Fernandina Beach author gets film deal for book ‘Mariner’s Tale’.

Joe Palmer, standing at Tiger Point Marina in Fernandina Beach, is a former journalist, private investigator, and public defender investigator who published the novel "Tale of a sailor." It is set in a town modeled on Fernandina Beach in a shipyard as a hurricane approaches and was optioned by an independent New York film company.

Joe Palmer grew up in Waycross, Georgia wanting to live on Florida’s northern edge in Fernandina Beach, a quaint and quirky oceanfront town so popular with Southern Georgians that some called it Waycross-by-the-Sea.

Eventually she found a way to make a living there, so it seemed only natural that when she started writing what would be her first published novel, it would be set in Fernandina.

Well, at least in a place very similar to Fernandina, which in “A Mariner’s Tale” is called Morgan’s Island, a salty place between the Intracoastal and the Atlantic Ocean, at the northeasternmost point of Florida.

Palmer’s story focuses on Jack Merkel, a 64-year-old sailor and shipyard owner, a former merchant mariner and shrimper with a great tragedy in his past. His life changes when a troubled young man and a beautiful divorcee enter it-and then it changes even more when a fearsome hurricane roams restlessly over Florida, headed, in the end, right at Morgan’s Island.

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