Sunday, 16 December 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

Huge self-imposed workload for Mercury Bay author

Mercury Bay author, Katarina Lee, has recently received a second positive critical review of her book “Rise of the Boy King.” 

The book, Katarina’s first, was published in December 2017 and is also the first in a series Katarina is calling “Lost in Time.” The book was published under the pseudonym AK Solimov. It tells the story of two young boys who went back in time. Dominic and Sebastian, the main characters, were living on the Coromandel Peninsula when a strange event occurred that took them to ancient Egypt, allowing them to explore not only the unfamiliar world around them, but also themselves.

“Rise of the Boy King is meant to get people thinking about their life and how they're living it,” says Katarina. “Like, if you could live your life over again - this same life - what would you do differently? Or would you even do anything differently?”

The inspiration for the book came from Katarina’s life and the lives of her friends and family and the struggles they were all facing at the time she started to work on the book in 2011. “My son was watching a TV programme about Egypt and ancient Egyptian royalty and at that moment I thought he looked just like a little boy king,” says Katarina.

Although the first draft of Rise of the Boy King took only a year to complete, the fear of rejection was holding Katarina back from getting the book published. “I didn’t want anyone to tell me the book wasn’t good enough,” says Katarina. “But I knew I had to bite the bullet, so I sent the manuscript away to a potential publisher and after I was told ‘no,’ I started editing.”

Katarina’s editing team consisted of herself and her mother. “It was hard work editing my own book,” says Katarina. “But now I’ve got someone else to edit the next ones, which makes me pretty happy.” 

After the editing process, Katarina decided to self-publish Rise of the Boy King through Xlibris, an American company based in Indiana. 

Katarina is excited about the critical reviews the book is receiving. “The two good reviews so far are two more than what I’ve ever expected,” she says.

Katarina plans six books in total in The Lost in Time series. Her self-imposed workload is huge, but she’s making good progress and the next book in the series is due to be published in December this year.

Katarina hopes to donate some of the proceeds of the series to improve mental health education in schools. “We’re taught from such a young age how to deal with physical illness,” she says. “We learn that if we get sick we get checked out and don’t necessarily have to live for years with whatever we’re suffering from. But there’s not enough education like that around mental health and I would like to change that.”

Katarina has been writing for years before embarking on Rise of the Boy King. Initially she wrote about her family history, for those closest for her to read, but may turn that into a book in the future too. Children’s books are also something she enjoys writing and will soon have her first one published as well. Titled “Omri,” the book is about the life of an octopus and has a deeper message about working together, not against each other. 

“I’m also building up the courage to start a comedy tour,” says Katarina. “It’s scary, but it will be fun. I want to make people happy and remind them that they’re not alone.”

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.