By Dale McGarrigle
BANGOR — A Bangor teen is hoping to turn her ample imagination into a career.
At 18, Jessie Mae Hodsdon is not only a college student, but also an author and publisher.
She soon will be coming home from Columbia, S.C., where she is studying Bible and business at Columbia International University, for the unveiling of her second novel, “Asandra.” She has a book signing set for 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at Lamb’s Book and Bible Store, 877 Stillwater Ave.
“Asandra” is the second book in Hodsdon’s “Chronicles of Xsardis” Christian teen fantasy series, published on her own Rebirth Publishing label.
Hodsdon decided to become an author after attending a series of young writers’ workshops at the Bangor Public Library. She started writing every day at age 14, which is also when she began the “Xsardis” stories.
Hodsdon decided to self-publish her first book “Issym,” which came out last November.
“I did some research into what publishing companies were out there, and discovered there was a lot of trash being published [for teen readers],” she said. “So we decided to start a publishing company and use my own work to get it going.”
Hodsdon explained that the “Chronicles of Xsardis’ series is about “a couple of teenagers, Seth and Rachel, who when they were kids do what kids do — they imagined that there were dragons and fairies, and all of that comes to life on another world. When they’re self-absorbed teens, they get sucked into that world. And everyone is looking to them like they are going to save it or destroy it.”
In “Asandra,” she continued, “Seth and Rachel are back on Earth, living normal lives. Then they get sucked back to a different continent, Asandra. The villain Sasha is back, causing more mischief.”
Hodsdon has help from local people and businesses along the way. Graphic designer Lina Torosyan created the cover for “Issym,” while Andre Binan designed the cover for “Asandra.”
Angelo’s Pizzeria in Bangor hosted the book signing for “Issym,” with Rent-A-Center providing furniture for it. Lamb’s also has been a strong supporter.
Hodsdon has given back by speaking to classes, encouraging them to follow their dreams.
She now is working on the next book in the “Xsardis” series and a science-fiction series as well. She also hopes to have Rebirth publish other authors.
Hodsdon isn’t worried about her books being labeled “Christian.”
“It puts people off sometimes, but other times it doesn’t,” she said.
Hodsdon’s books are available at Borders, Lamb’s, Mr. Paperback and The Briar Patch in Bangor, Calvary Chapel in Orrington and the order page at www.issym.com.