Author and Librarian, Linda Icenhour (left), and illustrator, Amber Icenhour (right), proudly stand with a selection of their work, Saturday, September 5, 2020, in Mountain City, Tennessee. Photo by Veronica Burniston.
By Veronica Burniston
Linda and Amber Icenhour recently released their third book, Scarecrows on Main, in time for the annual event that inspired their story. Scarecrows on Main is a lyrical children’s book inspired by the Scarecrows on Main event held in downtown Mountain City, Tennessee, every October. The event encourages local businesses and residents to create their own themed scarecrows, which decorate Main Street for an entire month.
“We were looking at the scarecrows on Main,” Linda Icenhour, the author of Scarecrows on Main, said, as she recounted the moment it all began, “and I thought, you know, this would be a great book.”
Containing colorful illustrations of familiar downtown sites, Scarecrows on Main follows the ghouls, ghosts, and monsters that wander through Main Street on Halloween night. Regarding the fantastical element of spooks throughout the book, Linda emphasized how the autumn festival transforms downtown from ordinary to extraordinary every year.
While illustrating the book, her daughter, Amber, sought to create “something special,” not “your everyday Main Street in the United States.”Linda Icenhour has served in the Johnson County Public Library for 32 years. She harbors a deep love for reading books and writing children’s stories. Before Scarecrows on Main, she authored two books: Joey’s Big Imagination (2015) and The Adventures of Jam and Jelly (2017).
A graduate from the Art Institute of Atlanta, Amber Icenhour is an illustrator, graphic designer, and polymer clay sculptor. In addition to illustrating her mother’s books, she also illustrated several books by local authors, including The Birthday Present by Dorothy Harmon and Jesus Is Coming Back! Are You Ready? by Laura Hayworth. Under her studio name Insane Angel Art, Amber sells her artwork through sites such as ETSY, RedBubble, and Society 6.
Through their latest book, Linda and Amber hope to encourage aspiring local artists while also revealing Mountain City’s “creative and artistic community” to readers beyond the city limits.
“[Johnson] County is a very artistic county,” Linda said. “It would be lovely if we could see more art. It would even be nice to have some sculptures in the park.”
Concerning local artists, Amber also highlighted the importance of “garnering interest within your community and outside of it.” She encouraged artists to market themselves on social media.
“These days,” she said, “the internet is the most powerful place to advertise [your business].”
To learn more about the book Scarecrows on Main, contact Linda Icenhour at the Johnson County Public Library at 727-6544. For more information about Amber Icenhour’s illustrations, artworks, and merchandise, visit her studio’s website at www.insaneangelart.comFor additional information about the upcoming Scarecrows on Main Street event, contact the Johnson County Chamber of Commerce at 727-5800.