Buckley author releases second book of three-part series

Alex Personius’ “A Tangled Pattern” turns the small city into the center of the universe.

Buckley author Alex Personius.

Buckley author Alex Personius.

Exiled gods, a hidden supernatural community, an isolated bartender-turned-monster hunter, an impending apocalypse — and it’s all happening in Buckley.

In her self-published book, “A Tangled Pattern,” local resident Alex Personius uses a mix of her own experiences and a storyline worthy of an epic Dungeons and Dragons quest to turn the small city at the very edge of Pierce County into the center of the universe.

The story follows Katya, a home-grown woman who’s been chosen by the gods — or, rather, a pantheon of beings known as Celestials — to become Earth’s next Guardian, protecting the unsuspecting masses from beings of unspeakable horror and hunger from Hell, or worse.

While the plot is geared toward lovers of the supernatural genre, it’s not as lofty as it may first appear. After a brief introduction with some of the more abstract characters of the series, readers are quickly transported back to a setting they should find familiar. Or, in the case of Buckleyites, downright recognizable.

As the old saying goes, write what you know.

“It’s a wonderful little town… I either lived in or around Buckley my entire life,” Personius said. Occasionally, she traveled and spent some time outside the city, “but I always ended up coming back here, because it’s home. On one hand, I wanted to not necessarily write a love letter to the town that borne me and will eventually rob me of my life precious, but something along those lines.”

Alex Personius has also done her own character design and scenes from her novels. Here is her protagonist, Katya, with the grimoire that sets off her adventure and her cat spirit guide. Image by Alex Personius

Alex Personius has also done her own character design and scenes from her novels. Here is her protagonist, Katya, with the grimoire that sets off her adventure and her cat spirit guide. Image by Alex Personius

The first place local residents are sure to recognize is the bar Katya owns. Though it goes unnamed in the book, readers can easily guess it’s The Firehouse Pub on Main Street (a sincere “thank you” is given to the bar’s current owner on the acknowledgments page).

There are other highly recognizable settings from Enumclaw and Bonney Lake as well, though one of the other most-recurring scenes is at the old White River High School campus (now Glacier Middle School) which Personius attended.

She said much of her experiences as an adolescent and young adult made it into her protagonist, Katya, although suped-up to make it more fantastical.

“She’s taken strongly from my own head,” Personius said, adding that both of them not only share some of the same personality traits (for example, Katya is often described as obstinate, a word “a great deal of my family” have used describing Personius) but their emotional struggles as well.

“The big thing is the idea of the self-doubt, and how damaging it can actually be to not have faith in one’s self,” Personius said, mentioning that publishing her first book was absolutely part of overcoming that personal struggle. “Her biggest hurdle, as well as mine, is doubt, and the fear that maybe it’s not good enough… that ‘what if’ is a hurdle a lot of people have trouble getting over.”

In other words, it’s less about the power that Katya needs to develop to get through sticky situations involving beings more knowledgeable and powerful than her, and more about confidence needed to use it.

“She has all of this stuff, (but) her own shortcomings or psychological issues can take that away from her just as easily,” Personius said. “If she doesn’t have the confidence to embrace what she is in the end, none of her efforts are going to matter.”

The book is also about the confidence to carve your own path, rather than following the ones your predecessors traditionally followed, or the ones your enemies (and even your friends) expect you to take, which also leads back to the author, who described herself — complete with brightly dyed hair, “hippy chic” clothes, and large ear gauges — as someone who “has a tendency to buck the status quo. I’m a weirdo, and I take pride in that.”

This fits well with one of the overall themes of the book. As the title suggests, Personius’ world built is upon centuries, even millenniums, of repeated patterns, and the idea that while some should be kept, others must be broken.

“It’s basically the real human struggle about finding out what it is you’re supposed to do,” she said.

“A Tangled Pattern,” which was first published late 2016, is currently available to purchase on Amazon. It’s sequel, “A Trickster’s Gamble,” was published the day after Christmas, and is also available online.

Katya gazes out at the Deadlands, a prominent plane of existence in “A Tangled Pattern.” Image by Alex Personius

Katya gazes out at the Deadlands, a prominent plane of existence in “A Tangled Pattern.” Image by Alex Personius

More in News

Swimming pool improvements approved by Enumclaw Council

The most pressing needs appear to be the roof, the pool liner, and deck — an estimated $630,000 of work over the next two years.

County says contentious recycle center clearing without a permit

The proposed Enumclaw Recycling Center is still going through the permitting process, but it appears the landowners have already started clearing out their land.

Flu activity surges, increasing demand on health care facilities | Department of Health

People in high risk groups, are very sick, or are worried about their illness should contact their health care provider immediately.

Widespread flu this spring | Public Health Insider

It’s not too late to get a flu shot.

Woman dead in Bonney Lake fire

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Sandra Penland, 55, died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Local artist brings “Art of FLIGHT” to Chalet Theater

The snowboarding movie by Travis Rice is playing March 27 at The Chalet.

A man addresses the King County Council during a public hearing March 20 at New Life Church in Renton. He presented bags filled with what he said was hazardous materials dropped on his property by bald eagles. Another speaker made similar claims. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Locals show support for King County waste to energy plant

Public hearing on landfill’s future was held March 20 in Renton.

Spring is coming, and so is baby bird season

Local songbird rehabilitation nonprofit Featherhaven is looking for volunteers this season.

Most Read