June 25, 2013

Guest Post + Giveaway: The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke

Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke

Title: The Neptune Project
Author: Polly Holyoke
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: May 21st 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi

With her weak eyes and useless lungs that often leave her gasping for air, Nere feels more at home swimming with the dolphins her mother studies than she does hanging out with her classmates. Nere has never understood why she is so much more comfortable and confident in the water than on land until the day she learns the shocking truth—she is one of a group of kids who have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of the "Neptune Project" are supposed to build a better future under the waves, safe from the terrible famines and wars and that rock the surface world.
But there are some big challenges ahead of her: no one ever asked Nere if she wanted to be part of a science experiment; the other Neptune kids aren't exactly the friendliest bunch, and in order to reach the safe haven of the new Neptune colony, Nere and her fellow mutates must swim across hundreds of miles of dangerous ocean, relying on their wits, their loyal dolphins and one another to evade terrifying undersea creatures and a government that will stop at nothing to capture the Neptune kids ... dead or alive.
Fierce battle and daring escapes abound as Nere and her friend race to safety in this action-packed marine adventure.

***Guest Post***

Polly Holyoke on My Writing Process

I’m definitely a writer who likes to know where I’m going when I start a novel. I’m always amazed by those authors who only vaguely know their main character and story arc before they bravely begin their book. That approach is way too scary for me! Maybe it’s because I’ve spent so much time hiking and climbing mountains with sharp, unexpected drops and gorges, but I like to have a map before I start.

I daydream most of my story before I begin. I usually start with a character which has a major problem or goal, and I think a great deal about this character, the challenges she faces and the world she inhabits. Because I write historicals, fantasy and science fiction, setting is always an important part of my story. If I have to do research, I try to have most, but not all of it done, before I begin writing.

Early on in my career I went to a workshop with a prolific commercial author who said she usually dreams up the twenty key scenes in her story, and once she has those down, the rest of her novel falls into place. I found that approach works well for me. I outline the 15-20 key scenes in a synopsis, and once I have my character and those scenes, I have my map and I’m ready to start writing. After my characters come to life, they do have a surprising amount of free will. They have been known to take some interesting detours from the path I outlined, but they always end up at the destination I had in mind for them.

My writing is my job, and I treat it like one. When I’m producing a first draft, I set daily word and page counts for myself. If I’m having a bad writing day and get stuck, I skip ahead to a more interesting scene, and then I usually can make forward progress. I can always circle back and finish the other scene later.

I don’t allow myself to have writers block, but if my writing really isn’t going well, I’m a big believer in taking a break for a fresh cup of tea, a brisk walk or a long shower, and then it’s back to work.

I do feel incredibly fortunate to have such a wonderful job. Writing is hard, but I often get swept away in the adventures my characters are having. While I was writing THE NEPTUNE PROJECT, I was probably the only mom in the afternoon carpool line who had spent her day fighting imaginary sharks and giant squid!

About the Author:
Polly Holyoke

Polly Holyoke has been imagining stories since she was in fifth grade. When she isn’t writing, Polly loves reading, camping, skiing, scuba diving and hiking in the desert (where she quite stupidly got herself bitten by a rattlesnake). She lives with three rescue dogs, two spoiled cats and a nice husband who is tolerant about the piles of books all over their house. Her debut middlegrade novel, THE NEPTUNE PROJECT, is the story of a young girl leading a group of genetically altered teens fighting to survive in the sea. She is thrilled that this novel will be published by Disney/Hyperion and Puffin Books UK summer, 2013. She thinks the best part about being an author is going to work in her sweatpants and getting paid for daydreaming!

Purchase Links:

***Tour Wide Giveaway***

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. So sad this is US only. The book sounds really interesting. Good luck everyone :)

  2. This is a wonderful guest post Polly.

    Thanks for participating, Jessabella :)

  3. This sounds like a really interesting book, thanks for holding a giveaway for it!

  4. I loved the authors guest post, I enjoyed hearing about her writing process! This book looks interesting :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. This book sounds really cool! I like undersea books. <3


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