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Award-winning

Minot Air Force Base woman prolific author

Submitted Photo Catori Sarmiento of Minot Air Force Base has published award-winning novels.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – Catori Sarmiento’s novel “Carnival Panic” is the winner of the Literary Titan’s Silver Award.

” ‘Carnival Panic’ is a science fiction horror novel published in 2019 by Corvus Quill Press,” said Sarmiento, of Minot Air Force Base, in an email. “In it, contestants take part in a reality game show competition that is rife with psychological and physical challenges. To win the game, one player must not only survive, but complete a number of grueling escape rooms all while being pursued by hostile robotic rabbits.”

The novel was also on the shortlist for the International Drunken Druid Award.

Another of her novels, “The Fortune Follies,” was published in 2018 by Double Dragon Publishing and also won several awards, including first place in the Chanticleer Cygnus Award in Science Fiction. It is about two cousins living in Seattle in 1949.

“What I most hope for in sharing my writing is that people read and enjoy them,” said Sarmiento in the email.

Sarmiento said she wrote “fantastical stories” when she was in elementary and high school but she got her start as a professional writer when she took part in National Novel Writing Month in 2009. When she finished the novel, she was encouraged to continue writing on the professional level.

She said that she finds writing “both compulsive and cathartic” and she writes to free her thoughts and to share interesting stories. When she writes, she doesn’t limit herself to any one genre. She writes whatever comes to mind. When she reads novels, she enjoys narratives that explore human psychology.

“I would say that bits and pieces of my life experiences weave their way into my novels,” said Sarmiento. “My first novel, “The Fortune Follies,” was heavily inspired by certain people I became acquainted with while living in Tokyo, Japan. In fact, many of the Japanese folk tales included in the novel were ones that were told to me by friends and colleagues. My second novel, “Carnival Panic,” would never have been written had I not visited the Kyari Pamyu Pamyu Museum or Sanrio Puroland.

I also have to acknowledge the inspiration I get from anime and video games. Anime such as Chrono Crusade, Code Geass, Trigun, Fullmetal Alchemist, Deadman Wonderland, Psycho Pass, or video games such as Xenogears, Chrono Trigger, or the Final Fantasy, Bioshock, and Metal Gear series – to name a few – showed me that creativity in any form can flourish.”

Sarmiento said her paternal grandfather and his family moved to Minot in the late 1950s so he could work on the base and ended up moving back to Seattle. She grew up in Bremeton, Wash., about an hour from Seattle. She met her husband while attending school there. He joined the Air Force after he graduated and they have been stationed at bases in Montana, Italy, and Japan. She completed her college education through overseas campuses such as Central Texas College, University of Maryland, and National University of San Diego. She earned a bachelor of arts in English, a master of arts in education, and a master of fine arts in writing. Her husband is stationed at Minot AFB and they live on base and have one daughter.

Sarmiento said she is currently working on a supernatural murder mystery and has completed two other books, including a young adult science fiction novel and a literary fiction narrative set in the Midwest.

“Although fiction remains my focus, I am also a published poet and academic writer,” she said in the email. “Much of my academic contributions are on the subject of English Language and literature. One of my first papers published in 2012 by Inquiries Journal was “Reevaluating the Roles of Women in Beowulf,” which explores the roles of the main female characters and included my own translations of Anglo-Saxon to English.

“In 2019, I took part in the World Congress on Education where I presented my research paper, “The Benefits of Equity and English: Special Needs Inclusion in Japanese Education,” which was then published in Volume 8 of the International Journal of Technology and Inclusive Education. A recent project that I have been collaborating on with ALT Training Online is in creating free training modules for Assistant Language or English as a Second Language Teachers.”

(Prairie Profile is a weekly feature profiling interesting people in our region. We welcome suggestions from our readers. Call Regional Editor Eloise Ogden at 857-1944 or call 1-800-735-3229. You also can send email suggestions to eogden@minotdailynews.com.)

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