You can read Laurie's bio at our conference site. Here's a little more from Laurie about her new company, Leap Books:
Leap Books, LLC, is a new WY-based publisher that opened on January 1, 2010. A member of the Children’s Book Council, Leap is committed to producing quality fiction for teens and tweens. Our Surge line for teens (ages 14-19) will feature paranormals, contemporaries, inspirationals, and mysteries. Our Frolic line for tweens (ages 10-14) will focus on the same categories, but we’ll be putting out lighter paranormals for this age group. We also plan to branch out with fantasy, historical, and multicultural titles.
Although we are open to most every genre, at present we are accepting submissions only from agents or from attendees at conferences where our editors speak. From time to time, we may put out a call for a specific genre via Twitter. Once we acquire a manuscript, each submission goes through a two-level process prior to approval by an editor. A committee composed of editors, educators, librarians, and booksellers who are familiar with the target audience read the manuscript. If they agree it has potential, it goes to a teen focus group for review. Only submissions that get a unanimous and enthusiastic thumbs-up from both panels will be considered by Leap editors for acceptance.
We have an exciting lineup of books slated to come out over the next few months. Watch for Freaksville by Kitty Keswick and Under My Skin by Judith Graves, both first books in werewolf paranormal series by debut authors. Bonnie J. Doerr’s eco-mystery, Island Sting, about the endangered Key deer and Jane Greenhill’s I Was a Teenage Alien, a humorous sci-fi, will round out our spring offerings. We have a light paranormal and funny chick lit lined up for summer, and we’re working on several great titles for fall including For the Love of Strangers, a lyrical coming-of-age tale rooted in Russian mythology, by Jacqueline Horsfall. This popular author of joke books and nonfiction is now taking her writing in whole new direction, and we’re delighted to have this opportunity to publish her poetic and poignant fiction.
Leap Books plans to stay small so we can produce high-quality books and spend time promoting our authors and helping them develop their careers. There will be no mid-list authors at Leap; we only accept top-notch authors with terrific ideas and strong writing skills. At the same time, we’re looking to introduce fresh new voices to the world. We hope to get teens excited and eager to read more, to encourage reluctant readers to pick up books, and to put out books with artistic appeal. To do that, we’ve contracted several artists to add graphic elements to our books. We’re especially thrilled to have the gothic artwork of Canadian graphic artist Val Cox to enhance our paranormal books. For more information about Leap Books, our authors and illustrators, and our latest contests and giveaways, visit us at www.leapbks.com.
Joining Laurie at the conference for the Saturday session "A Conversation with An Editor" will be one of her authors, Kitty Keswick of the Harrisburg, PA area, who wrote Freaksville, a young adult werewolf tale. If you see either of them at the conference, please thank them for coming!