Meet author of hit ‘Serafina’ series (it’s why your kids keep talking about Biltmore)

“Serafina and the Splintered Heart” comes out July 3, continuing the adventures of the brave and unusual cat-like Serafina and her friend Braeden Vanderbilt who live at the Biltmore Estate in the 1890s. (Watch a video trailer for the book here.)

And Asheville author Robert Beatty will greet Serafina fans 11 a.m.-2 p.m. July 6 at the Arboretum Barnes & Noble.

The event includes a presentation by the author, a question-and-answer session, free refreshments, a book signing, giveaways and the chance to meet Beatty.

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Beatty, who was a software developer and struggling adult fiction writer before starting the “Serafina” books for kids at the urging of his oldest (now 17-year-old) daughter, has found huge success in the series. Both of his first two books ascended to the number 1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list for middle-grade books. “Serafina and the Twisted Staff,” which was released last July, was named among the 2016 Best Books for Young Readers by Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Since launching the novels, Beatty says he’s become close with the descendants of the Vanderbilts (the family that built the Biltmore) and they’ve given him access to rooms and tunnels and areas in and around the mansion that are typically off-limits so he can do research and film video trailers for his books.

Last summer, hundreds of children and parents crowded the Arboretum Barnes & Noble last year for the event celebrating the release of “Serafina and the Twisted Staff.”

He’s also scheduled to do book signings in Hickory and Greenville, S.C.