September 9, 2011 2:59:00 PM
The Columbus Arts Council will host a book launch event at the Rosenzweig Arts Center, 501 Main St., today from 4-7 p.m., for Ron Tew''s latest novel, "The Conversion."
The sailing adventure with a surprising twist revolves around two friends who encounter an unexpected storm at night in the Gulf of Mexico, while delivering a sailboat from Ft. Lauderdale to Pensacola.
The lingering effects of the storm on the men are both physical and psychological, with unexpected consequences for each. In "The Conversion," Tew delivers a page-turning adventure with believable characters facing unanticipated issues -- life with a little sea-faring spice thrown in.
"Sailors, like fishermen and farmers, will lie," Tew said, "but it makes the denouement a lot more fun."
Tew, president and CEO of UniSouth Banking Corp. in Columbus from 1979 until 1994, drew on his 30 years of sailing experience for much of the books action, including a four-year stint when he and wife Jeanne lived aboard, sailing in the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Atlantic.
The Tews logged close to 25,000 nautical miles on the voyage and met lots of quirky characters both on the water and ashore.
"Put a bunch of sailors around a table at the local tiki bar on any Caribbean island, and the talk soon turns into competing tales about the latest nighttime crossing, midnight squall or rough anchorage," Tew said. "If the weather is fine, the wind blows from the right direction, and dolphins play off your bow, your wife is happy, and it''s a nice sail. But if a squall pops up out of nowhere at midnight, there''s a story."
The Tews moved ashore in Pensacola, Fla., in 2001, after returning from a trip up the east coast to Maine. "I always wanted to write," Tew said, "and you need something to fill the time when you''re sailing to your next destination at six miles an hour."
The book signing is open to the public.
Personalized copies of "The Conversion" will be available for purchase. For more information, contact the CAC at 662-328-ARTS (2787) or email [email protected]