Foxburg Library Director’s Second Book Released

| September 14, 2021

FOXBURG, Pa. (EYT) – Foxburg Library Director LaTrobe Barnitz is returning readers to a hidden world of magic and intrigue with his second novel, Soul Crystals: The Mask of Tragedy.

The book, which was released on August 27, is the second in his series, which follows protagonist Paul Engel through hardships, torture, and even death. The first book, Soul Crystals: ARC of the Amuli, was released on Halloween 2020.

“The local reception has been incredible,” Barnitz told exploreClarion.com.

“We held a fundraiser at Foxburg Free Library, my place of work, where we resold autographed copies. We sold out pretty quickly. I also took part in Oil City Library’s Festival of the Book a few weeks ago. I was able to talk to a lot of local readers there who were great.”

While the first book in the series takes place primarily in rural western Pennsylvania, the second book ranges a bit further abroad, though Barnitz said about a third of the book still takes place in western Pa.

“The supernatural aspects that the first book covers are a global phenomenon, so there are scenes from outside the area, as well.”

Barnitz also noted that the second book includes everything from fun action and epic battles to the discussion of serious topics.

“I like to get into my characters’ heads and explain their feelings and mental processes.”

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According to Barnitz, the new book follows protagonist Paul Engel, a 17-year-old superhuman soldier who has already been through the wringer, as he continues in his role with the superhuman organization A.R.C. Paul continues to battle for the safety of his friends and family and also begins to uncover corruption not only in competing organizations but in his own. As his powers grow faster, and he struggles to learn how to control them, Paul begins to worry that the person he should fear the most is himself.

Looking forward, Barnitz said the third and final book of the series is already in the works, and he has also had some ideas for a possible prequel, as well as ideas for other stories.

“I’ve always wanted to construct my own high fantasy world. I also have some interesting ideas for some science fiction books.”

Whatever may come next, after the Soul Crystals series is completed, Barnitz said he plans to continue writing for as long as he can, and is just glad for all the support he has received in his venture.

“I really can’t thank the people of the Oil Region enough for supporting me and being my biggest customers. I think that is the power of a small community.”

Those interested in following Barnitz’s journey through publication can also follow him Facebook and Twitter.

Soul Crystals: The Mask of Tragedy is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in both digital or print versions. More information is available on the Private Dragon website.


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