A local writer’s dream came true this month as she watched two of her books — including her most recent release — climb Amazon’s bestsellers lists to make the top 50.
About a week and a half after releasing her latest novel, Guardians of the Gates, Tooele resident Laura Bastian discovered her new book had made the top 50 on an Amazon bestseller list for middle-grade, mythology-based fiction. Her book remained in the top 50 for about a week, and during the same time span, her science fiction romance Eye on Orion made the top 50 on a similar list.
Amazon ranks books according to the number of sales made within genres and subgenres during a specific time period. Books that make the bestseller lists are rewarded with more prominent listings on the Amazon website, which in turn generates additional sales and interest for the authors.
“Writing… has ups and downs,” Bastian said, “but it’s fun to have a little bit of a reward, in addition to my own joy of writing.”
Bastian, who writes full-time, said her latest release is part of a series called Gates of Atlantis. The series is the result of a collaborative effort between five other Utah writers who Bastian knew from an online chat group. The six authors wanted to create a cohesive online project that would mirror similar, highly successful efforts by other authors, but wanted to put their own spin on the idea.
After about a month of planning and brainstorming, the group wrote a collection of books based on the Atlantis myth for children ages 8–14. The unique part of the project, Bastian said, is that the books in the series are non-sequential and, although related, can be read in any order a reader desires.
Bastians’ contribution to the series follows the story of two mermaids and their brothers, who are charged with guarding the gates of Atlantis. When one of the mermaids attempts to use an unauthorized form of magic, her choice causes the Atlantean gate to overload and shut down, locking her brother on the other side. Her brother is ultimately forced to travel to the surface, where he discovers a plot to shut down the gate for good.
Bastian said after she worked with the group to lay down the book’s general framework, it took about nine days for her to finish the 200-page manuscript.
Of course, she added, “it took a lot of work to fix it up after that.”
The book was released via the authors’ cooperative publishing company, Six Gate Press toward the end of July. Ebooks are available on various reader websites, and print copies of all books in the series — Bastian is not the only author of the group whose Atlantis-based novel has made bestseller lists — can be bought exclusively on Amazon. Package deals on all six books are also available.
For more information, see the series website at GatesofAtlantis.com.
Part of the article originally referred to Laura Bastian’s novel as “Guardians of the Gate.” The book’s title is correctly written as “Guardians of the Gates,” and this article has been updated to reflect the correction. The Transcript-Bulletin apologizes for the error.