A best-selling author, on a book tour for her latest work, stopped by Apalachicola last week to give a much-appreciated boost to the new library.

Patti Callahan Henry, who is on a book tour for her new novel "The Bookshop at Water's End," (see review) was the guest of honor at a book-signing party July 20 at the Robert Lindsley Studio Gallery, sponsored by the Patrons of Apalachicola Library Society.

The gathering of about three dozen library lovers savored homemade delicacies, but were most delighted by the announcement that Henry would be donating all the proceeds from the event to the new library, scheduled to open this fall.

Henry's visit was coordinated by her agent Kathie Bennett, a close friend of Susan Buzzett Clementson, an avid backer of the new library. In addition  to donating the proceeds in Clementson's name, Henry added an additional fundraising twist: she auctioned off the name of a character in her next fictional work to the highest bidder.

The winning bid of $500 came from Carrie and Charles Kienzle, close friends of Clementson, so expect to read about a character named Susan Buzzett in Henry's next novel, which will follow a historical novel she has in the works for Oct. 2018 about the love affair between famed author C.S. Lewis and his wife.

Henry offered brief remarks before settling in to her autographing books. 

"Libraries and bookshops are the lifeblood of a community," she said. "When I was 12 years old and I was hanging out in the library, it was my sanctuary."

While her novel is set in South Carolina, Henry said she recognized Apalachicola as soon as she arrived. 

"Once in a while you pull up to a place and you feel like it jumped off of your book," she said. "Geography and the land hold memories."

Both Bonnie Fulmer and Lindsley, active with the library, reported on the progress of the new library. Lindsley said an active search is going on for a new librarian, with applications due by Sept. 30.

"We're real interested in who is going to respond to our ad," he said. "We're so excited with our building, and enthused about the community's support."