GNTC English in­struc­tors re­lease new novel, book

The Standard Journal - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Award-win­ning au­thor Ray­mond L. Atkins re­cently re­leased the new novel “Set List” and au­thor and his­to­rian Lisa M. Rus­sell re­cently re­leased her new book “Un­der­wa­ter Ghost Towns of North Ge­or­gia.”

Atkins and Rus­sell are in­struc­tors of English at Ge­or­gia North­west­ern Tech­ni­cal Col­lege. Both books are avail­able in the Rome area.

Atkins’ novel is the story of a bar band that al­ways wanted to hit it big, never quite did, and are now find­ing them­selves older and wind­ing down.

“This novel is kind of a trib­ute to all the folks that ei­ther wanted to be in a band or wish they had got­ten fur­ther with their mu­si­cal ca­reers,” said Atkins. “I think the de­sire to get out in front of a crowd is kind of in all of us a lit­tle bit. We all want to be a star in our own way.”

Atkins re­sides in Rome and is the au­thor of sev­eral other nov­els. His first novel, “Front Porch Prophet,” won the 2008 Ge­or­gia Au­thor of the Year Award for First Novel. Atkins’ third novel, “Camp Re­demp­tion,” was awarded the Fer­rol Sams Award for Fic­tion and the 2014 Ge­or­gia Au­thor of the Year Award for Fic­tion. In 2017 he was awarded the Life­time Achieve­ment Award by the Ge­or­gia Writ­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Atkins also spear­heads GNTC’s stu­den­trun lit­er­ary jour­nal “Ge­or­gia Moun­tain Re­view.” The lit­er­ary jour­nal is pub­lished yearly and a team of GNTC stu­dent ed­i­tors select sub­mis­sions which in­clude prose, po­etry, art­work, es­says, non-fic­tion, and pho­tos.

Rus­sell’s book ex­am­ines some of the towns and com­mu­ni­ties that were lost when some of north Ge­or­gia’s lakes were cre­ated by damming the rivers in the re­gion. “When I wrote my first book ‘Lost Towns North Ge­or­gia’ there was a chap­ter in there called ‘Drown Towns,’” said Rus­sell. “I ap­proached the pub­lisher with the idea of ex­pand­ing that chap­ter into an­other book and it turned out to be some­thing to­tally dif­fer­ent than what I thought once I did the re­search.”

Rus­sell says that she likes us­ing this sort of mi­cro­his­tory as a learn­ing tool when she teaches her stu­dents to do re­search.

“I tell my stu­dents to find some­thing in his­tory, in the past, or some­body who’s not re­ally fa­mous and let’s talk about them,” said Rus­sell. “We look at some­thing small and see how it made a big dif­fer­ence in the world.”

Rus­sell is a mem­ber of the So­ci­ety for Ge­or­gia Ar­chae­ol­ogy, Bar­tow His­tory Mu­seum, and Etowah Val­ley His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety. She earned her mas­ter’s de­gree in pro­fes­sional writ­ing from Ken­ne­saw State Uni­ver­sity.

Atkins also teaches Cre­ative Writ­ing at Rein­hardt Uni­ver­sity, and Rus­sell also teaches Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and English at Ken­ne­saw State Uni­ver­sity.

‘This novel is kind of a trib­ute to all the folks that ei­ther wanted to be in a band or wish they had got­ten fur­ther with their mu­si­cal ca­reers. I think the de­sire to get out in front of a crowd is kind of in all of us a lit­tle bit. We all want to be a star in our own way.’ Ray­mond L. Atkins

/ Con­trib­uted

Ray­mond L. Atkins (left) re­cently re­leased the new novel “Set List” and au­thor and his­to­rian Lisa M. Rus­sell (right) re­cently re­leased her new book “Un­der­wa­ter Ghost Towns of North Ge­or­gia.” Atkins and Rus­sell are in­struc­tors of English at GNTC.

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