The Write Place, located in Pella, Iowa, has named Michael Van Natta of Knoxville as the winner of its 2012 Book Contest. “We had so many great entries that it was difficult to make a decision,” said Hannah Crawford, book division coordinator. “But Mike’s novel stood out—I was hooked from start to finish. We’re excited to work with him to publish it.”
It tells the story of Maria, a small-town family doctor wrongly accused of murdering two of her patients, and Leo, a construction worker trying to overcome the ghosts of his past. After Maria makes a daring escape from jail, her path crosses with Leo’s in unexpected ways.
Van Natta is a physician in Knoxville and the facilitator of the Marion County Writers Workshop. He has written six novels, but this will be the first one he has published.
“I’m ecstatic!” said Mike. “Leo’s Birds has been like a child to me—a novel I have fed and clothed, worried over and watched grow. I’m very grateful to The Write Place for helping it spread its wings.”
The Write Place anticipates that the novel will be published as a paperback and e-book in the summer of 2012.