Columbia College-Moberly student finds writing is a great way to inspire, teach — and escape
Bethany Kent ("B.K.") Fuller was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. By the time she was six, her family had moved from Idaho to Texas then to Moberly, Mo., where she grew up. She graduated from Moberly High School in 1997, excelling in academics and sports, especially softball and basketball.
Writing? B. K. Fuller did not dream of it. Professional athlete, athletic trainer, businesswoman, maybe teacher. But writing was latent within her.
A love of reading
Fuller grew up with a love of reading, which she attributed to her mother. "I used to look at my mother’s books -- all of them! History, scripture, autobiography and commentaries. She loved books, loved to learn. She would annotate and cross- reference them until they were covered with pencil marks. I was in awe of her."
After high school, Fuller took a job at Scholastic Books, working as a telephone customer service rep. Employees were encouraged to read the firm's books during down time to familiarize themselves with the company’s products. In Fuller's case, it re-ignited a love of reading. From then on, she read everything she could get her hands on, especially fantasy.
"I had a few favorite books from Scholastic Book Fairs as a kid," said Fuller, "but as I read at work, I think I really discovered fiction for the first time." She became especially fond of fantasy such as "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Phantom Tollbooth." Most folks are familiar with Frodo, Gandalf and the others on their quest to save their world; some may be unfamiliar with the 1961 children's novel about a bored young boy named Milo who drives through a magic tollbooth into the Kingdom of Wisdom, where he, too, embarks on a noble quest.
Fuller's quest continued with marriage in 1998, leaving Moberly and her job at Scholastic. She had previously attended Moberly Area Community College; she now transferred to Columbia College's Moberly campus. Her hunger for fantasy fiction was so strong that she took the precious time, and money, to enroll in a science fiction and fantasy evening class.
"I was in my initial years of writing then. This class was fun and helped cement some of the writing and world-building techniques I had started learning on my own," she recalled. "I think that class helped, but being a working professional and taking evening and online classes helped me prepare even more. Writing and getting published is a difficult business, and I feel life experience makes for a better writer, both in content and in patience."
She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2004.
The world of Paro
"Majee Legends" was published this year. Here, in a nutshell, is the plot: For the inhabitants of Paro, magic has outlived its usefulness. Magic is no more than legend, and those who seek it are persecuted, exiled, even murdered. To be a Majee—a magic seeker—is to live with a terrible secret. Nevosi, a young noble turned magic-seeker, and Lord Jorry, a disinherited Druid, set aside their lives to seek the truth, whatever the cost.
Fuller said that "Majee Legends" is the first in a projected cycle of four or five books.
Here's what one delighted reader had to say about the book:
"I am not a big fantasy reader ... I loved the Eragon books, but I have never read any of the Harry Potter books. I usually read nonfiction. I was impressed with the development of [Fuller's] story through each chapter and the insight of the author into each character's mind ... I felt I could relate to some of the characters as their feelings and thoughts were so well-described and similar to those I have had in real life. I would recommend this book to my 14-year-old son, who I believe would also get lost in the character of Nevosi and his struggle to find himself ... I am giving it for Christmas gifts."
"If you want a fantasy novel that will truly evoke emotions and feelings, this is the one for you. Real-life issues taking place in a realm of magic where turmoil and uncertainty are rampant will keep you turning each page."
Heady praise indeed for an ex-Moberly girl. For her part, Fuller, currently working as a corporate trainer in financial services in Arizona, said that she has merely tapped into the universal search for truth and meaning.
"I wanted to create a place for others to escape. I wanted to write, to contribute, to share. I wanted to create a world that gave back, inspired and taught."
Book No. 2 finds Nevosi and Lord Jorry traveling through the Sensa Lair. Is the dormant magic in Paro awakening? Fuller hopes you'll find out.
"Majee Legends" is available on Fuller's Web site, www.bkfuller.com; on amazon.com and at Barnes and Noble Booksellers.