VENUS — Years working at Scarborough Fair turned into research for a local author's newest science fiction series.
The second book in Laura J. Hatton's The Celestine Series, “Call Forth the Waves,” is set to be released March 22. The first book, “Sing Down the Stars,” was released in October 2015. Hatton lives in Venus, but grew up in Mansfield and Waxahachie.
In the books, Hatton created a family with five powerful daughters, each able to control one of the four earth elements and a fifth, the youngest, who can call down the stars. The girl's father forms a traveling circus, allowing them to use their powers and avoid discovery, but eventually the four oldest sisters are captured by a government agency and the youngest sister must rescue them.
“I just hope readers have fun. They are suppose to be adventures,” Hatton said. “I like books that seem familiar on the surface, but under that, there is a surprise. Like a circus. Everything seems just a little bit left of center.”
The circus atmosphere is similar to the culture she saw when she was working at Scarborough Fair, she said.
“You see a lot of circuses that are family-owned. You also see families who aren't blood-related but have traveled and worked together for a long time. You see people who are on a circuit who go from Renaissance festival to festival. It's a very strange existence, especially for children raised on the circuit,” Hatton said. “You get a very strong bond and when something breaks that up, it's the same as looking for a biological family member. It's a life that is really hard to comprehend unless you have really been in it.”
Hatton said her first book published in 2013 under her pen name Josin L. McQuein. She has written two other science fiction books, “Arklight” and “Meridian,” and a contemporary fiction work, “Premeditated.”
“I have taken care of several of the elderly members of my family when they were ill. Writing is an outlet when you are in the house taking care of them,” Hatton said.
She also participated in an online authors group called Absolute Write, made up of a wide range of authors, both amateur and those with multiple published books. A group she is in within the site will encourage the authors to write a certain type of story or genre for an hour and then share what they come up with, she said. The Celestine series actually began from one of those prompts, she said, when she wrote a scene that became a chapter at the beginning of the first book.
“The scene was walking through the attractions outside the circus and there was a girl in a tank as a mermaid. She had a mechanical tail and a mask to help her breath so she could be a mermaid,” she said. “The whole story just sorta came out of that one scene.”
Writing is not an easy trade, Hatton said, and it is important to get honest feedback to develop stories that flow and have depth.Book three of the series is still in draft stage, but Hatton said she already knows how she wants the series to end. That is if she doesn't make good on her threats to some family members and write in a mountain falling on the characters' heads to just end the story, she said.
“It takes a long time to develop enough skin to do anything in writing because it can be very, very harsh,” she said. “It seems like it should be something that is so easy, everybody knows how to write, we learn that in first grade.”
The Celestine Series books are available on Amazon and in select bookstores nationwide.
Contact Bethany Kurtz at 469-517-1450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BethanyKurtzMidloMirror or on Twitter @bethmidlomirror.