Editor’s Note: This piece comes to us courtesy of S. R. Johannes, author of the new book [amazon_link id=”0984799125″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Untraceable[/amazon_link], a young adult wilderness thriller with a mystery, a strong teen girl, and two cute boys. Visit Johannes online at srjohannes.com and Market My Words, where she offers marketing advice for authors.
Untraceable Synopsis: Grace grew up in the woods. When her forest ranger dad disappears on patrol, she fights town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to prove he’s alive. Torn between a new mysterious boy and her feelings for a cute friend/boyfriend, she heads into the wilderness to find her dad. Soon, Grace is caught in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. It will take more than a compass and motorcycle for this tough heroine to save all she loves.
When I started Untraceable, I wanted to create a character like Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, but drop her in the real world. Today’s world.
Katniss takes care of herself. She knows how to fight, she defends her family, and she sacrifices her life and dreams for what she believes. No matter what, she tries to stay true to herself and others.
Just like Katniss stands up for Primrose and Peeta, Grace risks her life for her family and friends. She is loyal and determined to save her father, no matter the cost and against all odds. She must stand up to people in charge and fight for what she loves – no matter who she might lose.
Like Katniss, Grace’s existence does not revolve around cute boys. She lives her life, and they are a second thought. She doesn’t have time to primp or plan how to win someone over. Also like Katniss, Grace gets to choose between two great guys. There is no “bad boy” for Grace to pine over in Untraceable. Just like with Gale and Peeta, you’re torn throughout the book wondering which boy Grace will choose – Mo, the mysterious nature guy, or Wyn, the sweet and loyal city ex-boyfriend/best friend. Both guys love and respect her. They’re just different.
Like Katniss, Grace has also grown up in the woods with her forest ranger father, who trained her in wilderness survival and self-defense. She knows every name of every plant, and she knows how to track animals in the Smoky Mountains. She can live off the land if she has to, building her own fire and shelter.
The only difference is that Grace lives in a contemporary world and is not fighting a corrupt government. She struggles against a system that is unfair and slightly hidden, and with people who are greedy. A world we grapple with on a day-to-day basis.
I wanted to create a girl heroine who was not strong just because she had magical powers or lived in an imaginary world. Grace is strong because she has to be.