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  • Writer's picturePortland Jones

Rising up - Book 1 Tranquillity series

Tanya Ross

In this world of chaos that we live in, we often hear the admonition to be kind. If everyone just ‘scrolled past’ the things that made them angry and concentrated on happy thoughts, wouldn’t the world be a better place? They may be on the right track, the people that believe such things.

How about a world that values kindness? Where your place in society is determined by your happiness and your contribution to that of others? Where this is measured and translated into your worth and what you deserve from life? The happier you are, the better the place you live, the better the clothes you wear; even the food you eat is better.

If you don’t maintain the required standard of happiness, you will be sent for counselling and may even be expelled from this tranquil place – or put to death. Yet to meet the standard you have to subdue your thoughts. Grief is not allowed. Loving someone from a different status is not allowed. Having independent thought is not allowed.

For the majority that live there, the world is a wonderful place to be. For some it is not. Ember is an empath. She feels the emotions of others, something she keeps secret. Will is forbidden to love her. Xander is his own person – good or bad only time will tell.

Yet there is something emerging, a truth that will send shock waves breaking through the illusion of a perfect world.

Amazon tells me that this book is placed in teen and young adult dystopian sci-fi, and also young adult emotions and feelings fiction. I have read it and thoroughly enjoyed it, and I am definitely at the other end of the spectrum to young adult. Is it dystopian? In many ways it’s not so removed from our current world – people living in areas decided by their income which in turn is driven by their background, people trying to make their perfect world by ignoring what is around them.

For me what makes this book so readable is the relationships between the characters, and how they are each affected by their environment. Their individuality affects their behaviour and how they find a way to survive in this perfect world.

The concepts and people at times seem a little simplistic yet this makes the setting of this world believable. If everyone is happy, there is no angst to drive the soul-searching. Watching Ember and Will, and their relationship, develop as they better understand that all is not as it seems is touching.

Perhaps this book contains a warning – beware what you wish for. It may come true.

I asked the author to tell us about themself and their publishing journey

I grab things from my own life to recreate in my fictional novels. People, places, technology, and my experiences teaching middle school all contribute to the works I produce. Writing allows me to be creative, which is a part of me that I need to express, especially since I retired from teaching, where my previous energy and creativity were used every day.

I decided to self-publish because I’m not a young person. I didn’t want to be spinning my wheels and wasting time waiting for someone to recognise me in order to begin my second career.

For my first novel, I hired an editor, someone inexpensive, who didn’t give me much help or suggest many edits at all. Since it was already an investment, I didn’t go for a second round with another person. I chose to revise and edit on my own. For my second novel, I hired a person, for three times the amount I paid the first one, who took six weeks and three rounds to edit. It was worth it.

I purchased a pre-made cover for my first novel, Rising Up. When I realised it didn’t really hit the mark, I hired an award-winning designer to create a new cover. She is amazing and I’m very happy with her.

Marketing is super challenging. It is extremely time consuming and not easy to discover the right targets and key words. I’ve had most success with Facebook posts and speaking engagements in schools.

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