Winners circle

Published Graduates

Jake Geek by Reonne Haslett
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Reonne Haslett

Published Work: JAKE/GEEK: Quest for Oshi

Rene is a graduate of Institute for Children’s Literature. View Course Catalog >

Welcome to the Winners’ Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Reonne Haslett and her book Jake/Geek: Quest for Oshi.

JAKE_GEEK_cover_FRONT-3What is the name of your book? Who is the publisher?

JAKE/GEEK: Quest for Oshi
Published by Expansive Press (my company)

Give us a short summary of your book or article.

What happens when 15-year-old cyber genius Jake Green discovers that his best friend, Oshi O’Malley, is missing? Jake’s convinced a virus he planted in a rival’s laptop may have caused her disappearance. He won’t stop until he finds her, including breaking into a top-secret military base using psychic cloaking, an implanted microchip, and futuristic spyware from the Department of Paranormal Research at Stanford to uncover who’s behind a classified experimental project, ENERGENX. Jake’s beliefs are shaken to their core when he enters a particle transmutation pod and drops into the World Wide Web, where he fends off creepy avatars in a battle for his brain. Will Jake find Oshi in time—and will they come out of this alive?

Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published.

About 10 years ago I enrolled in the Institute of Children’s Literature program. After completion I was asked if I wanted to enter the Advanced Program and write a book. Of course, I chose my favorite genre, Sci-Fi. At the time, my daughter was a preteen and I was concerned about computer privacy and was very interested in the world of hackers. My protagonist, Jake Green, a 15-year-old hacker, came out of this exploration.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a young child, winning an award for my first Sci-Fi story in 3rd grade. I have written poems, books, screenplays, and blog articles, including for my blog about grieving: https://www.reinventingmyself-agrievingwidowsjourney.com. I love to write.

What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal – I enjoy writing about subjects that expand our horizons and our minds. Hence the name of my publishing company, Expansive Press.

Please list the course or courses you’ve taken with us.

I took the Beginners course in writing for children and then the Advanced Writer’s course to complete a novel.
Writing for Children and Teens
Shape, Write, and Sell Your Novel

How has taking our courses helped your writing and/or career?

Taking the courses from the Institute for Writers helped me immensely in my career as a fiction writer. The instructors were excellent and I learned so much, especially in the Advanced course when I was able to request Deborah Vetter as my Instructor. She is a highly skilled editor with tons of experience in the industry. Her editing of my book was invaluable.

Have any of your class assignments been published? If so, where and when?
My completed novel, JAKE/GEEK: Quest for Oshi was published on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and several other outlets.

Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
Discipline. This is where I struggle the most. Stephen King says to carve out 4 hours per day to write. Don’t let anyone interrupt you. I had to rent an office to get away from home because there were too many distractions. If you are like me and get distracted easily by the goings-on at home, rent an office space a few days a week. Find a place where you can be entirely cloistered with no interruptions.

If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?
I would go back to when I was a young child and first started writing fantastical stories. I would tell myself how awesome these stories were and encourage myself to keep going. Never give up. These are expressions of our inner selves. I didn’t have the encouragement I needed back then, so I went into business for 30 years rather than follow my longing to write. Now I write everyday and am working on several ideas, including the second book in the JAKE/GEEK series.

Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL and IFW.

During my courses I had to be accountable with my assignments which really taught me how important it is to be disciplined if you want a career in writing.

How does it feel to be a published author?

It feels fantastic to have finally brought JAKE/GEEK to the light. I’m excited for all the YA lovers out there to read my book!

 

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