Saturday, August 2, 2014

MEET TEAM LEAVER-CURRIE: Two Authors, One Super-Charged, Pitchwars Mentoring Team

If you want to go fast, go alone. 
If you want to go further, go together
~African Proverb

* Feel free to ask us questions in the comments or @ us on twitter *

You'll have to excuse our lack of gif's and fancy videos in this introduction. Lindsay and I are straightforward gals with a passion for beautiful language, flawed characters, and realistic dialogue. We have teamed up for #Pitchwars this year, combining our experience and passion for  YA Fiction, to choose one "super-charged" #pitchwars team. 
For us, it's all about character-driven YA. Give us quirky, complex characters whose internal conflicts are supported by well-written, compelling, and carefully placed backstory. We adore the quieter pieces were the emotional intensity and dark inner failings of your character propel the plot. Regardless of the genre or setting, we want characters we can relate to and route for and a story that lingers with us long after that last page has been read.  We will push you to dig deeper and write harder than you ever imagined possible, but trust us … in the end, it will be worth it.

A little bit about each of us:

Trisha Leaver
Let’s see … I live in a dark, historical mansion surrounded by a rusted-out, iron gate and shrouded by dead willow trees.  In my spare time, I dismember china dolls and tenderly care for my flock of ravens. Sorry, but I actually live a pretty boring, completely normal life in the hell I like to refer to as Suburbia.  Three great kids, one patient husband, and a rather defiant black lab. 

This is my second year doing #Pichwars. Last year, I had the honor of working with #thefearlessfive, a group of four, insanely talented YA authors who have become cherished friends and CP’s. Two of them are now agented and on submission *proud mentor moment*

I was on the faculty for the NESCBWI 2014 Annual conference where I presented a workshop on Crafting Endings that are Happily Ever After (Not), as well as a Pitching Workshop. I am drawn to complex characters set in a realistic world whose internal demons rival the stories external forces.  I am fanatic line editor who has a love-hate relationship with commas. My feedback tends to be honest, but not cruel and NEVER IN RED! 

I publish across the YA genres: CREED, my YA Psychological Horror (co-authored w/ Lindsay Currie) releases November 8, 2014 with Flux. My solo YA Contemporary, THE SECRETS WE KEEP, releases April 28, 2015 with FSG/ Macmillan. And HARDWIRED, our co-authored YA Contemporary-Sci-fi Thriller, will hit shelves fall of 2015 with Flux.

Little bit about my tastes:

YA Horror: It's all about the psychological aspects here. I'm not opposed to paranormal elements or a good fanged monster, I just believe that the darkness surrounding us every day is scarier than any paranormal creature one’s imagination can dream up. It’s the evil that lingers within a chosen few, their dark past and tortured existences that I'm drawn to. What can I say, I like to explore the darker side of human nature.

YA Contemporary:  My first and true love. I love a unique voice and lyrical prose.  I love complex characters who are beautifully flawed and completely relatable. I don’t need a happy-ending, but I do need closure, a spark of hope no matter how dim that light may be. I love character-driven stories where the plot is slave not master to the story, one where your characters emotional instability and internal demons drive the tension and propel the plot. I adore diverse characters and difficult themes. Written well, they shine the spotlight on important issues and open the door for conversation.

YA Sci-fi: Give me a rich setting where time and place drive your characters actions as opposed to merely proving the backdrop for drama, In a genre where external forces seem to dominate character actions, I want complicated backstories and emotionally-damaged characters whose internal demons are constantly tripping them up.

YA Historical Fiction: Three out of my four #pitchwars mentees last year wrote YA Historical Fiction; what can I say … I love it. The setting, the hint of truth, the re-imagined tellings of historical events sucks me in every time. 

Lindsay Currie
I live in Chicago, Illinois with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and one adorable, but irreverent Bullmastiff named Sam. I have been writing for as long as I can remember and this is my second year as a mentor for PitchWars. I love all types of contemporary from dark and realistic to the lighter variety. Some of my favorite young adult contemporary novels are My Life Next Door, Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone, and Far From You. 

I am represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyons Literary agency and have two co-authored books releasing: CREED, November 8, Flux and HARDWIRED, Fall 2015 from Flux. Both were written with the awesome Trisha Leaver. 

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  1. "In my spare time, I dismember china dolls..." That's totally funny, made me chuckle. I have a china doll from my youth. She's so pretty and I've kept her all these years. But the doll seems to confuse my 7 yr old daughter.

    The doll has jet black hair and sort of looks Chinese, so I think that throws her for a loop when I say the doll isn't from China, it's made of china. :)

    1. LOL...I have a cracked, rather creepy looking China doll in my closet. It was mine from when I was little. Broken and all, I can't seem to part with it :)

  2. You guys sound like a really good fit for me, except for one thing: I'm not sure my MS is acceptable as YA.

    It is about protagonists classically in the YA age range, BUT because it’s historical (12th century Normandy) they are experiencing things that I have been told are too ‘dark’ for YA. I have also been told there is no such thing as YA historical because teenagers in the past were experiencing adult things, although obviously, your listed preference for the genre gives me faith.

    I would like to pitch you, but I don’t want to offend you by then having the work turn out to be too dark (no gore! just historically accurate emotionally tragic experiences that a teenager might experience like witnessing death, warfare and the galling experienced of killing your first person, arranged marriages, miscarriages caused explicitly by being too young to bear to term) to be acceptable.

    I'm also encouraged by the how you rave about YA Horror that you won't be put off by historically accurate darker themes, but I just wanted to be doubly sure. Thank you!

  3. "I dismember china dolls and tenderly care for my flock of ravens." Love it. You wouldn't happen to have the other half of this amulet?