Monday, June 18 , 2018, 10:56 pm | Fair 62º


Ken Berris to Launch New Book, ‘Wild Cards,’ on Wednesday at Chaucer’s

Who hasn’t watched baseball and dreamed of seeing Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Ty Cobb and Lou Gehrig on the same field as the All Stars of today?

Ken Berris
Ken Berris

So imagine if one day these and other legends of the past showed up alive again, re-created through their old baseball cards, with their destinies in the hands of a young boy wanting a game with the current major-league stars.

Wild Cards is Field of Dreams meets Harry Potter.

Full of poignant moments and exciting nonstop sports action, Wild Cards is a novel of striking narrative and power that offers unforgettable characters, heartwarming humor and breathtaking suspense, while investigating the mysteries of baseball, fatherhood and meaning.

It is a share-with-your-friends celebration of life and afterlife wrapped up in a good, old-fashioned story of belief and hope.

Its themes revolve around a father’s impossible quest to return to his family. A son’s journey. A single mother’s heroic efforts to protect her son. And fate’s sleight of hand bringing together baseball’s past legends and today’s major league stars in a game for the ages.

Wild Cards explores an America that values celebrity over substance. A country that is struggling with the problem of emotional bankruptcy and searching for answers. It looks at the state of sports today and the weight it wields in today’s society. And most of all, it investigates how the game of baseball plays a hand in our fates.

Wild Cards is written by Santa Barbara resident Ken Berris, an award-winning director and screenwriter best known for his screenplay and direction on the film, The Manor, starring the late Oscar winner Peter O’Toole, Gabrielle Anwar, Greta Scacchi and Edie McClurg.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Berris will be featured at a book launch at Chaucer’s Bookstore, 3321 State St. in Santa Barbara’s Loreto Plaza.

His work as a director also includes The Adventures of Pinocchio, starring Oscar winner Martin Landau; Blown Away, the interactive sequel to the feature film that starred Oscar winners Jeff Bridges and Tommy Lee Jones; Eraser Turnabout, the interactive sequel to the film that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger; Spycraft, the 20-hour interactive epic that featured former CIA Director William Colby and former KGB director Oleg Kalugin; and Prickly Rose, starring Gloria Rossi and Blake Berris.

Berris is slated to direct the upcoming feature film, Major, later this year. Major is the inspiring, unheralded story of cycling legend Marshall “Major” Taylor, who earned acclaim at the turn of the 20th century. Out of the prejudice and obscurity of the Deep South in post-Civil War Indiana, a black teenager who was son of slaves, went on to become the top cyclist in the world in 1900. Taylor overcame the rampant racism of his time to become the most world’s most famous athlete.

Berris is also a top creative branding consultant who has won Clio Awards and New York One Show Gold Awards for his commercial work on many name brands, and the Invision Award, considered the “Oscar” of interactive media.

A noted ghost writer and script doctor for numerous scripts, Berris has also run the branding, creative and media for numerous political campaigns.

He is the husband of writer and editor, Lauren Lund Berris, and the father of two grown children: Emmy-nominated actor Blake Berris, and theater director, teacher and actress Riley Berris, who heads the program at San Marcos High School.

Wild Cards is Berris’ first novel and he is also set to publish a children’s book.

Karen Campbell Media represents Ken Berris.

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