Author launching thrilling debut novel that explores supernatural powers

Prince Albert’s Joanne Panas poses with her debut novel The Battle for the Gift on Nov. 14, 2019. (Jayda Noyes/Daily Herald)

A Prince Albert debut author is bringing her readers into an action-packed supernatural world.

Joanne Panas’ book The Battle for the Gift is launching at the John M. Cuelenaere Public Library on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m.

The story follows Tyler, an addiction-ridden criminal who gets beaten nearly to death. Angels and demons battle it out for his soul.

After a lengthy hospital stay, a priest befriends Tyler and his grandfather. Tyler suspects the priest may have played a role in his survival.

He returns to the back alley where he almost lost his life. There, he meets destiny.

“His guardian angel directs him to a struggling community and marketplace that is plagued by a ruthless gang, with a mysterious monastery run by monks who live by the Oldest Book in the world and a girl who shows up when terrible things happen. Tyler’s eyes are opened to the truth of two worlds—the natural and the supernatural,” reads the novel’s summary.

Panas feels excited knowing others are now able to dive into this fictional world, especially since the process of completing the book took several years.

“It started as a graphic novel. I started out with pictures first and then started to put a story to it,” she explained.

The story started getting too long to be a graphic novel, so she transitioned to writing a book without pictures.

The writing process took about two years. Panas said she was inspired by the Bible, as well as the philosophies of monks because of her background in martial arts.

Panas said she was always motivated to write The Battle for the Gift because even she didn’t know how the story would unfold when she picked up her pen.

“I never had an outline,” said Panas. “When I put my pen down to the paper, (I thought) ‘Where do we go from here?’ And I’d just start writing again. I was just very inspired.”

She said the concept of angels and demons has always intrigued her, as well as why a person is taken down a particular path in life.

“I really gravitate towards the mystery of mind of matter kind of thing and the direction your path should take. You have a lot of input into that,” she said.

“I want people to read it and do some thinking. The book itself will really get a person thinking ‘How can I better my life?’ And it’s just taking it from characters that you would never dream could actually…inspire a person’s life.”

The Battle of the Gift was published by Page Publishing in New York.

Panas said the editing and publishing process is thorough, having to go through round after round of revisions: “When I got my manuscript back, every page had something red on it.”

“The end of the book leaves off with ‘There’s got to be a book two,’” she said.

She’s already started writing notes for the sequel, which similarly revolve around different philosophies.

“There’s a book inside of everyone,” she said.

The Battle for the Gift will be available for purchase at the book launch, as well as on Amazon, iTunes and books stores such as Coles and Indigo.