MACON – Mercer University junior Elizabeth Tammi, a creative writing and journalism double-major from Oviedo, Florida, will release her debut novel, Outrun the Wind, on Nov. 27. A book release and signing event will take place that evening at 6 p.m. in the Presidents Dining Room on the Macon campus.
Outrun the Wind is a sapphic retelling of the Hunters of Artemis and reimagining of the story of Atalanta, a renowned and swift-footed huntress in Greek mythology.
The book has already been named one of Barnes & Noble’s “50 Most Anticipated Young Adult Fantasy Novels of 2018” and “Most Anticipated LGBTQAP Books of 2018.”
Tammi, a Stamps Scholar at Mercer, said she first learned about the Olympian gods and the heroes of Greek myth in elementary school and was instantly intrigued by the chaotic and emotional spectrum the stories explored.
“Kids are often asked what they want to be when they grow up, and the earliest answer I can remember offering was author,” she said. “My parents really pushed reading on me growing up, and I fell in love with books. To me, it seemed clear that I should be an author, too.”
Tammi set a goal to finish a book before she turned 18, and she did.
“The night before, actually,” she said. “That book was super awful, but it taught me so much about how to write and how the publishing industry operates. I threw myself into the game after that, determined to make my second manuscript a ‘real’ book.”
She wrote Outrun the Wind during her first semester at Mercer and received feedback from a number of people before pitching it to agents. She eventually reached a publishing deal with Flux, a young adult imprint of North Star Editions Inc., a privately owned publisher based in Minnesota.
Tammi signed with Flux during the fall of 2017 and went through a few rounds of edits with the company’s editorial team before turning in the final version of her book in March. Since then, advance copies have been circulating in preparation for its publication date of Nov. 27.
“It’s been so magical seeing readers react to the advance copies, and I’m very excited for the book to be available in stores and online,” she said.
Tammi said her book is a youthful, female perspective on a tale that was originally only written by male poets, and she’s thrilled to see how readers react to the elements she changed and those she kept constant.
She said she is grateful for many supportive professors at Mercer who have been “the ultimate cheerleaders” for her during this process.
“I’m lucky to be part of an academic community that fosters and appreciates creativity and has taught me the discipline and determination that made Outrun the Wind possible,” she said.