I admire my friend Kelly so much. We got to know each other when we both worked at the same international school in Hong Kong and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.
Kelly is much younger than I am but she’s equally passionate about writing and over the last decade I’ve been following her determined efforts to write and publish a book. Kelly is the kind of person who doesn’t just talk about doing something, she takes action. During a job transitioning period she planned for time off from her career to finish her manuscript. Then she hired an experienced editor to help her hone her science fiction novel.
She started a blog where she detailed her writing journey. She joined a writers’ association to make connections and grow professionally. She sought advice from other writers by interviewing them and then writing about what she had learned on her blog. Kelly fine- tuned the art of writing query letters and started sending them out to publishers. She went to writing conferences and met with publishers there.
She hired a designer to help her create the intriguing symbols which are at the heart of her novel’s plot. After a period of determined effort to find a publisher for her book she decided to publish it herself with the assistance of Windy City Publishers and set about planning her book launch and a publicity campaign to bring attention to her book. After all that hard work her dream has been realized and her book is now in the hands of readers.
Of course as soon as I heard the news I ordered Kelly’s book and I’ve just finished reading it. I’m a sucker for a good romance and The Cube certainly offers that so I was hooked right off the bat. Because I am not a gamer at all, I admit the intricacies of The Cube which is a virtual reality game, initially confused me, but when I reached the section where the book’s hero Will enters The Cube and tries his hand at the various tests of intellectual skill and physical endurance I was completely caught up in his quest and read furiously to see if he would be successful.
Dave and I have visited Kelly’s family in Chicago and so the fact that the book is set in that city made it even more interesting to me, and will appeal to others who either live in Chicago or who have traveled there and been charmed by its history, geography and culture. Although Kelly’s book is an entertaining mystery it also makes you consider ethical questions around the success of large social media entities who know so much about our personal lives, and as the last American election showed, have so much power. Will they use their power to make the world a better place? Is it safe for them to have so much influence? Kelly’s two main characters have different opinions about that and it really gets the reader thinking. One thing I appreciated about Kelly’s book is that it gives readers hope for the future while many other novels present such a dark, dystopian picture of what is to come.
Kelly is a role model for me as I write new manuscripts, hone others and attempt to get them published. Her determination and dedication to the writing craft is inspirational. You can order her book The Cube from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.