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Young adult fiction author signing books Saturday

Jun 23, 2013 - By Andrea Novotny, Staff Writer

Patrick M. Harris, author of history/mystery/adventure trilogy "The Waterman Chronicles," will be signing books from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Books and Briar, 313 E. Main St., Riverton.

The young adult fiction series tells the story of Eric Atl. While on a fieldtrip in the desert, Eric finds an artifact that gives him, and his four companions, superpowers. Eric receives the power of water.

Harris says the inspiration for the book comes from a game of he used to play with his brother. In the game, the ground became covered in theoretical molten rock, which the brothers had to avoid by jumping between boulders. Harris fell on the ground, but rather than being reduced to a pile of burning ash, he told his brother he had become a superhero with the ability to wield the power of water. The premise for the "The Waterman Chronicles" was born.

Harris says he has always loved the idea of superheroes.

"Whatever their power, their greatest ability is to help others," he said. "I wanted to write about a person who has incredible power but is still a good person."

"Rise of the Elements," the first installment of the Waterman trilogy, was published in April -- Harris' second published novel.

He wrote his first, "Guardian of the Paradise," when he was in third grade.

"For a third grader, it's pretty good writing," he said. "Now that I look back on it, it's a little embarrassing."

Still, "Guardian of the Paradise," maintains a 4.51 out of 5 star rating from more than 8,000 readers on Barnes and Noble.

Harris was 14 when his first book was published. He says it was at that point that he considered the possibility of writing professionally, and "that was this is actually something I would love to do."

But Harris does not consider writing a career.

"It is more like a very time consuming fun hobby that I enjoy," he says.

When he is not writing novels, 21-year-old Harris attends the University of Nevada in Reno, studying business and marketing with a minor in journalism.

Harris says college occupies much of his time, but he has still found time to write. He is currently working on a "technological thriller," "Silver Rain," and the final installment of "The Waterman Chronicles."

"The Waterman Chronicles" has enjoyed considerable success in the small amount of time since it has come out.

"Every book signing I've been to so far has sold out," says Harris. "The very first printing done by the publisher ran out. I was trying to set up some book signings about two months ago; the book had been out for only a week or a week and a half, and the publisher called to say they ran out (of copies)."

If the success continues, Harris says the third book, which is currently "about half way to three quarters" finished, may not be the last time readers will encounter this hero.

"It would be great if the series would continue," he says. "I definitely have other plans for Waterman."

Harris says he visits Riverton either yearly or every other year to see his grandmother, Riverton resident, Gail Gossett.

"I'm excited to visit," he said. "And get to meet all my grandma's friends; that'll be even better."

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