Local teen author Kara Swanson spoke about her book “Pearl of Merlydia” (entrustsource publishers, 2014) at the Idyllwild Library and signed books for about 25 young fans last Thursday.
Swanson spoke briefly about how the inspiration for the book, for her and her co-author/editor Charis Smith, was living as children of missionaries in Papua New Guinea. Swanson spoke of how she dealt with loneliness, fear and insecurity as a young teen in those remote and strange environs. Her feelings were the inspiration for the challenges and struggles of her heroine, Pearl.
She described Pearl’s story in this way. When the magical jewel that protects her undersea homeland is tragically stolen, Pearl, a young princess, must venture out into a strange world to retrieve it. Armed with only her courage and faith, Pearl must face terrifying monsters, deadly pirates and a whole army of strange beings who want nothing less than her death. Along the way, she makes many unlikely friends and uncovers secrets that could forever alter not only her life, but all of Merlydia as well.
Swanson wrote from her experiences of coping with living as a teen in a missionary family in one of the most primitive countries and cultures in the world. She incorporated the details and concerns of her daily life in Papua New Guinea into her heroine’s coming-of-age story.
Kara described how she would write a chapter and then Charis, her friend, would edit.
Kara was 16 when she wrote the book. She urged her young audience, should they have any dreams of becoming an author, to “write, write and write some more — to read, to write and to soar.”
Many eager fans lined up to talk with her and have her sign their copies of her book at the conclusion of her presentation.
For more information about “Pearl of Merlydia” see www.entrust