It wasn’t until this Beeville resident entered college that she finished this fantasy tale and was published.
Beeville resident Frank Ingram, in his review of the book, writes, “It is a magical fantasy tale, well told, that takes us with Princess Debace through her idyllic early childhood in a land empire coveted by the cruel Sou Harra.”
Maness, the eighth-grade valedictorian of St. Mary’s Academy Charter School and 2010 graduate of Jones High, said that she was inspired to write at a young age and always enjoyed the writing of Christopher Paolin, the author of Eragon.
Those thinking that Maness was too young at 11 years old to write, should also remember that Paolin began his writing at 15 years old.
And like Paolin, Maness has chosen a mythical setting for her book.
Her tale features horses as an integral part of the story — which makes sense to those who know her.
“I grew up with ranches around me and I worked with the horses there, but my mom never had any,” she said.
A student at Texas A&M, Maness said, “Right now my major is animal science but I am going to change it to ag education or ag journalism.”
Ingram, in his review, writes, “Satuu, the white stallion battle companion of the emperor, lives. He finds the royal child and talks to her through a kind of mutual mind reading. They they fly before Sou Harra’s relentless wild pursuit.
“Adventures and near misses fill this part of the story. A maybe real, maybe phantom, herd of wild horses comes in and out of the picture. They’re all overwatchers.”
Maness chose to self publish her book through Authorhouse instead of the traditional route.
“It has been selling pretty good,” she said. “That might be just because of family and people that know me.
“I am actually doing a book signing in Portland on July 16.
“That is my first book signing and I am slightly nervous.”
For those fans of the book, Maness has a sequel coming that she says hopefully won’t take as many years to finish.
“I think it will go pretty quick,” she said. “It will probably be done within the next sixth months.
“The sequel is her journey back to the empire. There is going to be a lot of action.
“I have a lot of plans for it.”
One Beeville reader, writing under the name Aggiette on Amazon.com, says, “This story is so compelling. There is always something happening which makes it difficult to put down.
“The author captures your attention in the first chapter. The ending left me wanting more, more, more! I’m assuming there is a sequel since it is subtitled “The Beginning.” Can’t wait!!”
Maness said that she will likely self publish her next also and join the millions of others worldwide making this same decision.
According to Authorhouse, self publishing has advantages over traditional publication.
“Independent publishing allows you greater editorial freedom and the ability to follow your unique vision for the project,” according to information provided by Authorhouse.
“As today’s media conglomerates continue to buy traditional publishing houses, these companies reject 98 percent of all unsolicited manuscripts.
“The only ‘problem’ with these manuscripts is they cannot guarantee a large profit margin.
“When manuscripts are accepted by these large houses, the content is edited to fit within the publisher’s vision and the production process can take over a year before a title is actually available for sale.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.