I’ve completed the revision of The Savagers Return, which is Book One of my young adult fantasy, based on what I learned from participating in the Eckerd College Writers’ Conference last month. I reordered some of the chapters after realizing I needed to structure all three books around one epic struggle and subsume some of the other conflicts to the main one.
This book has been at least ten years in the making. I’ve worked on it on and off while completing the four novels I self-published, promising myself that I’d focus entirely on this story once In the Game––volume two of my Albany detective series––was available for public consumption.
Why, after writing two murder mysteries and two suspense novels, would I turn to a “young adult fantasy”? First, let me say this story was not conceived as a “young adult” story. That’s a marketing term which I recognize applies since there are seven primary characters all between 12 and 18 years of age when the story begins. Notice I didn’t say seven protagonists. There are two protagonists––Jermain Stormaker, the son of a domain lord, and a farmer’s son named Amin. That’s all I want to say about the characters at this point, except that I’m confident readers will find their adventures to be memorable.
While I revise Book Two, most of the chapters of which have been written, I’m looking for beta readers to take a look at Book One. To qualify you must be willing to go through the entire 350 pages and mail it back to me by the 25th of March.
The role of a Beta reader is to focus on the story more than the writing, although suggestions for the latter are always welcome. At this point, however, I need to know the following:
• Did the story keep your interest throughout? If not where did it flag?
• Did you empathize with the main characters?
• Were the main characters clearly defined physically and emotionally?
• Did some event occur that you didn’t understand or had a hard time accepting?
• Did some character act in a way that was inconsistent with what you believed to be his or her personality?
Please contact me if you’re interested.