This is not something I ever thought I would say, but in this specific case, I think Shadows of the Sun should have been a fantasy :).
Let me tell you the story of a young protagonist whose only desire was to see the big, broad world and meet everyone in it.
She started as nothing more than an intrusive dream, a little monkey-like person poling a raft through a tangled jungle.
But that wasn't enough for her. She couldn't be satisfied by something as little as a presence in one tiny mind. No, she wanted it all.
Persistence won out and this young protagonist wiggled her way into a short story, sure this would be enough to soothe her heart. And for a good number of years, it was enough.
Only as time passed, the story grew too small to fit her ambition, too tiny to speak to the complexities she knew she had in her. She wanted...a novel!
And sure enough, she had the will to make a way, forcing herself back into that tiny mind, making a space, refusing to be forgotten until...a novel was born.
But that wasn't the end of her trials; no, it seemed more like a beginning. From there she had to wait half written as the author when wandering off to play with...of all things...the very same protagonist whom Kyrnie had originally convinced to share the stage way back when both accepted their limits in a short story world.
Her patience paid off though, and her story reached its full, necessary body.
But no one was reading it!
Again, she sat on her author's shoulder, poking and prodding until edits happened. Oh the agony. What she'd thought as a beautiful telling, rather than being praised, was ripped and torn and reformed. She went through numerous critique cycles, her beginning chapters thrown away time and time again. Then came a professional critique, and even the opportunity to star as an example in several writing classes.
With each iteration, once she recovered from the struggle, she grew stronger, more polished, and more refined. Until...
The day came when the author felt she had grown enough, improved enough, to take on the ultimate challenge, to scale the very last wall before being sent out all over the world.
And she was ready.
Yep, definitely a farm girl to dragon tamer story :).
And in case you missed the point that was hidden beneath the fantasy, Shadows of the Sun is, at this very moment, winging its way into the hands of the first ever agent to look upon its pages. If all that training and refining worked, she should be up to the challenge.
Thank you to all the secondary characters in her story who help the heroine learn, stretch, and grow into what she has now become :).