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Thursday, February 16, 2023

My Best Friend Athena


My Best Friend Athena

by Dana Hammer




GENRE:   Middle Grade Fantasy






Fanny Fitzpatrick has the coolest best friend ever. Athena is smart, and pretty, and brave, and kind. Fanny loves her friend, but sometimes, she feels a little jealous of how perfect Athena is.

But even “perfect” girls make mistakes, and Athena makes a big one when she accidentally turns the school bully into a cockroach. He was picking on their friend Gemma and Athena lost her temper and her magic powers just slipped out right in front of Fanny.

Now Fanny knows that Athena isn’t an ordinary girl – she’s the reincarnation of a Greek goddess, powers and all – and now she needs Fanny and Gemma’s help to hunt down the bully-turned-cockroach and turn him back into a human boy.

Fanny doesn’t want to spend all her time looking for a cockroach. She’s got the Junior Miss Super Pretty Pageant to prepare for, if she can get over her stage fright. Besides, Athena’s Dad, Zeus, has forbidden the girls from meddling with any more cockroaches or magic, and Zeus is a god you don’t want to mess with.

Fanny has to make a choice. Should she pursue her pageant dreams, or risk Zeus’ wrath to find the cockroach-boy? What’s the right thing to do? And how do you hunt down a cockroach anyway?







Normally, when I arrive at school, I’m tired and cold and grumpy, but not today! Because today I’ve got the World’s Coolest Necklace, and everyone’s gonna notice it and give me compliments. It’s a “statement” necklace, and I got it at an old lady’s estate sale yesterday. I was shopping with my best friend, Athena, when I saw it. It was sitting on a dresser, with a bunch of other jewellery, but this necklace was the only one that caught my eye. It’s a large octopus, with jewel-covered tentacles, and two pearls for eyes. I tried it on, and it looked like the tentacles were reaching around my neck, trying to choke me. I’d never seen anything so cool in my life. It was $20, which was more than I had, but luckily Athena was there, and she bought it for me. Athena always has lots of money, because she’s a rich kid, but that’s NOT why I’m friends with her. 


Anyway, she saw how sad I was that I couldn’t afford the necklace and she just bought it for me, probably because she has excellent taste and could see what a great investment it would be. She said it was “quirky” and “an interesting piece,” which I happen to know is code for “high fashion”. 


My mom said it was “tacky garbage” but she doesn’t know about fashion. She mostly wears gym clothes, even when she’s not at the gym, and she never wears jewelry, except her wedding ring. 

A Word With the Author

1.Did you always want to be an author?

This is a complicated question. The way I was raised, “author” wasn’t a realistic job prospect. I knew very few people who even went to college, much less worked in the arts. Writing was a hobby, not a way to pay bills, and so it wasn’t something I was encouraged to focus on, professionally. Writing wasn’t discouraged, exactly, but it was more like “Well, that’s a nice way for Dana to spend her time, I guess.” 


That being said, I always wrote, because I would get uncontrollable urges to do so. So, I suppose I did always want to be an author, in the way little kids want to be basketball players or the President of the United States, but no one really takes those goals seriously, the kids included.


Basically, I’m really, really, really lucky I’m able to do what I do. 

2.Tell us about the publication of your first book.

Sigh. Do I have to? LOL. The first book I published was a self-published horror novel, which should have been kept on my iPad. It was a good practice novel, but it wasn’t great. At the time, I knew very little about the publishing industry, and I wasn’t a polished writer, by any means. I kind of/sort of edited it, published it, and expected the profits to roll in. It’s just…let’s move on.

3.Besides yourself, who is your favorite author in the genre you write in?

In horror-comedy, I’m a big fan of Christopher Moore, Jeff Strand, and Stephen King. I don’t really have a favorite middle grade author. Maybe Meg Cabot. Her stuff is pretty cool. 

4.What's the best part of being an author? The worst?

The best part is that I get to write,of course! And I don’t have a boss, or office hours, or a dress code. I feel like it’s a more natural, organic lifestyle. The worst part is how little it pays, unless you’re EL James or JK Rowling. I would very much like to make more money. 

5.What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m working on a horror/magical realism novel about a teenage girl who eats a watermelon seed, and a watermelon grows in her belly. I remember when I was a little girl, my aunt told me that could happen and it completely terrified me. 


I also just finished the first draft of a sequel to My Best Friend Athena. It still needs editing, but it’s all on the page. So we will see how it goes! 








AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Dana Hammer is a novelist, screenwriter and playwright. She has won over forty awards and honors for her writing, few of which generated income, all of which were deeply appreciated. She is not a cannibal, but she is the author of A Cannibals Guide to Fasting. Dana is also the author of middle grade fantasy My Best Friend Athena which was inspired by a desire to write something her 9 year old daughter could read.






Dana Hammer will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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