Author and artist Dean Kuhta will be signing copies of his book “Silvarum” at Bethany Beach Books on July 28, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
“Silvarum is a fantasy world I have created and centers around five teenagers: Abigail, Penny, Roger, Mckenzie and Marie,” Kuhta said. “Using magic, technology and old-fashioned problem-solving skills, they must work together to prevent the destruction of their world by an ancient evil known as ‘the Nexxathians.’
“Eight runestones (Frost, Fire, Light, Shadow, Nature, Technology, Life and Death) are each guarded by a horrible Nexxathian monster... In order to succeed in their quest, the band of teenage friends must reclaim all eight runestones.”
The concept for “Silvarum” originated in 2006, when Kuhta designed an illustration series called “The Nine Stages.”
“It was essentially a cloaked figure wandering through a series of fantastic scenes full of creepy trees and forests, mushroom castles, cemeteries and lands filled with dinosaurs,” he explained.
His initial intent was for the illustrations to be a standalone project, but as his children were growing up, he imagined how they would act if they were placed in a fantasy world and possessed magical powers. Three years later, Kuhta finished writing Book I of “Silvarum.”
In addition to writing the series, Kuhta created every illustration, map, artifact and cover for “Silvarum.”
Prior to investing in his writing career about seven years ago, Kuhta was a professional artist. He has sold his artwork at galleries and shows for almost two decades.
“Because most of my illustrations take on a storybook life of their own, the process of converting them into short stories, and eventually novels, was not as difficult as I once imagined,” he said.
Kuhta collaborates with other writers on OutPost28 magazine, a compilation series of horror, fantasy and science-fiction short stories.
“It also features original illustrations from artists all over the world and interviews with musicians of all types,” Kuhta said. “I have always been fascinated with the fantasy/sci-fi pulp magazines from the ’60s and ’70s. Outpost 28 is my way of carrying on this tradition of collaborative writing and art.”
Issues of OutPost28 cost $9 and are available for purchase on his website at deankuhta.com.
“Silvarum” is Kuhta’s first solo writing project. “Book I: Frost,” the first of the eight-book series, was published in August 2017. The second part is expected this September.
The book is available for $15 at more than 20 bookstores nationwide, including independent bookstores such as Bethany Beach Books, and both “Silvarum” and Outpost 28 are also available (in print form only) on Amazon.com and at BarnesandNoble.com. For more information about the author event, contact the bookstore at (302) 539-2522.
By Ally Lanasa