Journey to Publication
So I brainstormed this story with my son over a dinner of spicy spaghetti a couple of nights after the idea came to me. We worked out the entire novel: the characters and their motivations, the world, and the details of the race as I frantically wrote it all down. My husband and daughter also helped me brainstorm items that I needed worked out. I then spent a little while playing around with Avene's voice and then wrote like crazy. I finished in December of 2011. I actually started having critique partners read it in November of 2011 and began querying agents in January of 2012 after more revising. I also entered it into a few popular contests around the blogosphere in early 2012. Then I took a very long break due to life circumstances with hubby’s heart and moving. Early this year I got back into writing. I’d been thinking about self publishing for quite awhile so when querying a few more agents and a handful of publishers didn’t work out, I decided to go for it, and now, 2 1/2 years later, the book is out there! Wahoo!
About the Book:Sixteen-year-old Avene was sentenced to prison at thirteen for a crime she didn't commit. Now she has a chance to win her freedom back – if she enters the Headhunters Race. Second prize isn't so bad either, an upgrade to the Leisure Prison if you make it to the finish line. To win either prize, Avene and the other prisoners must navigate one hundred and fifty miles of dense forest, desert, and worst of all, cannibal territory.
With a mechanical collar timed to strangle the prisoners if they're not back in nine days, Avene allies herself with seventeen-year-old McCoy, another prisoner that insists on helping her at every turn and a boy she's trying hard not to fall for. Together they battle nature, other prisoners, and the timed death collars to win the coveted prize. But when Avene is tested with one deadly conflict after another, she realizes there is more at stake than winning her freedom – first she has to survive.