Imagine handing that first draft to a professional editor who suggests major revisions: slashing and re-working the first three chapters, re-writing the end, sorting out complicated plot details, and fixing grammatical errors.
Imagine incorporating all that revision and submitting a polished final manuscript to the publisher in less than a month.
Now imagine you’re 12 years old.
A Shot in the Dark is set in a non-specified future, when the Earth and most of the human population has been decimated by years of meteor showers. The landscape is bleak, but that works as a perfect backdrop for the novel’s rich character relationships.
Chyna, the protagonist of the story, is a 16-year-old girl burdened with guilt over events that brought misery to her family. Throughout the story she is pursued by a violent gang, whose leader is convinced she’s done him wrong. Chyna is incredibly tough and survives physical injury as well as mental torment. A number of supporting characters provide her the opportunity to explore issues like trust, regret, friendship, and loyalty.
We witness Chyna’s inner development, too. She works through new levels of acceptance as she realizes that sometimes people do bad things for good reasons, and we see her emotional development as she grows to understand her enemies. In one scene, she and another character acknowledge they could be friends on a personal level, but in the world they live in, they must remain enemies.
Against the backdrop of an exciting post-disaster plot, this novel explores complex and sophisticated interpersonal relationships . . .
And just imagine . . . the author is 12 years old.