Talented writer Rachel (Ray) Carr has been awarded a contract to complete their novel Guardian Angel.
The 16-year-old was the youngest writer of the 1000 chosen by WebNovel (an online writing and publishing site) to receive a contract for writing. Then, as an added bonus, in late July Guardian Angel was chosen as part of the Spirity competition (held by WebNovel), where writers can win prizes for completing novels. “I learnt that to be eligible to win the top section of the price category for the competition, my book would need 120,000 words,” said Ray.
“At this point, I had only finished the draft for the first 28 or so chapters of my book (22,242 words). I chose to give myself the challenge of writing 100,000 words in 66 days (the closing date is 30 September and I wanted editing time). This would mean I would need to write about 1,500 words every day. I’m currently at 54,000 words (as of yesterday).”
Ray started the writing challenge on 25 July and is on track to complete the novel in time – despite the challenges of suddenly being in lockdown.
The young author started writing in Year 6. “My first writing account was opened in September of 2018 but I had been writing for several years before that on paper and in journals,” they said. “My first published piece online was one of my poems from my first poetry book Warning Signs which is also what I’m most well known for online.”
Ray has a complete book of poetry (100 poems) online and is working on a second one. “I have several books I update every week and I have several books I have written with other people – some of which are posted on other people’s pages and some are on mine. I have a completed book on my first page, but it isn’t very long and needs a lot of work,” they said.
Ray is planning to go to University after high school, to most likely study journalism and criminology. “I am hoping I will be able to get in contact with a publishing firm to publish my novel, and that should help me with getting myself out there to write more books,” they said. “I have always wanted to speak at the Auckland Writers’ Festival and am hoping I will be able to accomplish that through my writing and this book.”
Ray’s love of writing comes from a passion for communicating. “I love the freedom writing gives me – the ability to convey my emotions through my characters and produce something that means a lot to me. Hopefully I can help and inspire others, especially with the subjects and situations I cover in Guardian Angel. Writing gives me a sense of accomplishment – that I have the ability to create something that is unique and new that I hope will be loved by my readers. It’s an outlet for my creativity and imagination, and gives me a chance to get everything out of my head and down into words, that share a personal story through the eyes of my characters or through my poems.”
Guardian Angel is a three-part story that covers a lot of sensitive subjects. Has it whet your appetite? Here’s a synopsis:
This story is of political corruption, segregation, Darwinism, dystopian lifestyles, combated religion, broken families and a young girl who just wants a change. Set in a futuristic world where money is the only thing keeping people afloat, and where sly deals and armed men stain the city streets.
The ‘Government’, as it has been most commonly referred to, took charge of the city 26 years ago, when it promised people a better life. A life free of worry, crime and discrimination. People believed them; but lies can be told, promises can be broken, and people can be misled. Now, all but a small portion of the city lies in waste, caged in a man-made moat that keeps the criminals in and the wealthy under the Government’s command. Those who can afford Governmental protection live in their banknote-lined bubble, safe and secure but not always sinless. Those who can’t, well, they must sleep with one eye open and fend for themselves or face the consequences at the cruel hands of the Government.
Something has got to change, and someone has to be brave, stubborn or angry enough to make sure that happens.