Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gremlins, luck and opportunity ~ GUEST POST by SARINA , SWEETHEART author MEGAN CARNEY

Out from Under You

I call it my gremlin rule: never send email after midnight. I’ve learned the hard way that even though what I type during the witching hours makes sense to me, it’s better not to send it until I can read my words in the light of day.

I wasn’t thinking about my gremlin rule around midnight in 2013, when I discovered the ABNA for the first time. The manuscript was done, right? I mean, it had been done for months. Just a little tweak to the first sentence and… can you guess the ending? A few weeks later when I was working on the manuscript again (the one that was done, remember?) I noticed the first sentence of my submission had something terribly wrong.

“Navy payed out more rope as Sara took climbed another step on the waterfall of ice that clung to the forty-foot, irregular tan cliffs.”

I forgot to delete ‘took’ when I replaced it with ‘climbed.’ (Many readers trip over ‘payed’, and that’s been replaced too. Even though it’s actually correct.) 

It was not surprising that the manuscript fell out during the first round. If I read a first sentence like that, I probably would have thrown the manuscript out too. I’m sure one of the Amazon readers had a good laugh at my expense. 

I was so embarrassed that I almost didn’t enter Sarina, Sweetheart in the 2014 ABNA. I could always enter it next year, I told myself. The contest had been around since 2008; it wasn’t going anywhere. Luckily, I didn’t listen to the procrastinator in me. 2014 was the last year Amazon ran the contest. My manuscript made it as far as the quarterfinals. 

A cushy publishing contract would have been nice, but I did get a good review out of it. Plus some constructive feedback. And both of those things encouraged me to push a little further, into self-publishing. 

There are a lot of things I don’t love about self-publishing. Hiring editors, finding cover art, marketing, and puzzling out the eccentricities of ebook formatting are things I’d rather leave to a publisher. But what I do like is that my book that is out now, instead of eighteen months from now. I feel incredibly lucky that I got that last, one little push.
Out from Under You
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction
Her name is Sarina Wocek. Her breath is poison. She was not born out of love.
Twenty-three years ago, government officials traced the budding epidemic of hemorrhagic fever HF186-2A in south Florida to the Wocek family and their adorable six-week-old daughter, Sarina. Her father, Gregory, admitted his role in genetically engineering a biological weapon with pride. She was taken to a lab hidden in a rural area of New Hampshire. She hasn’t left since.
Her government keepers could cure her, but they won’t. Genetically engineering a child to be a weapon of mass destruction, that’s unethical. Refining a weapon of mass destruction that someone else created? That’s just being clever.
After twenty-three years of captivity, she escapes. She crosses an ocean to put her father and the lab behind her, but it’s not enough. When she sees the first bleeding sore, she knows she didn’t leave the virus behind either.
The only way she’ll be free is by destroying every trace of the lab. She only has one advantage; she doesn’t care if she makes it out alive.

Megan Carney is an author, geek and amateur photographer living in the Twin Cities. She has ten years of experience in the field of computer security. Her previous short story publications include: ‘Flighty Youth’ in the Raritan, ‘Modern Mayhem’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Swing By Close’ in the Wayfarer, ‘Directions’ in the Bell Tower. ‘Swing By Close’ and ‘Directions’ both won first prize in the fiction sections of that issue. The Christian Science Monitor dubbed her self-published photography book, ‘Signs of My Cities’ as having “youthful zest.”
Her non-literary creations include: a robot to clean the bathroom tub, Zim and Gir costumes, No-Dig tomato stakes, StickFriend the bear bag hanger, and a burning coal costume so she could be Katniss for a night.

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