Carla Eddie Barber, McPherson, a weekly columnist for the McPherson News, will sign copies of her recently published fantasy fiction novel, Brennem Wild, on Saturday, November 18, from 9 – 11 a.m. at Craft Coffee, 120 N. Main. Also on hand to sign their work will be the book’s illustrators, Dr. Alisha Mervyn, who created the cover, and graphic artist Britny Arnett, who created the six interior illustrations. Both artists live in McPherson.
In addition to copies of the book for sale, artwork from both artists will be on display. The trio welcomes fantasy fiction fans, friends and well-wishers to stop by for a cup of coffee and a chat. The trio began their collaborative efforts earlier this year when an editor suggested interior illustrations for the book.
“The editor told me that interior illustrations are gaining popularity in novels intended for adults,” Barber said. “I’d considered including a map, but she was interested in getting to see the characters.” When asked for suggestions, the editor had a lengthy list.
“Britny and I looked over the list, and realized there was just no way to illustrate everything she wanted to see, and still get the book out this year,” Barber said, laughing. “As it is, it’s only due to Britny’s speed and talent that we made the late October deadline.” Arnett is an author as well as an artist.
Brennem Wild is the first of a series focusing on a smart but introverted Chicago native who finds herself suddenly on another world, in some ways similar, but in others highly different from her own. Her quest to find a way home leads her into some dangerous, and some awkwardly hilarious, adventures, and expands her personality. The book is also available online at Amazon.com and on Kindle. For more information, visit the Brennem Wild Facebook page.
Barber calls this series a salute to her hero, C.S. Lewis’s, Narnia. Some elements, such as the switch of worlds and talking creatures, are similar, but so is the use of the novel to discuss deeper topics. However, while Lewis’s series was written for children, Brennem Wild is intended for adults, although appropriate for younger voracious readers who’ve enjoyed fantasy such as J.R.R. Tolkein’s Ring series.
Dr. Mervyn, who created the cover art, was a student of Hutchison artist Naomi Ullom, known locally for her mural work and her connection to Central Christian College. Arnett’s and Mervyn’s art has been displayed in various area shows. Mervyn is included in a current show at Elements 25th Annual Multi-Media Competition at Wichita State University, Cadman Art Gallery.
Talking of the trio, Barber said, “One of my favorite things in life is getting to bring brilliant minds together. Britny and Alicia hadn’t met before our collaboration. There’s also a fourth key member, my marketer and photographer, bl Martin, Lindsborg, who literally came to me via prayer. I prayed, and she texted me and asked if I’d like help with marketing.” Martin will be covering the book signing event.