Monday, January 06, 2014

The Journey to Publication with Author Kimberly Afe

Kimberly Afe joins us today. The Headhunters Race was released last week and she wanted to share her publication journey with us.

Journey to Publication

The Headhunters Race has a bit of a long journey. The idea was born on June 26, 2011 after a Zelda game commercial inspired me. The commercial was brilliant and I thought why can't they make a movie that cool? And then I thought, why don't I write a cool adventure myself!

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.

Kimberly is the mother of two awesome kids, wife of the nicest man in the world, and her dog's best friend. She works by day and writes middle grade and young adult science fiction and fantasy novels in her spare time. She lives with her family in the beautiful Sonoran Desert.
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34 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

Loved hearing about Kimberly's road to publication. So awesome that her family helped brainstorm ideas for her story.

Good luck with your book.

J.L. Campbell said...

I've seen Kimberly's book around the blogosphere, and the storyline does sound fascinating.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Congratulations on the release! I like that your family helped you with the writing process.

Jessica Lawson said...

Love this! Congratulations to Kimberly! :)

Kimberly said...

Thank you, everyone! And thank you so much, Diane for hosting me today! :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Kimberly, you're very welcome.

Bish Denham said...

Sounds exciting and terrifying! Congratulations, Kimberly.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations, Kimberly! Glad your family helped.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

What a great story to have the entire family involved in the creations of the novel.

Karen Lange said...

It's great to hear about Kimberly's journey. Thank, Diane, for the intro!
Kimberly, wish you all the best!

M.J. Fifield said...

You had me at 'Zelda Game'...

Congratulations Kimberly! Best of luck with it!

Southpaw said...

Great cover. I love how your family pitched in. That's very cool.

klahanie said...

Hi Diane,

I love the fact that the formulation of the story was an empowering family affair.

Wishing Kimberly much success and fulfilment with her book.

Gary

Stephen Tremp said...

It's great to have the family involved and helping. Good luck to Kimberly and The Headhunters Race!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

So much is around to inspire us. Glad you came up with a story you love and decided to share Kim.

Lady Lilith said...

What a fascinating journey. Thank you for sharing.

Donna Hosie said...

Much luck to Kimberly on your new release. I love that it was a family effort.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Congratulations, Kimberly! It doesn't sound like a long journey at all - the idea was born only 2-3 years ago. I think that's really fun to have had your whole family involved in it's creation. Enjoy much success.

Be well, Diane.

xoRobyn

Carol Kilgore said...

Congratulations, Kimberly! And many good wishes to you with your new book.

Hi, Diane :)

Heather M. Gardner said...

What an interesting story idea. I love that it was a family effort!
Best of luck.
Heather

Kimberly said...

Thank you so much, everyone! It was fun having my family help brainstorm, although it wasn't always willingly - sometimes I cornered them while in the car - so I had a captive audience. hee hee. :)

E.J. Wesley said...

Sounds like a fantastic read Kimberly! Love stories that spawn from unexpected inspiration--especially video game commercials! :)

Jemi Fraser said...

Congrats to Kimberly! Sounds like a great story! :)

Emily R. King said...

I like brainstorming with my kids too. They're always so helpful.

Congrats!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Ahhhh, the best way to outline a novel--over spicey spaghetti!
Best,
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Loving helping writers get read with my HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers including the multi award-winning second edition of The Frugal Book Promoter (http://budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) .

Ellie Garratt said...

Congratulations, Kimberly. I love the both the story behind the book and the book's premise!

Misha Gericke said...

Wow that sounds like one heck of a roller coaster ride to publication. All the best! :-)

Tyrean Martinson said...

That's quite a journey! The book sounds exciting! Congrats, Kimberly!!!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Nice that the family worked together at the beginning. Quite a story, Kimberly! Good luck.

Mary Montague Sikes

Kimberly said...

Thank you so much everyone for your well wishes! I appreciate it so much. :)

Medeia Sharif said...

I like the source of inspiration and how the family got involved. Congrats to Kimberly.

Jai Joshi said...

So great that you had a great idea and just went for it, Kimberly. That's the essence of inspiration. And it's lovely that it was a whole family brainstorming effort too. It must have been so much fun.

Jai

DMS said...

I have been seeing Kimberly's book around the blogosphere- but I had no idea where the story originated. I loved this post because it was so cool to find out that it was a family affair! How awesome is that? Wishing her the best of luck!
~Jess