Lake of Sins
by L.S. O’Dea
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GENRE: YA, paranormal, dystopian, sci-fi/fantasy
In a world where class distinction means the difference between imprisonment and freedom and even life and death, being chosen to stay in the encampment and breed is the only way to guarantee survival for a teenage Producer.
Every year after harvest, the finest examples of teenage Producers are assigned mates; the rest are loaded onto carts and hauled away, never to be seen or heard from again. Trinity, a sixteen-year-old Producer, knows that she has no chance of being chosen to stay. She isn’t even full-blooded Producer. Her father is a House Servant and she’s spent her entire life hiding her differences, especially her claws and fangs.
She has one week to sneak into the forest and discover what happens to those who are taken. Her plan is simple, but she doesn’t count on being hunted and captured by predators long believed to be extinct. Can she elude her captors to uncover the fate of her kind and return to camp before her escape is discovered?
“Something’s following us,” he whispered as he unsheathed his knife.
The quiet rustle of vegetation behind them signaled that night was not the only thing approaching. He pointed to a large tree. She scurried up it and stopped on a limb high off the ground. He signaled for her to wait and then walked several yards farther before climbing another tree. He crouched on a low branch, knife in hand.
The woods were gray, the shadows growing wider as time passed. She waited, scanning the forest below, her heart pounding in her ears. What was hunting them, besides Guards? She pulled her knife out of the sheath and adjusted her position. Gaar always said that predators had to have patience, so the smart prey would too. She was still working on that. She shifted around again for a different angle. So far, she hadn’t seen anything dangerous in the forest, but she had traveled mostly with Mirra. She tried to relax her breathing, but it was coming in short pants. She had to calm down. Fear could be smelled. Fear attracted predators.
There was a soft whisper in the vegetation and a pair of glowing red eyes appeared in the brush. A few feet away were two more eyes and then another set. There were at least ten pairs, shining in the darkness.
Advice for a New Author by L.S. O’Dea
There are a lot of things that I’d tell a new author. First, I’d say, write. Don’t get hung up on making everything perfect the first time through. Just get the story down. If you get stuck on a section, summarize what you want this part to do and move on. You can come back to it later. A lot of times, these tough sections work themselves out. Sometimes, you realize that all you really need is a line or two, not an entire scene, and other times, the story will take a twist and you can plant some seeds in that section. I think that your mind balks at parts that are not working. Don’t get me wrong, there are sections that I had a horribly hard time getting down on paper that are still in the book, but most of the “hard” sections got cut.
I’d also tell the author to either hire an editor (they can be very expensive though) or learn to edit. It is hard and boring to learn all the rules for proper grammar, but it is necessary to offer a clean piece of work. You could have written the next Harry Potter but if your grammar stinks, then no one is going to read it.
Next, I’d tell the new author to think long and hard about traditional publishing versus indie publishing. In my opinion, traditional publishing doesn’t offer enough any longer unless you are already a big name or have a good social media following. If you are going to have to do all the advertising and marketing yourself, why should you hand over the control to someone else? Since I’m an honest person, I have to mention that I did try to find an agent. I even had a few who wrote me back asking for revisions. I spent four to six weeks revising and then sent the story back. Not a word from the agent. I understand that agents are too busy to respond to all submissions, but in my opinion if they liked your work enough to ask for revisions they could at least let you know that they didn’t like your revisions and won’t be offering you a contract. That’s my opinion and probably why I prefer indie publishing.
Lastly, I’d tell the new author to start researching how to market the book. Join GoodReads and KBoards. Search blogs. Finally, before deciding to send an advertising company money, check and see how many friends they have on Facebook and their presence on other social media sites. I once hired a company without checking that and realized that they only had 78 friends on FB. I have more than that!
L.S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven. She always wanted to do what her older siblings were doing, especially reading stories.
Ill at a young age, she immersed herself in books. Her life changed when she read a short story written by her older brother and realized that normal (somewhat anyway, since her brother was a bit weird in her opinion) people created these amazing stories. From that day forward, she wanted to write.
However, as with all good stories, obstacles rose in her path (mostly self-created obstacles) and it took her many years to put finger to keyboard and type her first book.
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