Title: The Well's End
Author: Seth Fishman
Publisher: Putnum Juvenile (Penguin)
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Half a world away, the Chinese military has a target list of ten US cities in case of war. Most are obvious (DC, NY, LA) and some a little less so (Atlanta for instance has the CDC) . . . but one is an absolute mystery: Fenton, Colorado. Unfortunately for her, sixteen-year-old Mia Kish is about to find out what makes Fenton so special when emergency sirens start blaring and ritzy Westbrook Academy is put on lockdown. No students in or out until otherwise notified. For the rich boarders whose homes are safely states away, their concerns are missed vacations and trips home, but for the handful of townies, like Mia and her friends Jo and Rob, there’s no escaping the danger.
The situation becomes dire when students and faculty are stricken with a strange illness that ages them years in a matter of hours, the end result death, seemingly from old age. No one knows what to do, but Mia and her friends are not just going to sit there while their parents might be in mortal danger. They escape the school grounds in search of a cure and answers; answers they hope to find in the sealed off mountain bunker where her father supposedly runs Fenton Tech. But along the way, they discover that the military presence is not what it seems, and that the long buried secret of Fenton is a fabled object of myth and legend that may actually exist deep within the earth below.
I wouldn't exactly say I wasted months of time on researching poisons, but it certainly was a shame when I changed my mind to write about viruses instead. I guess I need to get to poisons in a future book. For The Well's End, I drew heavily on my experience as a camp counselor for years, though I do wish I could have spent real time in a boarding school to get the feel for it. That first hand research led to too many curse words (my campers were very dirty) and references to topics long since gone out of style, so I had to do more research to legitimize. More importantly, I did tons of research on Mia. I really asked, interviewed, thought about the implication of me writing from a young woman's perspective, and believe it helped. Though, how will I ever know without your reactions? I also have a friend who missed out on the US Olympic Swimming Team by such a small margin it hurts. He taught me about swimming at a high level, about how hot the water is and how it smells and drag suits and all that fun stuff. I love good research; it's just hard to find the time. People always say 'write what you know', but if you research, you can write about anything.
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About the Author
Seth Fishman is best known as a New York literary agent at the Gernert Company whose client roster includes ingenue National Book Award Finalist, Tea Obreht. Seth is also the recipient of an MFA from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. The Well's End is his first novel.
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