02 January 2019

VIVOS update

VIVOS is my first novel, which I’m trying to get published traditionally. It compares most closely to The Handmaid’s Tale. I started writing it in April of 2014, and it’s been quite a journey. Now it’s a completely different book from the one I first envisioned, the one I sent to my beta readers.

I recently revised the last one-third of my manuscript due to a revise-and-resubmit request from a publisher who wrote me a passionate and detailed email suggesting ways to improve that part of the book. I shared the publisher’s response with my editor, and she said it was the most positive rejection letter she’d ever seen. I read VIVOS with that email in mind and agreed that I could make VIVOS better. What was once a New Adult Dystopian novel has matured into an Adult Dystopian Thriller novel with an exhilarating ending. Shea Donovan, the protagonist, has a more satisfying character arc. The story is darker and more suspenseful. Here’s a brief description of my novel:

“VIVOS takes current world issues and fast-forwards them to the year 2034. Anti-heroine, Shea Donovan, a snarky twenty-two-year-old with bipolar disorder, tells her dark story with self-effacing irony and evolving cognizance.

Genetic disease and apocalyptic weather drive Shea and her family underground, where twelve senior men, called the Elders, run Vivos, a religious shelter for the Elite. Believing that life aboveground has been extinguished, the Donovans settle into a spartan existence characterized by surveillance and increasing punishments. Soon the Elders announce that God has commanded them to repopulate the earth by breeding with all fertile females age sixteen and above. When the time for Shea’s breeding ceremony arrives, she panics and blacks out. She awakens in the desert brutalized and alone. Battling bipolar symptoms and unsure of the distinction between reality and illusion, Shea’s quest for survival and saving her family clashes with her deep-seated desire for revenge.”

I have been working hard to get VIVOS published. I have sent out 72 queries to agents and publishers, resulting in six full manuscript requests. Three of those requests were for the old VIVOS, and it was rejected by all three. Three of those requests are recent and are all from publishers. They are for the new VIVOS, which is a much better book. I am encouraged by the recent interest in my novel.