Okanagan geography and cultural landmarks are serving as a backdrop for a new series of fantasy fiction novels by a B.C. author.
Jane Frkovich, a former broadcast journalist in Vancouver and former producer of the Bill Good radio talk show, has centred her fictional series around Greek mythology.
The first book, Goddess of Rain, was published in January, and the second in the series, Underwater Rising, was launched in February.
The third and planned final book in the series, Edge of Elysium, is expected to be available in June.
The storyline is about 19-year-old Zoe’s search for true love, and how she has to deal with Greek gods and the disruption they cause in her life.
After months of being pursued by a man in an iron mask, Zoe is plunged into the world of lost gods, where she comes to realize Greek gods are real, they have been running the world and that climate change is the result of a god’s curse.
For Zoe, the challenge she faces is whether can she save the planet before it’s too late while also finding true love.
Frkovich said she was drawn to the Okanagan as the backdrop for her story because of the Greek mythology connections – Mount Ida in Salmon Arm, past sightings of the Sasquatch which she draws comparisons to her one-eyed cyclops characters and Ogopogo which will play a prominent role in the third book.
She also notes that Salmon Arm is part of a central plot point in Underwater Rising.
Frkovich said she has been fascinated with Greek mythology since she was a young girl, and in her book series has related the legends of the Greek gods to our modern world, and how it helps explain nature.
She says her books have struck a chord with interested readers, having sold 1,300 of her self-published books in Canada, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Australia.
“Having sold 1,300 copies off the books as an independent has been a positive response,” Frkovich said.
“On average, an independent book might sell about 100 copies in a writer’s whole career, traditional published books might sell 250 in the first year and 3,000 over a career, so I am happy to be able to sell 1,300 copies at this point.”
She said her target buying audience breaks down into two main age groups – 13-17 and 35 to 45.
In choosing to tell her story in a series of books, she was advised by a book publisher to release them in short succession to not lose her audience from a marketing perspective.
“I had two of the books finished before the first one was released.
“As it turned out, the story got bigger and bigger for me to tell so I need a third book and a fourth is under consideration at this point.
“I like the aspect of being able to create a fantasy universe, and playing out that urban fantasy storyline in modern times.”
Goddess of Rain is available in paperback, e-book and audiobook. Underworld Rising is available in paperback and e-book.
For more information, check out the website www.janefrkovich.com.