Meet CBP’s newest author, Barbra Coyle, and learn about her children’s book In the Land of “Soon Come.”
In the Land of “Soon Come” is an account of Coyle’s experiences in Negril, Jamaica. Coyle has been travelling to Negril and taking mission groups to the Mary Gate of Heaven Catholic Church since 2006, where she worked with Franciscan Fr. Jim Bok, a Cincinnati native and old friend of Coyle’s.
Coyle, a resident of West Chester, originally journaled her story to preserve the memories, and explain to her family why she felt so called to Negril. “Someday I want my children and grandchildren to know why this whole experience has been such a blessing,” she explained to me in a personal interview. Coyle didn’t consider publication until several years later, when she was thinking of various ways she could raise money for the Mary Gate of Heaven Parish. “All of a sudden, it was like I kept hearing in my heart, “Publish your book! Publish your book!” and I’m like “Who wants to read this story, God?”” But, like she allowed the voice to lead her to Jamaica, Coyle listened once more and began writing her children’s book.
Coyle planned on finding an illustrator for her story, but had not yet begun to search for one when she discovered the perfect artist. “My girlfriend, who has been my lifelong friend...one morning sent a piece of art that her granddaughter had won a national contest with...because she was just so proud. And when I pulled up the picture I literally got chills and I knew, oh my gosh, here’s my illustrator!” This young artist was Taylor Kling, who was 14 years old at the time she and Coyle began. “At the time I told her, I can’t promise you anyone will see this book but you and I,” Coyle said. Coyle shared all of her photographs from her trips and Kling designed and painted the book’s 20 original illustrations page by page. “She’s amazing and I was thrilled with everything,” Coyle said.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from sales of In the Land of "Soon Come" are being donated back to the Mary Gate of Heaven Parish. Coyle is delighted with the sales and public response to the book thus far. She described how she received orders from out of state strangers who had read about the book in their local Franciscan newsletters and she said, “I've gotten wonderful feedback. It’s been really satisfying to know there are people who are buying not just because I’m a friend or family member. These are people who don’t have to write back after they get the book!”
Coyle said of her total experience, “If I’d known that writing a book would be this much fun, I would have done it a long time ago...The best part of writing was that it was not hard to write. It was the story that I have lived and it was in my heart and it was given to me.” She added, “I couldn’t have been happier with the results.”