Barry County resident gets sci-fi book series deal
Writing a novel takes an incredible amount of skill, talent, imagination, and lastly, patience, all of which Barry County resident Linda Sartin has mastered, as after a long wait, she succeeded in publishing the first of a new book series, Bound By Honor — a dream she says has been decades in the making.
"When I started telling people I was writing this book, I was the heroin's age, and now, I am her grandfather's age," said Sartin, who describes the book series as a sci-fi love story. "My book is about a young woman, Dr. Amber Donovan, who was plagued by nightmares of people that she doesn't know. She wakes from one of those nightmares, and there is a man in her room, who says, 'I've come for you.' And with those words, he changes her life forever."
Donovan and Rhyel, captain and commander of the Centallians, fall in love.
According to the plot, the Centallians' home world was destroyed, leaving Rhyel, six Elders and the mostly male crew of his interstellar ship as the only survivors. Their attackers sought their sacred artifact, the Acqeli — a black crystal that translates hieroglyphics on the walls of a dead planet, and which has been guarded by generations of Elders.
"Because they have the Acqeli, they have to stay in hiding," Sartin said. "Their planet was destroyed because of it. They have to build their numbers and stay in hiding. They were the only ones that survived the destruction because they were off the planet at the time."
To protect the Acqeli, the Centallians must colonize an uninhabited world and rebuild their race, Sartin said.
"The men barter for brides from Earth's third world countries," she said. "But they cannot trade for the woman who is key to the colony's survival — Dr. Donovan. Therefore, despite the fact the Centallians are honorable people, Rhyel is put in a position to compromise his honor to obtain her.
"Donovan is the only woman who is kidnapped because they could not buy her."
After her capture, Donovan first tries to escape, then finds herself drawn into the plight of the Centallians, eventually falling in love with Rhyel. Bound by honor — and love, the two face the challenges of a new world together.
"It's not just a romance, it's a love story, and it has a lot of twists and turns," Sartin said.
The concept of aliens pairing with earthlings is not that far-fetched, as Centallian males are not odd, green creatures, but are physically compatible with Earth's women, and Rhyel, is quite "hunky," Sartin says.
Sartin patterned his character after her late husband, Gary, who encouraged her in the face of naysayers.
"I was told I wasn't smart enough to write books," Sartin said. "He was so instrumental, even down to when I needed to choreograph a fight scene. He wouldn't let me give up on my book. There were times I was discouraged with editors who didn't think a sci-fi romance was going to work. If it hadn't been for him, I never would have written it. He and I are both writers; he wrote three books. He never got to see Bound By Honor published, and that's the one regret I have."
Sartin said she originally intended her book for a romance audience, but her publisher, OGHMA Media, steered her in another direction, which could potentially have the makings of a movie deal.
"My publisher has been promoting it in the sci-fi and romance area," she said. "They recommended my book, but with four other science fictions. The genre is among some of the top selling ones in the country right now. One [of theirs] is going to be made into a movie by Steven Spielberg. I've talked to a lot of editors and publishers to try to get my book published, and now, they want four more books."
Locally, Sartin has been involved in the Ozark Creative Writers Group and Midsouth Writer's Group, which gave her a place to have her work critiqued by others.
"I've had the wonderful opportunity of being mentored by successful authors," she said. "Writers are very open and willing to share their knowledge and give you a helping hand."
Sartin is planning a book signing in January, and an online novella in May. Book number two of her series should come out in November, and Book three prospectively in May.
"The novella is two to three short stories that are a prequel to the book," she said. "All of the Honor series are tied together by the Acqeli," Sartin said. "It has a secret. It was written about on the walls of the temple. It becomes a weapon so the Centallian Elders are hiding it so that nefarious people or worlds can't get the device."
Sartin's book can be found at www.barnesandnoble.com under her middle name, 'Rose Sartin,' and locally, at Westco, where Sartin works part-time, and the BBQ Station.
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family.
"We live on 80 acres, so I enjoy the great outdoors," she said.
Given that she didn't give up on her dream, she encourages other writers to do the same.
"If you have your heart set on doing something, don't let anyone tell you that you can't," she said. "The book was a work in progress. I got it written, then made improvements, learned more about writing, and fixed mistakes I had made. So the book was part of my growth process as a writer. But it will not take me 40 years to get the other books done."
Sartin invites would-be writers to join the Midsouth Writer's Group, which meets Mondays at 7 p.m. For more information, visit the group's Facebook page.
"We are a very serious critique group," Sartin said. "There are now three published writers, and another will be in May."