Utah author and former Augusta resident Amy Michelle Carpenter released her first book, “Becoming Human,” on Dec. 8, a sci-fi/fantasy novel that tells its story through the lens of three different species living in Canton.

A woman in Utah, who has never been to Canton, decided her first novel would be set in Cherokee’s county seat.

Utah author Amy Michelle Carpenter released her first book, “Becoming Human,” on Dec. 8, a sci-fi/fantasy novel that tells its story through the lens of three different species living in Canton.

Carpenter, who is a fan of both fantasy and science fiction, said the idea to place this type of story in Canton came from her time living in Georgia as a kid.

“I lived in Augusta for a year as a kid because my dad was in the military,” she said. “Out of all of the places he was stationed, I would say the most magical place to live for me was Georgia. So with a book with so much magic, intrigue, and mystery, I thought Georgia would be a great setting. Not all of it takes place in Canton, but a good portion of it does.”

Carpenter said she knew the story needed to be told in Georgia, but she wasn’t sure where. That’s when she decided that, because the characters in the book make a trip to Atlanta, the setting needed to be in the Metro Atlanta area. She selected Canton after doing research on the city.

“I chose Canton because it’s a city that isn’t too big or small, and there are plenty of great housing options I found when researching the city to choose from for the protagonist to live in,” she said. “I found one house in particular that caught my eye to serve as his home. I also really love the historical nature of the city, as well as the businesses, woods, and the overall feeling of the area.”

All three of the protagonists in the story attend Sequoyah High School, with the character Carter being a member of the school’s swim team. Along with Sequoyah, other features of the city were included in the novel as well.

“Some of the sites from Canton and Georgia that I include in the book are Hickory Creek, Cheeseburger Bobby’s, various houses that I saw in my research of the city, and then SkyView Atlanta as well.”

Carpenter said a lot of research of Canton and Atlanta went into telling this story, including researching the linguistics of the south, specifically Georgia, to ensure the dialect in the book was as accurate as possible.

One author who read the book said that it has a southern feel to it, as well as a great description of the setting and scenery.

“The distinct southern setting really grounds this big sci-fi story about aliens and makes it relatable,” author Ruth Mitchell said.

The novel follows three protagonists, Carter, Kokab, and Ags. Carter is a human who doesn’t believe in aliens, but winds up finding out that the girl he has fallen for is capable of strange feats. Kokab is an alien that comes from a planet where there are no emotions and decisions are made for her. One day, her species faces extinction, and she must go to Earth to convince mankind to let her species immigrate. In order for this to happen, she has to understand how humans think and feel. If she fails, her kind will invade Earth.

The other protagonist, Ags, is an alien who comes from a planet that defends other planets throughout the galaxy. Ags, who seeks to become the guardian of Earth, is obsessed with humans. When she finds out about a possible invasion of Earth from Kokab, she becomes suspicious of her and tries to stop Kokab’s species from coming to Earth.

“The basic premise of this story is three different species must embrace each other to save all of humanity,” Carpenter said.

“Becoming Human” was published through Immortal Works in Utah and is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Carpenter’s website at www.amymichellecarpenterwrites.com.

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Ethan is a reporter covering the cities of Holly Springs & Canton. He also covers city governments and lifestyle. He is a graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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