Born in a Treacherous Time

How I’m Doing on Born in a Treacherous Time V

I’m getting close to the June launch date for my latest WIP, Born in a Treacherous Time. I even have a one-line blurb:

Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive in a world where nature rules, predators stalk them, and a violent group of powerful men threaten to destroy everything Lucy thinks she understands.

If you read To Hunt a Sub and loved the cameos of Lucy, the ancient female, Born in a Treacherous Time reveals her life, why she appeared to Kali as sad, and how she set off on what would become man’s African exodus. Also: You’ll learn how to knap tools, steal carcasses from Scimitar-tooth cats, track prey, and avoid the deadly dangers that filled early man’s world.

With a planned publication date of June, here’s how I’m doing.

  • I now have a title for this four-book series about man’s ongoing ability to survive despite deadly odds: Man vs. Nature. Surviving nature is the meat of the story after all. Who would think such small mammals with few built-in defensive capabilities would end up the Apex predator. How that happened and the journeys we traveled to get here is the theme of this series.
  • I roughed out a logo for the series. I’d love for you to weigh in on it in the comments:

Earliest man on the left; modern man on the right. Lucy (hero of this book) is second from the left.

  • My editor turned around required changes. When I completed them, I sent out lots of query letters to agents but no takers so far. Their typical response: Too niche. I chatted with other authors of prehistoric fiction. None of them–not a single one–found traditional publishers despite the long-ago success of Jean Auel. All of them self-published and are doing fine with that approach.
  • I got a lot of good hints on publishing from Jane Friedman‘s webinar series on writing/publishing books.
  • I’m preparing to send the book to my cover artist. I don’t have as clear an idea on what this cover should look like as I had for the Rowe-Delamagente series. I’m hoping she knows how to fix that.
  • I’ve drafted out the sequel with a working title of Crossroads. It will cover the appearance and dominance of Lucy’s successor, Homo erectus. That species of man is the longest-living of all, including us (we’re Homo sapiens).

By the way, the large dog on this post is an ancient predecessor to wolves and dogs and figures prominently in Lucy’s story.

More on Born in a Treacherous Time

How I’m Doing on Born in a Treacherous Time IV

How I’m Doing on Born in a Treacherous Time III

How I’m Doing on Born in a Treacherous Time II


Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. The sequel to To Hunt a Sub, Twenty-four Days, is scheduled for Summer, 2017. Click to follow its progress.

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68 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on Born in a Treacherous Time V

  1. I really like the silhouette cover idea. You are impressing me and inspiring me so much with how far you have come. And also reminding me of the frustration when we try to reach agents and they’re so afraid no publisher will take us because it’s a certain niche or that there is not enough audience for our stories. I’m glad you are good with self publishing. Go! Go! Go!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like you are right where you need to be! I was surprised to read that this is considered too “niche.” How frustrating! But I’m glad it has worked out for you to do it on your own. Love the logo – very cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I once researched the domestication of the dog. Fascinating. I think I even wrote an article, but never got around to publishing it or maybe no one wanted to know where Fido came from and turned it down. Anyway, I love your book even if I haven’t read it yet. Good luck with your launch. Do you need some vitamins?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: How I’m Doing on Born in a Treacherous Time VI | WordDreams...

  5. That’s the way it is in Hollywood: Everything is “too niche” — read: box-office poison — until somebody defies the odds. Pirate movies were considered surefire bombs until Johnny Depp proved otherwise. What can you do?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t know that prehistoric novels are viewed as too niche by traditional publishers – are they mad?! Maybe it would be viewed differently in other countries like France or Germany – have you ever thought of translating your work and try publishing it in Europe for instance?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know they were niche either until I started contacting the publishers of my favorite prehistoric fiction books. There weren’t any traditional! ‘Historic fiction’ usually means recent times. Sigh. Good suggestion about translating. I must look into that.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s amazing to me that a whole genre of books is “too niche.” Does that mean without self-publishing none of those books would exist? I’m so grateful that self-publishing has broadened not only publishing options, but reading options. You’re doing great, Jacqui. Keep it up!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Hi Jacqui – in due course … you could I guess send it out as chapters … – an option … probably not one you’ll want to do!

    Do you need the ‘them’ after predators stalk … just leave those two words? I don’t like the logo looking as a line … not sure what you do about that … and I agree re the people … but I’m sure it’ll work itself out. Well done – and yes Jane Friedman seems to be very down to earth … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jacqui, I think your logline is perfect. I’m really glad this is going to be a series as the first book is so intriguing. Sorry the agents are blowing you off – take a look at the “newcomers” in trad publishing – tell-alls by celebrities, politicians, athletes, and other entertainers, all written by ghost writers. Guaranteed sales and discouraging to all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like an intriguing concept, one that’s not done much. Of course, that makes agents leery, but it’s often the uncommon books that suddenly take off and do well since they’re unique in their presentation (think Gone Girl and the unreliable narrator). I like your logo image. Good luck with everything heading forward. You’ve made impressive progress!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I’ve had 2 agents for my novels, but no sales, which is why in the end I went indie, and I don’t regret it one bit. Yes, it would be lovely to have a traditionally published book in the shops, but frankly there are too many negatives to going trad these days – I know, I have 2 trad published non-fiction books.
    Re your logo – I love the idea, but perhaps still needs a little work yet? The soldier on the right is obvious, but what is the other weapon? And which character does that arm belong to? Perhaps no. 3 needs to brandish a weapon as well, so we can get a clear sense of progression.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good input. I can see what you’re saying. The second from the right is a spear, to show man now defends himself aggressively. The two on the left, their defense is to run so they get no weapons! I definitely need to work on that.

      Liked by 1 person

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