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Kelly Starling Lyons is a multi-book published author, who will soon be making a trip to Clarendon County. This event, held by Harvin Clarendon County Library in partnership with Manning Elementary School, is a chance for children to see what an author does, as well as learn a little history. This is the second time this event has happened, but with a different author.
“The kids really enjoyed it last year,” said Harvin Library Director Charlotte Johnston. “They get a chance to see how authors come up with stories. The authors are also heavily involved with the kids and hear their ideas for books as well.”
Lyons grew up in Pittsburgh with a very creative family. According to her website, her mother “took my brother and me to productions at a children's theater and made up bedtime tales. She inspired us to express ourselves through the arts.”
This is where the idea of being an author was planted in her. She began with diary entries and short poems, and soon grew into writing short stories.
“A canopy of trees transformed into a make-believe fortress,” reads Lyons website. “Backyards hid treasure and tunnels to faraway lands, bridges that crossed the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio rivers spanned distance and time. Laying on my back against the green blanket of my grandparents' yard, I stared at the cotton-candy clouds and let my mind take me wherever it wanted. I was a child who dreamed large.”
In 2004, Lyon had her first book, “NEATE: Eddie’s Ordeal,” published by Just Us Books. This story follows the story of a relationship between a 13-year-old African American boy and his Civil Rights veteran father. She has since published more than 10 books, many of them informing children about African American history.
“It is so important for kids to see authors in real life,” said Johnston. “Real people make up these stories that people enjoy. It lets them see that this is something they could grow up to do.”
The event is completely free, and will be held at Weldon Auditorium Jan 28 at 5:30. As an extra bonus, the first 200 children that show up will receive a free copy of a book by Lyons. Parents and their children can show up as early as 4:30, for a chance to get their book signed by the author. For more information on the author, or to purchase books, visit kellystarlinglyons.com