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Special Story Time with Area Authors and Illustrators at Marianna Black Library

The Marianna Black Library, in Bryson City, will be hosting special program for area children with stories read by local children’s book authors and illustrators on Tuesday, May 16th, at 2:30pm.  We are happy to present authors Lynda Keener Farren, Virginia Urani, and Marcia Hawley Barnes; along with illustrator Doreyl Ammons Cain, and storyteller Amy Ammons Garza for the special library storytime!  Books to be read to children will include “Millie: A True Story,” “My Butterfly: A Love Story,” A Day with Tebijack,” and “Tobijah.”  We’re inviting everyone to come for the stories, but stay to meet the authors!

Lynda Keener Farren was born in Winston Salem. She remembers visiting Sylva when she was a child to visit her father’s uncle Henry, who worked at the Sylva post office.  She fell in love with the mountains and finally was able to return 28 years ago and now resides in Hayesville, NC. Her love for the mountains and her love for dogs inspired her to write the story about Millie, a Great Pyrenees.

Virginia studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute and Wichita State University. She was an artist for Hallmark Cards before joining IBM, where she worked for 20 years. She continued to study and develop her art during her years in the corporate world. She has taught watercolor painting at the John C. Campbell Folk School since 2006. She is the Studio Assistant for the Painting Department. She has also taught watercolor painting in Tuscany.  In 2016, she was awarded a Regional Artist Project Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, to create drawings and watercolor paintings of the living trees in the Bonsai Garden in Asheville, to capture the characteristics of the individual specimens. The grant allowed her to spend a week working in the garden at the North Carolina Arboretum.  Virginia works in several media including oil, pen and ink, pencil, and watercolor. She loves the beauty of the mountains, especially the wildflowers. She lives with her husband, John, on Cherry mountain in Hayesville, North Carolina. Through her work, she invites you to enjoy the loveliness of the world around us.

Marcia Hawley Barnes was awarded the Georgia Author of the Year Award in the Children’s Book Category for Tobijah by the Georgia Writers Association in 2017. A sequel to the book, A Day with Tobijah was published in 2019. Barnes’ poetry has been published in Stone, River, Sky, An Anthology of Georgia Poems, and by the Huntsville Literary Association in POEM.  Her work also appeared in Slant, A Journal of Poetry. In 2016, Barnes began writing as a journalist for the Clay County Progress in Hayesville, North Carolina.  Her columns include book reviews, feature articles and reporting on local news.

Amy Ammons Garza grew up in Jackson County, WNC, listening to the stories her grandfather told her. Because she was the eldest of her generation, he impressed upon her to “pass on” the stories of their heritage to the next generation. For 30 years, throughout the South, Amy has been telling stories of growing up in the mountains. She is the author of 11 books, mostly about the heritage of her families and the local mountain community. Amy will share stories that give a glimpse of the culture in which she grew up.

For more information or driving directions, call the library at 828-488-3030. The Marianna Black Library, a member of the Fontana Regional Library, is located in Downtown Bryson City at the corner of Academy and Rector.