Cowetans write and illustrate new book series

Photo Chris Denney

Chris Denney holds the first two books in the “Ancient Explorers” series.


Two Coweta residents are writing a book series for middle school aged students that focuses on biblical stories.

“Ancient Explorers” is focused on two time-traveling brothers and their adventures in the past.

The books are written by Chris Denney and illustrated by Caleb Cook. Workbooks that provide activities, discussions and moral reasoning after reading the book accompany the books.

Denney said he started writing the books when he noticed the books aimed at his children were primarily graphic novels, so he decided to write something that would be more engaging and could include the parents in their child’s reading.

“I felt like there needed to be something a little better – different in that I want it to be more family-oriented,” he said. “I think the graphic novel genre misses that. You have 200 pages of comics, and I just do not think the parents are as engaged in what their kids are reading.”

The first book in the series finds the main characters traveling back to the story of David and Goliath. Denney said the characters are stuck behind with the Philistine army and have to navigate their way through it.

“It’s not overtly Christian, but the stories are them going into these biblical times,” Denney said. “If you read the Bible, it would hold true. Then there’s the story of Cash and Eli that would weave through that narrative.”

Two more manuscripts for the series are written, said Denney, with the second book set to come out this summer and the third aiming for the fall.

Cook recently graduated from Trinity Christian School and said he became acquainted with Denney when the latter reached out to the school’s art department for an illustrator. Denney’s children also attend TCS.

Cook said Denney sends him the manuscript for each book and some prompts for illustrations before he gets to work.

“I’ve never had a job quite like this, and since I do want to get into animation or illustration in the future, this is a great job for me,” he said. “I did not hesitate.”

In the fall, Cook said he will be studying animation at Lipscomb University.

On June 17, a launch party for the books will be held at the Newnan Book Company at 3:30 pm, just before the Summer Wined-Up event.

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