Texas Roots Grow a Love of Science in New Middle-Grade Book Series

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With her childhood’s  Texas roots, Bartek’s educational pursuits were formed by witnessing the aftermath of her father’s football career—those bittersweet glory days. She followed his footsteps to Texas A&M University, where she earned a Ph.D. in Human Resource Development, intending to focus on sports psychology. Life brought her to a large oil and gas company, where she headed an employee development department. However, all the while she was nursing another, more literary dream: Bartek aspired to become a published novelist.

Struggling to break into a saturated market and collecting a mountain of rejection letters, Bartek was at a loss how to proceed. It was then she reached out to Dent, author of the most famous Aggie football book of all time—The Junction Boys: How 10 Days in Hell with Bear Bryant Forged a Champion Team.

Texas Roots Grow a Love of Science in New Middle-Grade Book Series

Photo: Serafina Loves Science!

Dent, to say the least, has led a colorful life. The author of several highly praised books, he’s also had troubles with the law. Bartek wrote to Dent while he was serving time in prison on charges related to a drunk driving conviction. “I thought, ‘Why don’t I write to him and tell him what I’m doing and see if he was any advice for me?’” Bartek explained. “And lo and behold, he wrote me back.” Dent encouraged Bartek to keep trying to find a publisher and that her writing was good. She stayed the course, and in October of 2018, her dream of becoming a published writer came true when Absolute Love Publishing in Austin released the first two books of the Serafina Loves Science! series: Cosmic Conundrum and Quantum Quagmire.

Describing the experience, Bartek used a perfect turn of phrase for a science-loving book author: “In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, self-actualization is at the top. For a reader, for someone who loves books, what’s at the top of the pyramid is the ability to be a writer. This is the achievement of the highest level that I can hope for as a book lover. And it’s hugely satisfying,” she said.

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Photo: Cara Bartek