About the Authors

The Pirate Bride / About the Authors

Anna McKinley (Author)

In 2010, Anna is 11 years-old and in the sixth grade.  Among her favorite subjects at school are math, science, and chorus.  Of course, she is in love with art and writing!  Since she has been able to pick up a pencil and write her name, Anna has filled notebooks with stories about monkeys, ghosts, and pirates.  She enjoys all types of writing—stories, poems, songs, and even creates her own written interviews to uncover information about members of her family.

One of Anna’s favorite past-times is reading.  Currently she is reading the Harry Potter series.  Some of her most beloved books are: the Franny K. Stein series, Nancy Drew, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and anything spooky or scary.

When Anna isn’t reading or writing or singing or drawing, you might find her knitting hats and gloves for her stuffed animals.  When the weather allows, she is swimming, riding her bike, or shooting hoops with her older brother, Kyle.

Visit Anna’s blog, “Write On!” at:  Anna-McKinley.blogspot.com or send her a letter here.

Ryan McKinley (Author)

Ryan has been creating stories his entire life, from his 4th grade masterpiece “The Toilet Zone” to his first attempt at self-publishing, “Ten Stories From the Mind of a Troubled Youth.”  Despite his parents’ worst fears, neither of those titles landed him in prison or the psychiatric ward.

Having received a B.S. in Speech Language Pathology from Brigham Young University in 1998, Ryan knew that his true calling rested within the world of creativity.  Wood-working projects filled his idle hours in college, a passion he still indulges, though now peppered with stained-glass window making, replica prop building (Ghostbuster Proton Packs, anyone?), and some leather work.

Always aspiring to write, it wasn’t until a family hike in 2006 that he finally had the inspiration he needed to write his first “real” book, and the true inspiration was his daughter, Anna, the result being their first published novel, “The Pirate Bride.”  Isn’t it great how our children make us better people?

In 2007, Ryan created a traveling stage show based off the comedy of the popular Ghostbuster world.  Co-writing, directing, producing, and co-starring in it with Patrick Hurd, Austin and Rick Young, Ryan was able to entertain crowds from Dallas, TX to Orlando, FL.  As an embellishment to the show, they created GBTV—Ghostbuster Television: All Ghostbusters, All the Time!—a YouTube channel filled with Ghostbuster spoofs. (Think: what would happen if Ghostbusters controlled all television programming).  Take a minute from your day and enjoy: www.youtube.com/gbtv1

Since the initial publication of “The Pirate Bride,” Ryan, Anna and Jerry have toured elementary and middle schools through out the region, lecturing on writing and reaching dreams.  They are happy to visit any school that would like to share their inspiring message.  You can learn more here or contact Ryan here.

He is currently working on two sequels to “The Pirate Bride”.

You follow Ryan on his blog, The Weekly Spark, at: The-Weekly-Spark.blogspot.com

Jerry Bennett (Illustrator)

Jerry has been drawing since he was two years old. His first thought at seriously pursuing a career in art was in eighth grade, after receiving amazing response from a portrait he’d drawn to win the affections of a girl for which he had a crush (Napoleon Dynamite stole the idea). It didn’t work, but they are great friends to this day, and she later commissioned another portrait of her—but this time for her fiancée!

Jerry’s passion for comic books (he still has his Transformers collection from the eighties!) led him to focus on comic book illustration and ventured to University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, where he received his Bachelors of Art in Illustration. He then began taking on commissions of all kinds, ranging from murals in churches and daycares to fine portraits in several mediums.

It wasn’t until he was approached by Ryan McKinley and his daughter, Anna, to illustrate their children’s fiction novel, “The Pirate Bride,” that his love affair for children’s book illustration blossomed. And with the explosion of graphic novels within that realm, it became painfully apparent that Jerry has found a place to hang his hat.

Jerry’s artistic styles have varied over the years, making him a versatile tool in artistic expression, whether it’s in portraiture, illustration, storyboard layout or design in most areas.

He has painted murals of all kinds for churches, schools and restaurants all over Oklahoma, most notably the Eastpoint Community Church’s preschool department, encompassing every wall and outside each door of their classrooms, each with its own theme.

Jerry has been well known for his detail oriented portraits that have been able to capture an almost photo-realistic quality and at the same time able to capture the character of the portrait subjects.

It is perhaps this aspect of his skill that makes his illustration work so endearing. Jerry has been able to capture details, just enough, and put them to great use in bringing fiction to life, whether it’s a young girl caught up in a pirate’s world in ”The Pirate Bride” or allowing us to see the thoughts of a young African child dreaming of the possibility of clean water in “I Walk For Water.” Expect to see his upcoming web-comic, Myth, showcase his comic book illustration with the same detail.

His many styles can be found at www.artistjerrybennett.com

You can see all kinds of the fun side of Jerry’s art showcased at www.facebook.com/theillustratorformerlyknownasjerrybennett

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