Teen Publishing, 77K
“Never give you the key.” I gasped. “Never.”
“You will give it to me now. Or else your brother will end up like this.” He grabbed one of the undead and pulled the grotesque, dead-eyed face down next to mine. Then, he tossed it away like a stick. This was the end, then. Gore had won. I had to at least try to save my brother, even if Gore’s promises were lies. With unbearable effort, I reached up and tried to undo the chain. I couldn’t. I tried to pull it up over my head but somehow, it became tangled in my torn clothes. I was too weak and the problem of removing the key from around my neck overwhelmingly impossible.
FIGHTING YOUR WAY TO BEING A WRITER!
Karen Hunt aka KH Mezek
I am a single mother and I raised three kids, two boys and one girls. It wasn’t easy. I also was determined to be a writer.
My mantra is #writeordie. WRITE OR DIE. I have to write. I have to be an artist. I have to be true to my calling. And I also have to be a mother. How to blend the two when they both require an intensity and a focus of purpose that is grueling and time-consuming?
I have found my way through training in marital arts, boxing, kick-boxing and Eskrima, which is Filipino stick and knife fighting.
What, you say?
Yes, I am a virtual killing machine and as a woman, I love it. I was even asked a few years ago by a rapper to be his body guard. How about that? So, it is hard to believe that once I was in an abusive marriage, isolated from friends and family and lost. What saved me was I put on a pair of running shoes and I started to run in the park. I lived in London at the time, near Kensington Gardens. I had no money, I was under the control of my “rock star” husband. But I had a pair of shoes, and I could run. Each day, I pushed myself a little bit further and through that experience, I was able to eventually leave my husband.
When I returned to the United States with one suitcase and my four year old daughter, I started training in martial arts. From there, I took up Eskrima, and then Okinawan weapons. Eventually, I started fighting full contact in boxing and kickboxing. I now know what it feels like to stand up straight and tall and not be afraid, knowing that I can defend myself. I will either win, or go down trying. It gives me great satisfaction to train other women and girls in the gym, to empower them to know that they can defend themselves. Nearly one in five women report being sexually assaulted in the United States every year. Keep in mind, that is what is reported, so the numbers have to far exceed that.
In my series, the Night Angels Chronicles, one of the important factors is that the female lead, Sera Patterson, develops through the course of the series into a superhero who can stand on her own two feet and defend herself against any foe. Yes, she has a hot love interest, that goes without saying! But also, unlike so many books being published for the female audience, she has her own identity apart from a man and she is self-sufficient. This is of paramount importance because I know what it feels like to be powerless and to live in fear. As a result, I want to do everything I can in my writing and in my life to inspire women to stand up and fight against abuse.
To this end, in 1995, I started a creative writing program in juvenile hall, in Los Angeles, called InsideOUT Writers. I first began working with group of girls, all facing life sentences for serious crimes. More than twenty years later, I still know many of those girls and they are incredible. Many spent long years in prison but are now out and married, have careers and children. Never write off a teenager as a lost cause. My dedication of Key of Mystery is in part to the young people who congregated at my house and inspired me with their stories.
For the past ten years, at least, I have taught boxing and kickboxing in the gym, and self defense for women and girls. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a teenage girl stand up straighter, with clear eyes, and no fear, fully confident in her ability to say “no.”
I really hope that my series, starting with Key of Mystery, will inspire girls and women to stand up for themselves and to learn how to fight! My training also means that I can write fight scenes from the perspective of actually being in the ring and fighting full contact, fighting with weapons, and knowing what it is like to be abused, to be hit and kicked and to live in fear, and then to overcome it.
So let’s make the Night Angels a world view for women and girls. Let’s get women around the world to unite behind this series, from the Middle East to the Far East to the Western World. We should all stand up and take charge of our love lifes! If someone touches you, kisses you, takes you down to the floor, it should be your choice, not something you feel pressured to do. In my series, Sera does not give up her identity for the sake of a relationship with an overbearing vampire who wants to control her. She grows as an individual and learns how to hold onto her power. Sera rocks! And so do we all!
Switzerland and smuggled Bibles into communist countries, to name a few of her adventures. As an adult, she continued her adventures, living between London and a village in Yugoslavia. She writes her YA works under the name KH Mezek. Key of Mystery, book I in the YA Urban Fantasy series, NIGHT ANGELS CHRONICLES, was published February 5, 2016 with Evernight Teen.