LEAPing Into the Future

Leapbadge1 (1)I recently signed on with the boutique e-publisher LEAP Books and will be launching my e-novella series RACING HEARTS in Fall 2015. LEAP gives authors a full creative and marketing suite that easily adapts to our changing trends in publishing. They are currently accepting submissions from agented and non-agented authors in YA, New Adult, and Middle Grade, both novel and novella length. Here is a little more about them:

“Having a small publishing house means you get to be picky about the books and authors you represent,” says Shannon Delany (YA author and now publisher and owner of LEAP BOOKS, LLC). “You don’t feel the pressure of filling a certain number of slots each year–you can truly make quality come before quantity.”

Thanks to longtime Leap author, Judith Graves, an enthusiastic trio of experienced YA authors has joined forces to lead LEAP Books LLC into the future. Graves had recently begun developing the SHINE e-novella line, and seeing Delany comment on Facebook about possibly starting a small publishing house of her own, Graves suggested Delany join her. But things grew from there.

LEAP BOOKS’s founder, Laurie Edwards suggested the two take over the entire house–not just a single line. In short order Delany was owner and publisher with Graves as her very capable co-publisher. The pair knew that a third member of the team was needed so they could more easily focus on their strengths. Delany contacted author and YA Fest organizer Jennifer Murgia and brought her on as Marketing Director. With the addition of a CFO and building on the established group of editors and illustrators, the new face of LEAP began to take shape.

“We’re leaping ahead with the growth of the SHINE e-novella line, but we’re gladly maintaining the foundation Edwards gave us. We have a great backlist of books written by eager authors–they just need some more attention in the market. I’m proud of LEAP’s history. If I wasn’t and I didn’t see huge potential in this company, I wouldn’t be here. The authors in our backlist are talented–we have award-winners, NYT Bestsellers… What more can you ask for?”

Learn more about LEAP, our books, our talented authors, our vision!

To kick off the official announcement of the big changes LEAP is undergoing, the LEAP Leadership Team has started a Rafflecopter contest for one lucky winner to win three Leap e-books of their choice. Enter here to win!

Counting Backwards: Florida Book Awards Gold Medal Winner

FloridaBookAwardYou guys, I just found out, Counting Backwards won the Florida Book Awards gold medal in the YA lit category. I’m so excited I’m squeeing all over the place! And the only thing better than winning the gold medal in YA lit is winning it on your birthday, which is today! My squee cannot be contained.

A special thank you to Angele McQuade and Heather Whitaker, the best writing partners a girl can have. My agent, Caryn Wiseman of Andrea Brown Literary and Namrata Tripathi and the Atheneum crew for raising me up. Celebrate, celebrate…

I love Florida!

Kirkus Review of Counting Backwards and I’m Making a Book Trailer

Here it is, my first review, compliments of Kirkus. I marked my favorite words in purple:

A troubled teen responds to therapy despite herself.

When she first arrives at Sunny Meadows, a “therapeutic boarding school” her controlling, distant father has found for her, all Taylor wants to do is escape. She is on probation for stealing a car, an impulsive act carried out to escape from life with her dysfunctional, alcoholic mother. She quickly draws the unwanted attention of a group of mean girls and the friendship of the effervescent Margo, a former child actress. She also “meets” a boy who talks to her through an air duct (that apparently connects their two rooms and no others) and arranges platonic midnight meetings thanks to his bunch of illicitly reproduced keys. She is truculent in therapy, focusing only on her plan to get out. The air-duct conversations are ludicrously unbelievable, carried out as they are with her door open, and her success at creating a mold for a key is equally incredible. Despite this, readers are likely to sympathize enough with Taylor to read past these flaws and root for her as she reluctantly embraces rehabilitation. Taylor’s character arc will surprise nobody, least of all Dr. Deb, her therapist. That process—in which grudging compliance becomes acceptance—is, if a little textbook, satisfyingly believable.

Despite a few bumps in the road, a hopeful model for growth through therapy. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Now for my review of Kirkus review: Not Too Shabby!

In other news, I’m making a book trailer. It’s a lot of fun. I recruited some of my former students to act/direct/edit for me and they are incredible. Yesterday we shot for two hours in the heat of the day and my babysitter Bethany (Taylor) had to keep running across a basketball court (the Pen), shaking a fence and screaming with Andre and Finn running with the camera and microphone in their socks behind her–with an audience of random passerbys. Something I didn’t know about Bethany, she is an amazing screamer. And Emily, who plays lead mean girl, Brandi, has the best stank face EVER. But she is actually very sweet, except for when she says, “Welcome to Sunny Meadows.” *chills*

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for news about my blog tour which will kick off at the end of July and run through August. I can’t hardly wait!

Hotlanta, Here We Come!

We’re just hours away from SCBWI, Atlanta, aka Southern Breeze. I traveled there with my critique partners Heather and Angele two years ago and listened to some great speakers, including Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein and lit agent Josh Adams. My critique with Cheryl Klein was fantastic and the early version of the book she critiqued is currently being shopped around to editors. Not only that, when we went two years ago, MUSE was playing in Atlanta and Heather, her husband, and I popped over there Saturday night for the BEST CONCERT EVER.

Memories…

Sadly, MUSE will not be joining us this year, but our trio is making the pilgrimage once again. And there are some fantastic speakers, including Newberry Honor winning author Kirby Larson, Egmont USA editor Greg Ferguson, Harper Collins editor Kristin Daly Rens and one of my own agent’s associates, Mary Kole from Andrea Brown. I’m super excited about Greg’s talk on How to Make Thrillers More Thrilling, because I have a project that is in need of some thrillerizing.

And the Marriott has an omelet station. YUM!

For the Trinity, this is a special time as well because Angele is abandoning us  moving to Germany this summer for an amazing opportunity that shant be missed. Just kidding, Ange. (I’m working through it.) All this is to say, that this trip will be EPIC! Tears. Laughs. Pillow Fights. Omelets.

Happy Pub Date, Julianna!

A good friend of mine, Julianna Baggott, is celebrating the pub date of her latest novel, PURE, a dystopian thriller which reviewers are calling a “post-apocalyptic thrill ride.” Julianna is the author of several books including the N.E. Bode series for children, THE ANYBODIES. In addition to being incredibly talented and driven, Julianna is one of the nicest people to know in real life.

With her husband Dave’s permission, I’m reposting an email he sent to her this morning congratulating her on all her hard work. It seems fitting for the Valentine’s season:

Dear Julianna,

Although you figured it out on Monday, I wanted to surprise you on Pub Day with a shower of friends and more support for Pure. All the loving, caring, sharing (is this a Journey song?) of these folks is a testament to your generosity. But the comments they most often make are filled with wonder as to how you do it. I work with you every day. I watch you in the morning, at lunch, in the afternoon, at night, with more wonder than any of the friends who admire you from afar. I’ve been with you for almost every second for the last 20 years, and I’m constantly staggered by your energy, the depth of your imagination, and maybe most importantly, your ability to “harden not your heart,” after “suffering the slings and arrows” of this publishing life.

It’s fair to say that I didn’t know what I was signing on for, that first time I told you I loved you.

I had no idea it would be this good.

You are mine. I am yours.

Happy Pub Day!
David Scott

I’m so lucky to know Dave and Julianna and their family. They are wonderful people and a fabulous team!

And for any of those looking to beef up their manuscript, Julianna and I share a secret weapon, Heather Whitaker, freelance editor extraordinaire.