Sunday, November 27, 2016

Book review: Held by Edeet Ravel (YA thriller)

Are you interested in learning how to develop a three-dimensional antagonist? 

I'd highly recommend reading Held by Edeet Ravel. 

A hostage-taker imprisons an American teenage girl (Chloe) in a warehouse in an unspecified country. We never learn his name but we know who he is -- his background, his motives, his humanity.

The focus is kept solely on the hostage (Chloe) and the hostage-taker but Held in no way reads like a minimalist story. Short news reports, interviews with and about Chloe's family and friends, and twitter feeds by Chloe's best friend are sandwiched between the chapters and add depth to the story. Held is a unique tale, cleverly told.

Published by Annick Press
Publishing date:  2011
author website

Book blurb:  Seventeen-year-old Chloe's summer vacation in Greece comes to an abrupt end when she is suddenly blindfolded and whisked away to an unidentified location. Waking up from a drug-induced sleep, she is seized by terror and imagines the worst.
After several days of utter despair, Chloe is relieved when her hostage-taker appears. His revelation that she is being held ransom for a prisoner exchange, however, does little to allay her fears.
Haunted by frightening dreams, and with only her thoughts to keep her company, Chloe fights to remain calm. Will her captor ever let her go? And will she be the same person once she's free?


Held by Edeet Ravel published by Annick Press 

Quill and Quire recommends Held as 'an excellent fodder for discussion and debate among older teens.'

Picture Books in Canada

'Second Story Press was co-founded in 1988 by Margie Wolfe and three other women dedicated to publishing feminist-inspired books for adults and young readers...[The] list spans adult fiction and nonfiction, children's fiction, nonfiction and picture books, and YA fiction and nonfiction
 Second Story Press Submission Guidelines:  Please be advised that Second Story Press focuses on Canadian authors

Sharing my author journey...

The website said:  We don't consider unsolicited queries or manuscripts.
But what does that really mean?

They (you know, those people who put all that helpful (?) advise on the Internet) say, "Some publishers do that, but it's only a test. If you truly believe in your work you'll send it to them. If it's good they'll accept it."
My writing is good. I'm willing to go to the wall for it. So I sent my manuscript to that publisher (truth be told I sent them more than one--I wanted them to know how prolific I am.)
About a month later, I heard a knock on my door. 
By the return address, I knew the package was from them. It was a package, not an envelope. I ripped it open excepting to find hoping to find an acceptance letter, a contract. 
The package was heavy because it contained all of my manuscripts. The letter reiterated what was stated on their website and explained that they hadn't read any of my work. 
They're wrong. I gained nothing by fudging the rules. 
What am I going to do now?
Stamps are expensive. Why not play by the rules? 
My plan:  I will be submitting my manuscripts to publishing houses who want to read them. The more I explore the Internet, the more publishing houses I find.

November was a very productive month.
I sent...
-75 picture book manuscripts 
-1 short story collection
I wrote...
-4 picture book manuscripts
-1 short story for adult readers