develop their creative writing skills. When asked how she started on this journey, she said she moved for her husband’s career and found herself in northern New Jersey. Being close to New York, she also found it was a perfect place to meet experts in child education to help her get started on her writing journey. She feels that when you get to children at an early age and you show them how important language is emotionally and cognitively, their lives are enriched for the rest of their lives.

She has won multiple awards for her work especially for one called Molly, by Golly! The book introduces young readers to Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City’s Fire Company 11, who is considered to be the first known female firefighter in U.S. history. When asked how she found out about Molly, Dianne said she was researching information for a book about the San Francisco earthquake and subsequent fires and somehow saw a small box that mentioned Molly’s name but there was no information about her. There are firefighters in her family, so it was an intriguing story to her. She looked through archives, reached out to fire houses, and basically did everything she could to research any information about Molly. The book garnered many awards and will be the subject of a documentary.

Dianne has so many accomplishments including being a writing coach and freelance editor, as well as a workshop presenter, and a yoga instructor. What a great life!

Ward Larsen is a prolific writer who started writing on a whim. His background is perfect for his spy, assassin, clandestine meetings, international intrigue genre. He was a U.S. Air Force pilot who flew 22 missions in Operation Desert Storm. He said he always loved non-fiction and world events, so his books have a basis on “reality” and is his window in the fiction world. He was a pilot for Southwest Airlines as well as being an aircraft accident investigator. The sum of these experiences works into his very believable books.

During his time in the military, he had an Israeli pilot as a student. That particular pilot was the Israel’s best and had an incredible mindset about what being the “best” meant to him. Because of him, his protagonist became an Israeli named David Slaton instead of American. David has appeared (or will appear) in eight of his books. The character is a CIA agent and assassin (as in the name of the series). His “fly by” series has a character named Jammer Davis as the protagonist and he is an airline accident investigator so Ward uses his skills in making these books very believable. While he prefers writing series, he also writes some stand-alone books. His fourteenth book, Assassin’s Edge, is available April 2022. He is a USA Today bestselling author and a seven-time winner of the Florida Book Award. Look for his other titles on Amazon. 

CONTACT US

PO Box 110221

Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211

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A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR THE FRIENDS OF THE EAST MANATEE LIBRARY AT LWR (REGISTRATION NO. CH57400) MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

The Friends of the East Manatee Library at Lakewood Ranch is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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