Crossroads / Man vs Nature / Survival of the Fittest

How I’m Doing on Survival of the Fittest — 4

My current writing endeavor is the saga of survival, endurance, and tenacity in the face of unconquerable odds. It is a group of trilogies called Man vs. Nature that address seminal times in man’s evolution–when we first arrived (Dawn of Humanity), when we became dominant (Crossroads), and when we became really smart (not yet started):

Written in the spirit of Jean Auel, the Man vs. Nature saga follows early humans as they struggle to survive a world where Nature is King and man is prey, where what didn’t kill them made them stronger. 

Occurring a hundred thousand years after Born in a Treacherous Timethe first book in this saga, Survival of the Fittest covers a time in prehistory when man populated most of Eurasia. He was a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate those who came before.:

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands following an escape path laid out decades before by her father as a final desperate attempt at survival. She is joined by other tribes fleeing from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature itself, Xhosa must face the reality that her enemy doesn’t want to ruin her People. It’s more personal than that.

With a planned publication of May 2019 (Book 2, October 2019), here’s how I’m doing.

  • I received input from my wonderful editor which I’ve been working through. It’s clear, I won’t get everything taken care of with one run-through of the book. Too many tweaks! After I have them integrated, I’ll have to read through one more time for flow, pacing, and consistency.
  • I continue to work on the book blurb. Here’s what I have:

Based on a true story, this is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion. This is a Hero’s Journey. Early man is the Hero and survival — or extinction — is the journey. My hero–as befits a thriller–is bigger-than-life and regularly does the impossible. Which is good because the future of mankind is at stake.

  • I hope to contact agents to see if there’s any interest in December. That may slip a month.
  • I’m waiting for the cover from Damonza. You may wonder why I’d spend all that money on a cover if I’m contacting agents. Then again, you may know exactly why!
  • I did settle on the tagline (which may change in the next few months):

Five tribes. One leader. A treacherous journey across two continents in search of a new home.

  • I’m considering a list of published authors I’d like to reach out to for reviews–like Kathleen O’Neal Gear. First, I’ll have to get the book up on Draft2Digital so I can offer a free ARC.
  • Here’s an updated map of the (Hero’s) journey in the Crossroads trilogy. The characters come together from disparate parts of the globe and end up finally in what will be Gran Dolina, Spain.

  • I have a title for the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga (Born in a Treacherous Time is Book 1): Dawn of Humanity, to reflect Lucy (the main character) and her kind being the first of man’s species. More on that later.

I so appreciate all of you who provided your thoughtful opinions on my tagline.

Click to be notified when Crossroads is available.

More on Survival of the Fittest

How I’m Doing on Survival of the Fittest — 3

How I’m Doing on Survival of the Fittest — 2

How I’m Doing on Crossroads–I

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, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and Born in a Treacherous Timefirst in the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Survival of the Fittest, Spring 2019, first in the Crossroads Trilogy. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning


62 thoughts on “How I’m Doing on Survival of the Fittest — 4

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  8. Doesn’t sound like you will be taking any time off for Christmas! Good luck with it all, Jacqui. I’ve no doubt you’ll meet your deadline with a cracking story =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is based on fact, extrapolations where there are no facts. 850,000 years ago, the only artifacts left are rocks and skeletal remains. Now, we know a lot from these but must intelligently guess the rest.

      As for humankind vs. man: my people considered themselves an animal like leopards, birds, the big cats–a different kind but they had no idea that a sabertooth tiger couldn’t think exactly like Homo erectus did, plan an attack and make tools. My people had great respect for animals in that way. Which is probably why I ignore any concept of ‘humankind’. It wasn’t relevant to them. Actually, neither was ‘man’ or ‘woman’. I always use ‘male’ and ‘female’. I need to do some research to see when Homo sapiens decided ‘male’ was different from ‘man’ but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t 850,000 years ago!

      Thanks for your great questions!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jacqui, the tagline is really compelling, exactly the words to make me pick up the book and walk out the door with it. And I’m so glad you’re pursuing traditional publishing via an agent with this one.

    For the blurb, might I suggest that the story is based on historical evidence rather than a true story. Maybe consider leaving out the line “This is a Hero’s Journey” which sounds like the teacher in you coming too far forward. The next line explains the idea sufficiently. I agree with Susan Scott that “quest” is strong word conveying a noble action.

    You’re doing a great job on this series, so well organized and focused. I can’t figure out a way to make a series of any of my stories. Yet, look what you’ve done!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. wow. what an epic. i think it would be good to have the main character’s name in the book blurb. perhaps more specifics. the detail rather than the big picture. just my opinion. good luck on your publication journey Jacqui.

    Liked by 1 person

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