My new novel just advanced to a Top 25 finalist in the 2020 Launch Pad Manuscript Competition.

Now in its third year, this manuscript competition searches for the most impressive, cinematic and captivating prose from emerging writers. It has resulted in over 40 projects set up and 12 books published in collaboration with Inkshares. The winners will be announced July 16.

Set in a near future Midwest city, REAL GIRL is about a lifelike robot who tries to escape from an augmented reality competition where people can hunt and kill her for sport. I conducted more than a year of original research for this story as a former reporter with a master’s degree in journalism. That includes interviews with cybersecurity experts, virtual reality coders, and even manufacturers of artificially intelligent robots.

This is now the second competition REAL GIRL has placed in. My manuscript also beat out more than 1,000 other books to become a quarterfinalist in the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition. While it did not advance to the next round, I was encouraged that my still unpublished science fiction thriller even made it into their top 10 percent of submissions. It also reiterates this feedback I received last year from a professional developmental editor through Writer’s Digest:

“This is one of the best unpublished manuscripts I have ever read,” the editor wrote. “It also has strong movie/tv potential and should be pitched to movie agents as well as book agents. The strong vision of a coherent future world that is interesting and unique, coupled with enormous heart and emotional impact, could make this an attractive media project.”