My friend, Liz Coley, author of Pretty Girl-13, has launched a new series, Tor Maddox: Unleashed, the first in a series about a girl investigating the mysterious and deadly new flu being spread by dogs. Here’s a brief synopsis about book one:
When sixteen-year old Torrance Olivia Maddox, self-confessed news junkie, figures out that the mysterious and deadly New Flu is being spread by dogs, she has one question—if the danger is that obvious to her, why hasn’t the government revealed the truth and taken action?
Her search for the answer will take her farther than she ever imagined. But then again, she never imagined that man’s best friend could become public enemy number one, that men in black might show up in her cozy suburban neighborhood, that she’d spend her sixteenth birthday as a teenaged runaway, and that her effort to save one dog would become a mission to save them all.
The following is Liz’s guest blog post explaining how she came up with the idea!
My heroine Tor Maddox was born one day in the car when NPR was running a report on the Avian Flu while my husband and I were driving past the Best Friends Veterinary Hospital. Over 20 BILLION birds were sacrificed to suppress the disease and reduce human exposure. My brain sproinged. “Wow, what if it were dogs?” I commented. “Can you imagine?”
“You should write about that,” my husband said. And that’s how Man’s Best Friend became Public Enemy Number One. This story seed germinated as my NaNoWriMo 2009 novel.
In spite of the premise, this isn’t a horror story. It’s a fun thriller, an over-the-top adventure for a teenaged heroine. Tor is impulsive, brave, optimistic, open-hearted, sneaky, and ambitious. Her family is functional. Her friends are not drug addicted, orphaned, or otherwise tortured. Still, she thwarts authority, runs away from home repeatedly, stirs up trouble all over the place, and falls for the wrong guys.
Fun fact: when I wrote the scene where Tor is squatting under a bush perusing the internet on her phone, the Apple iPhone had not yet been released, and phones didn’t yet have GPS signals. Lesson learned–never try to write near future. It arrives before the ink is dry.
Now here’s something spooky. On launch day (5/1/15), an article appeared on CNN about pit bulls carrying the plague and passing it on to humans. http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/01/health/pit-bull-plague/
Stay tuned for her next few books in the series, Tor Maddox: Embedded and Tor Maddox: Mistaken. Thank you, Liz for sharing your story about your exciting and adventurous series!