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.
Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20577546-the-headhunters-race?from_search=true
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Author Interview :
1 : Where did the idea for The Headhunters Race come from?
The idea was born around 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 did. :)
2 : What research went into the book?
A few things off the top of my head were how to find a water source, how to avoid bear attacks,spider bites, tattoos, prisons - although I just made up my own and made it a fend-for-yourself one. :)
3 : What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
(I think my answer will fall under psychological) :) I think querying and hoping this was the book that would land me an agent. I'd written 3 or 4 before this and none of those worked out so I was really hoping this was the one. However, many agents over the period I queried it mentioned that dystopian was not selling so I struggled with deciding whether to strike out on my own and I finally went for it. If you're a writer querying your manuscript, the process can turn quickly from one of excitement and hope to utter heartbreak. **baring my soul a little here** I actually quit writing all together (for several months) after this one didn't work out. I think my husband was worried about me because I'd been writing non-stop during any free time I had for years. I think this is the first time I've admitted this openly. But it was devastating - you can only take so much rejection and I did not think I'd be able to go back to it. Thankfully I got over it because I really do love to write. :) .
4 : What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part is that I always seem to go through this *dumb stage* where all of a sudden I get to a point where I think the story is just so dumb and who wants to read a made up story? I go through this with every one of my manuscripts and I don't know why and I quit for a day or so (it's been up to a week before) until I realize duh, all fiction is made up! Plus, I realize I like to read fiction myself. It's just some weird thing that happens to me.
5 : Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes, how to find water if I'm ever in need! Not that it will always work but I've kept that in the back of my mind. :)
6 : What books influenced you to write?
I think books in general have influenced me, especially when I was a kid because I was a non-stop reader. I read all the time and every chance I got even during times I wasn't supposed to (like in class). I think they influenced me because I love the fact that books can transport you somewhere else and you can experience different lives and worlds through different types of characters.
7 : Do you have any weird writing habits?
I can't think of anything really weird but maybe referring back to #4. :)
8 : Top 5 favourite authors?
I don't really have favorites because I pretty much love them all but some that I'll mention are C.S. Lewis, Judy Blume, and J.K. Rowling.
9 : Describe your book in 5 words.
Five words, hmmm, this is hard. Okay, how about: Action, Adventure, Race, Cannibals, Deadly. :)
10 : Finally, What are you currently reading?
I just finished The 5th Wave and I really liked it.
Quick fire round
Tea or Coffee? Coffee
Books or Movies? **cheating** I love both!
Pepsi or Coke? Pepsi, Pepsi, Pepsi!
Early Bird or Night Owl? Night owl
Sci Fi or Fantasy? I love both but Sci Fi wins! :)
Spike or Angel? (I don't know if these might be characters?)
Sam or Dean? (Same as above. eek, I don't know them)
Call or Text? Call
Truth or Dare? Truth
Asking Questions or Answering Questions? Asking!
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Before you go is there anything you would like to say to my readers?
Yes, thank you for being readers and book lovers! And if any of you are considering writing - start NOW. If you're not considering writing and have another dream - start NOW. PLEASE don't wait to follow your dream. :)
Thank you so much, Natalie for having me on your wonderful blog! I appreciate you and your time so very much!
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.
Kimberly if offering an eCopy of the Headhunters Race!