Craig Pittman is a native Floridian. Born in Pensacola, he graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him “the most destructive force on campus.” Since then, he has covered a variety of newspaper beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature, winning state and national awards. He is the author of five books, including The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World’s Most Beautiful Orchid, which is the only book ever classified as “True Crime/Gardening,” and Oh, Florida! How America’s Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, which won the gold medal for Florida non-fiction from the Florida Book Awards. His fifth book, Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther, published in January 2020, has been hailed by Lauren Groff as “a witty and passionate reminder that nature is robust–it wants to live!” He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children, and writes a weekly column for the Florida Phoenix and co-hosts the Welcome to Florida podcast. Craig will be appearing at Word of South with the musician Del Suggs.