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2:37 PM Fri, Oct. 19th

PHS grad charts with fantasy novel 'Necromancer Awakening'

Courtesy photo<br>Nat Russo’s novel “Necro-mancer Awakening” has topped several genre bestseller lists on Amazon.com. Russo, a graduate of Prescott High School, published the book in April.

Courtesy photo<br>Nat Russo’s novel “Necro-mancer Awakening” has topped several genre bestseller lists on Amazon.com. Russo, a graduate of Prescott High School, published the book in April.

PRESCOTT, Arizona - He may call Texas home now, but author Nat Russo was an active part of the Prescott community in his formative years.

Russo attended Sacred Heart Catholic School and in 1988 graduated from Prescott High School. He was active in the Prescott Fine Arts Association, performed in plays and sang in a barbershop quartet.

"My family moved around a lot when I was young, but we always wound up gravitating back to Prescott," Russo said. "By the time I had finished my first two years in college at Embry-Riddle, I felt I had a religious calling."

That calling led him to study the seminary, where he got the seeds for his first novel.

Russo's book, "Necromancer Awakening," is a fantasy tale about an archaeology student in Texas and his magical connections to the world of Erindor. Since its release in April, the book has gone on to become a best-selling title in several Amazon.com categories, including metaphysical and visionary fantasy; sword & sorcery; dark fantasy; contemporary fantasy; and horror.

In the book, Russo said he explores the themes of "abuse of authority," a topic he said is important in his life. The book, which took him 90 days to write and two and a half years to revise, is intended to be the first in a trilogy.

"I'm in the process of story-boarding book two now," Russo said. "I was very fortunate to make some of the right friends in social media who had a lot of experience at creative writing. Many of these folks were published, best-selling authors already. They helped me every step of the way."

Using independent publishing rather than traditional publishing felt like the "right road to take," he added.

"I did a lot of research on the pros and cons of either independent publishing or traditional publishing. I found that independent felt right to me. It gave me a little more creative control over the project," he said.

"The other aspect is, if I were to receive a traditional publishing contract, because I'm a new name as an author, they really wouldn't have sup-ported me with marketing. I would have still had to do my own marketing."

Besides being a writer, Russo also mentors new and emerging authors via his blog, which can be found at www.erindorpress.com.

Follow reporter Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier