Athol Sci-Fi writer releases first book in series

  • Renee Hurteau of Athol just released her first book on She wrote “Antiquity’s Gate: Three Days Till Dawn” in “light sci-fi” format to appeal to all readers. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 9/22/2019 9:45:09 PM
Modified: 9/22/2019 9:45:09 PM

ATHOL – When she was in second grade, Renee Hurteau wrote a story that started with “Wow” instead of “Once Upon A Time.” Her teacher was so impressed that she bound it and put it in the school library. 

The Athol resident, now 35, has continued to follow her passion for story telling by releasing her first book, “Antiquity’s Gate: Three Days Till Dawn.” The self-published book, written under the name R.F. Hurteau, is the first of a series of eight books and is available on The second book, “Antiquity’s Gate: Through A Mirror, Darkly” will be released on Sept. 24.

Two more books will be available in October and November and the next four will be released in 2020. Hurteau said her first five books are complete, the sixth is a draft and seventh and eighth are outlined. “Because I’m an indie author, I wanted to get the first one out so they can invest their hearts in my stories,” she said. The books are geared more for adults though the characters are ages 16 to the mid-20s. A poem Hurteau wrote for the beginning of the first book is “full of subtle hints” and clues that readers will discover as the series progresses.

Originally from Agawam, the “more caffeine than human” Hurteau and her husband, Chris, are the parents of five children, four of whom are home-schooled. Hurteau stopped writing for nine years to raise her family before embarking on the book series. She said Chris is her first reader who “finds any potholes.” Their children, ages 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10, “all like to tell stories.”

Hurteau’s goal was to write “light sci-fi” books that would appeal to anyone who likes any genre by making them character-focused. “I want people to love sci-fi like I like sci-fi,” she said. Mystery and conspiracy can also be found in the stories. The characters carry over to each book, and each book can stand alone with an overarching storyline, Hurteau said. “The funny thing is it started as a short story.”

Hurteau said it took her two years to find a book cover artist. The one she ended up using is from Australia. 

“Antiquity’s Gate” is “a crystaline structure in Antarctica that links two parallel realities,” Hurteau explained. Her book blurb reads: “Antiquity’s Gate forced two realities to collide – what followed tore one of them apart. Now those who remain co-exist beneath the shelter of a domed Antarctic city held together by a tenuous peace and an increasingly dystopian hierarchy.” 

Hurteau, who went to school for marketing and economics, found self-publishing to be “a lot of work with a lot of parts,” but said it was very rewarding. “I had a certain vision and wanted it that way.” Her books are printed on demand.

She said she wanted to go through the traditional path of submitting stories to magazines but had a hard time “writing in a little box” with limited space. She said she can write a book a month, then draft and then edit the second draft, taking about six months overall. “I try to get in five hours a day of writing related stuff, sometimes marketing, sometimes editing.” She would also like to see her stories put in audiobook format.

Hurteau, who is a member of the Internet-based Speculative Writers of New England and the Independent Book Publishers Association, said she hopes to have a launch at the Athol Public Library.

“I like to tell stories and to make people feel things deeply, the good things and the bad things,” Hurteau said. “That’s my passion.”

More information about the author and her books can be found at


E-Edition & Local Ads


athol forecast

Social Media

Athol Daily News

14 Hope Street,
Greenfield, MA 01301
Telephone: (413) 772-0261


Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.