|SCC student Athena Bowling is shown here with the first two books in the fantasy series she authored. Bowlings third book in the series is getting ready for print. Bowlings first two books can be purchased online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Yahoo Books and through PublishAmerica.|
The above quote from local author Athena Bowling sums up her passion for writing and
explains why the Rockcastle County native already has two books published with a third
book ready for print.
Bowling, who grew up in Harlan County, said she started writing when she was very young but never let anyone read what she wrote.
When I wrote something I would hide it and then burn it, she said. Other than my teachers, I didnt let anyone read my writing until I was 24 years old.
At age 24, Bowling said her attitude changed. She and her husband, who have since resolved their difference and are happily married, split up and she developed an I dont care attitude.
I was living with my cousin when I finished my first book, she said. I let several people read them and received positive feedback.
Bowling then finished her next book in 2009 when she was working in quality control for TTAI.
I was off of work after having knee surgery, she said. I couldn't do anything but sit on the couch and write, so that's exactly what I did.
When she returned to work, she let her co-worker Donna Mounce read what she had written. Mounce loved the book so much that she became adamant that it be published.
Donna hounded me to send off copies to publishers. I kept telling her no, but she went home and printed off hard copies, packaged them and told me if I didnt do it then she would, said Bowling. I hated for her to go to that much trouble so I sent them to several different publishers.
Bowling received word back from six publishers that they wanted to publish her book; however, due to the fact that she had never published before, most wanted her to pay some of the start-up expenses. Only one, PublishAmerica, didnt require any funds to get started. For that reason, Bowling published her first book, entitled Magicka and the Path of the Hidden in 2009. Her second book, Malice, was published in 2010 and the third book in the series, which will be entitled Solemns Sacrifice, will come out later this year or early 2013.
The series, referred to as the Magicka Barney Chronicles, is based on fantasy and magic. According to Bowling, the main character, named Magicka, moves to Ireland with her parents. Magicka's father is an archeologist and mother is a fiction writer. The family has always loved myths and fantasy and has encouraged Magicka to believe in things that are unworldly. While in Ireland, Magicka finds a book of spells and discovers that she is actually part of a race called the Hidden. Once her true identity is revealed, she can no longer be recognized by her family. Magicka is one of ten kids taken to a school where the evil Loen, disguised as the school master, attempts to take their powers to rule the world. In the first book, Magicka and her friends are trying to escape back to the Path of the Hidden, which is the only way home, with Loen quickly on their heels. The second book, Malice, focuses on the struggles the group endures as they try to return to the worldly realm to reclaim books, documents and other items essential to their race.
An excerpt from the book Malice reads, A year has passed since the fateful escape of the hidden. The man who pursued them all the way to the doors of their homeland, known as Loen, has not wasted a single moment in his relentless search for a way to cross over the gate and get to them. The library that the hidden and their allies had been forced to abandon has been used as a portal into their knowledge. He has scanned every single book countless times; he has used the book of runes to translate documents that would otherwise be lost to him. These same documents helped him with incantations and alchemy properties that no other man would have been able to understand without them. While he has found limitless knowledge on their abilities and explanations on what had happened to him the night they escaped, he has found no way beyond the great boulder that bars his way.
Bowlings first two books can be purchased online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Yahoo Books and through PublishAmerica. The first book is priced at $27.95 and the second at $29.95. Reviews on Amazon.com are positive, with one individual stating, When I purchased this book I was just looking for something to fill the void left by ending the [Harry] Potter series. What I discovered is a new love hidden on these pages. This author may not be as famous or financially backed as Rowling, but I still believe they should share the same pedestal. Another reviewer wrote, I read through both books in a weekend and I have to say not a single minute was wasted. I tell everyone about the books hoping this wont end up as one of the great unknowns. I recommend this book and its sequel. If you pass it up you will be missing out.
Bowling plans to graduate from SCC this summer and hopes to transfer to Eastern Kentucky University to major in English. At SCC, Bowling has written for the college newspaper and was given an award for writing from the Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association, is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society and holds a 4.0 grade point average.
After Bowling finishes the Magicka Barney Chronicles, she said she has several other ideas for novels and actually has seven or eight going at one time. Regardless of what she writes next, though, Bowling said the genre will continue to be fantasy.
After all, Bowling said, Fantasy is so much better than reality.