The rates change does not affect any 2022 edit scheduled prior to January 1, 2022. Therefore, if you schedule your edit in 2021, the 2021 rates will apply.
The new rates are still below the median editorial rates as provided by the Editorial Freelancers Association. I will always aim to provide editing at an affordable rate for indie authors, and I am looking for ways to assist indie authors in saving for their investment in editing.
In "Falling & Uprising," Natalie Cammaratta skillfully combines the old Hollywood glamour and witty banter of a classic Marilyn Monroe film with the suspense and worldbuilding of "Catching Fire," all in an apocalyptical setting that is all too real after the recent UN report. Like most YA apocalyptical dystopian novels, "Falling & Uprising" touches on inequality, governmental control, and environmental issues, but Natalie veers from a typical YA dystopian by making the protagonist a privileged, rich, and famous teenage girl. Serenity's worldview crashes when she learns of the other islands, and we follow her as she uses her privilege to take down the system that created it. This switch in perspective is both interesting and challenging. It's hard to create a sympathetic character in a teen who has everything, yet Serenity's sense of justice and loyalty makes her relatable.
It helps that we also get the oppressed's perspective through Bram, a grumpy marshal who was mysteriously saved from the system. Bram expresses the reader's doubts toward Serenity, which pushes the reader to feel defensive. Serenity in turn keeps Bram uncomfortable; she forces him to see that most Kaycians are not the enemy but a duped people. The tension between Bram and Serenity adds dimension to their perspectives and their world.
While the lead characters are male and female, Natalie left plenty of room for the Bechdel test. Not only does Serenity recruit her best friend Vogue to the uprising but she also unites and befriends all the Kaycians working with her toward the end of the Establishment. Although there is romance in the air (team Bram), the girls in the cast brainstorm solutions and discuss societal issues and technology. It's definitely a STEAM-friendly book.
However, the one thing I didn't notice was any persons of color. Whether there is truly a lack of people of color in Kaycie or if it was my fault as a reader in picking up descriptions, I'm not sure. It will be interesting to see how the character descriptions expand as Bram and Serenity's worlds expand in Book 2.
Overall, this book made me think, and it also made me want to drink merlot and martinis while thinking. I enjoyed reading it and ruminating over it. I recommend it to anyone who loves the glamour of Downton Abbey and the first half of "Catching Fire."
Visit Natalie's website and purchase "Falling & Uprising" through Bookshop and Amazon.
If you know me, you know this isn't a normal read for me. I'm easily spooked (I still contend that Jurassic Park is a scary movie.), and this book is SCARY. Shadow people are probably the most terrifying paranormal creature. If you don't believe me, listen to episode 59 of "Timesuck with Dan Cummins." But if I was going to read a paranormal thriller, it would be by Nicole MacCarron.
This book gave me all the feels. Sure, it gave me vivid nightmares about nonkillable zombies, but Nicole masterfully balances terror and horror with humor and heartfelt moments. In Hazel and her five classmates (ALL GIRLS. I don't think a boy is mentioned outside of a Coach, teacher, absent family member, or ghost. Bechdel Test Approved!), Nicole creates a diverse cast that includes both persons of color and queer characters. AND Hazel is a fat, talented athlete! Most of the girls I competed with as a teen were like Hazel, and I'd love to see this represented more in YA books.
These girls have clashing personalities and ideas. Some are more abrupt and some are more nurturing, but they are all well-developed with backstory, action, and dialogue. In their own unique ways, they comfort, mourn, and puzzle out solutions together. With them, I laughed, I cried, I had nightmares.
Nicole utilizes both plot and prose to create a well-paced book. There is just enough set up to make you care when all hell breaks loose. And it escalates quickly--it is a zombie apocalypses, after all--but then it deescalates, giving the reader (and characters) a short break while suspense and tension builds through subplots about friendship, sisters, and crushes (all of which I'm a sucker for.)
If you like "Hocus Pocus" and "Dawn of the Dead," I think you'll love "Hazel's Shadow."
BONUS: The sequel, "Hazel's Mirror," is being released tomorrow, October 21, 2021 and was edited by yours truly, so I can tell you it does not disappoint.
"Hazel's Shadow" is available on Amazon and Indigo (Kobo). Check out Nicole's website for more information.
Sarah Hawkins is a geek for the written word. She's an author and freelance editor who seeks to promote and uplift the authors around her.
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