West Virginia's award-winning author Austin Boyd will return to Tyler County Feb. 19-23 to promote his recent novel about a determined Middlebourne girl fighting to save her family farm.
Nobody's Child is book one of The Pandora Files series published by Zondervan, with each novel set in Tyler County. Boyd cleverly weaves a suspenseful story that wrestles with ethical dilemmas for which there are no easy answers.
The eldest son of former Sistersville resident Walker Boyd and the late Jody Boyd, Austin Boyd grew up in Hurricane, W.Va. His parents then moved to Tyler County, where they lived for 30 years. Boyd's frequent visits to his parents historic farmhouse along Middle Island Creek near Middlebourne created the memories that later brought to life the character of Laura Ann McGehee, a young girl willing to do whatever it takes to save her father's farm during difficult times. Although Nobody's Child is fictional, the country settings are real. In the novel, Boyd offers a snapshot of West Virginia's rugged beauty and the independence of the people who call the Mountain State home.
Through the book, Boyd expresses thought-provoking concepts that inspire his readers to wrestle with ethical dilemmas and crises in faith. He will take those challenges to area residents next week during several public speaking engagements scheduled throughout Tyler and Wetzel counties.
Boyd will begin his tour Sunday morning, Feb. 19, at the Middlebourne United Methodist Church when he speaks during the 10:45 a.m. worship service on "Wrestling with Dilemmas of Faith and Conscience." Rev. Dennis Mehaffie of the Middlebourne UMC invites the public to join the congregation that morning.
ArtsLink, Inc., the arts council for Tyler and Wetzel Counties, will sponsor Boyd later that day, at 2 p.m., during a presentation at the Middlebourne UMC entitled "Just Because We Can Should We?" He will offer the audience a fascinating look at the ethical dilemmas facing modern health care, a Pandora's Box assortment of technology options. Following Boyd's talk, there will be a reception and book signing in the Friendship Center, located behind the church.
On Monday, Boyd will meet with members of Archer's Chapel United Methodist Church for a luncheon and presentation entitled, "Whose Child Is It?"
He will host "Meet the Author" and book signing events later that day, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at Did's Designs on Main Street in Middlebourne, and at The Jug Store on W.Va. 18 south of Middlebourne from 4-5:30 p.m.
Members of the Tyler County Public Library Book Club will join Boyd at 6 p.m. Monday at Boggs' Family Pizza in Middlebourne to discuss the novel and learn the story behind Nobody's Child. The public is invited to join the discussion between the book club members and the author.
On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, Boyd plans to read to students at Boreman and Sistersville Elementary Schools, respectively, encouraging them that "Anything is Possible" as he shares his own life stories. He will talk to seniors at Tyler Consolidated High School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, urging them to "Reach for Your Dreams," again pulling from his own trials to reach the finals for NASA astronaut selection.
From 3-5 p.m. Tuesday, Boyd will visit the Tyler County Public Library in Middlebourne to discuss the book and its relevance to Tyler County, before attending the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper at the Middlebourne UMC Friendship Center. That event is open to the public from 4-7 p.m.
The author will be in Sistersville Wednesday, at the public library from 10 a.m. to noon, to discuss his next novel in the series, Desperate Measures, which will be set in Sistersville. He will then visit the Sistersville First United Methodist Church from 1-3 p.m. for a discussion on faith issues related to technology.
On Thursday, Boyd will be at Witschey's Market in New Martinsville from 8:30-10:30 a.m. for a book signing and then at the Paden City Public Library from 1-3 p.m. to discuss The Pandora Files book series as it relates to the Paden City community.
In conjunction with the book promotions, Boyd is raising money for the Tyler County Backpack Ministry through the sale of a unique 2012 calendar featuring nature photographer Roger Spencer. The 8.5 x 11-inch Nobody's Child calendar has 12 full color photographs depicting the seasonal beauty of Tyler County along with character quotes from the book and excerpts from Boyd's life experiences.
The Backpack Ministry is a partnership of local Methodist churches that provides healthy snacks for qualified Tyler County children every Friday to supplement their families' weekend meal planning.
For information about Boyd's visit to Tyler County or his novels, contact Mary Rohrig at 304 758-4401 or email the author at Austin@austinboyd.com.