HAZARD- Local author Nancy Kelly Allen has released two new books this year.
Allen, a retired school librarian from the Hazard City School system, has written more than 30 picture books and two middle grade books and has been writing since 1989.
The first book she wrote this year is titled, “First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale,” and is a picture book for young children. It tells the story of how man discovered fire according to Cherokee tradition.
Allen said she had been searching for a Cherokee story to make into a picture book for quite some time.
“It’s a tribute to my heritage,” Allen said.
When she read “First Fire,” Allen said she knew she found the story she had been looking for.
“It really resonated with me because it had all the elements I wanted,” Allen said.
Allen’s second book is titled “Amazing Grace,” and is her first children’s novel.
Set in Hazard during World War II, it began as a picture book. Allen wanted to write a children’s novel and remembered this story so went back to it.
“Editors liked it but thought it would work better as a chapter book for older children,” Allen said.
Although the book is fiction, the setting is historically accurate down the songs played on the radio and the movies shown in the theater.
“’Amazing Grace’ required a massive amount of research,” Allen stated.
Allen was not born at the time the book was set in, but said that time period was special to her.
“My father and his brother served in WWII so this book is dedicated to them,” Allen said.
“First Fire: A Cherokee Folktale” is now available and “Amazing Grace” is due to be released soon. Allen’s book are available to purchase from major book retailers.
Gwendolyn Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald