Wednesday, 31 August 2016

SCBWI collaboration - #LostandFound

Lost & Found: how 5 debut SCBWI authors found each other… 





Picture this: a day of rare August sunshine in Southbank, and five debut YA authors all converge at the National Theatre for their very meeting. The reason? To collaborate on a national Waterstones tour; to join forces to help support, promote and present at group events. 

#LostandFound 


This is the story of how five SCBWI authors writing in very different genres joined forces to create #LostandFound: 


Olivia Levez @livilev
I’m Olivia Levez, debut author of The Island, a contemporary survival adventure where Fran, a troubled young offender, gets stranded on a desert island on her way to a boot camp. Castaway Fran has to battle her inner demons as well as external forces in order to survive… 

As a debut writer, and also a busy teacher, it can sometimes feel a little overwhelming, trying juggle the demands of school, family, author events and edits, so I had the idea of joining forces with other SCBWI debuts after seeing the History Girls panel run by Rhian Ivory, Katherine Woodfine, Emma Carroll, Helen Maslin and Lauren James. One of the huge benefits of being a #LostandFound member for me is taking the pressure off organising a big event single-handedly and sharing tasks and experiences, as well as giving each other emotional support. 

It’s great to have a group ‘handle’ , and #LostandFound links brilliantly with all of our themes. In The Island, Fran is literally ‘lost’: cast off and adrift, both in terms of geography (her Indian Ocean island is a million miles away from her Brixton home) as well as having cut herself off from connecting with people. She ‘finds’ herself when she finds redemption for the terrible crime she has committed. 

More on: The Island

Kathryn Evans @mrsbung

I’m Kathryn Evans, SCBWI British Isles people may know me as the finance co-ordinator. It’s entirely possible my wait to be published is a world record but after fifteen years of actively trying, More of Me was published earlier this year. It’s about Teva, whose life seems normal: school, friends, boyfriend. But at home she hides an impossible secret. Eleven other Tevas. It is a strange book, so when both Teri Terry and Tanya Landman described it is “Weird and Wonderful.” I was not surprised by the first bit and utterly delighted at the second. I’ve been pretty amazed to hear More of Me being described as “a gripping thriller” though – who knew? 

I was thrilled to be asked to join #LostandFound. I love doing events but it’s hard to make them worthwhile for your audience and your host – this seems like the perfect solution – five authors and one blogger -what a bargain! I love my fellow #LostandFound members books too – all so different and yet all linked by our character’s struggle to determine their own identity. It’s such a core issue when you’re growing up and it’s amazing to me the different take we all have on it. I can’t wait to get out and meet more people and spend time with these amazing writers – yet another perk to the crazy game of authoring! 

More on: More of Me

Sue Wallman @SWallman

I’m Sue Wallman. In Lying About Last Summer Skye goes to a bereavement camp to help her come to terms with her sister’s death in an accident. While she’s there she starts getting messages on her phone from someone claiming to be her dead sister. Soon it’s clear she can’t be sure about anyone, and she has to confront what happened the previous summer. 

The book fits into the Lost and Found theme because Skye is lost in her grief, and her guilt about not saving her sister. She’s lost her sense of self, and her old friendships because her family moved house. By the end of the book, she’s found it’s possible to be happy even though her life has bruised parts in it. 

I first met Olivia Levez at the SCBWI conference last year – we both had book deals but our books weren’t out yet. We kept in touch and I loved her book, The Island. When she asked if I’d like be part of a touring group with the others I was thrilled because there is strength in a group of people helping each other. I’ve seen many successful author collaborations – from Children’s Writers and Illustrators in South London (CWISL) to The Edge authors. When our group met for the first time, it felt comfortable from the off. Everyone understood this strange and exciting debut author world we’re inhabiting. We’ve all worked so hard to get to this point, and we want to do everything we can to make a success of our writing careers.

More on: Lying About Last Summer

Eugene Lambert @eugene_lambert

Hello, I’m Eugene Lambert, a relatively recent member of SCWBI and the author of The Sign Of One, a Sci-Fi thriller for Young Adult readers (of all ages ?). Set on a dump-world called Wrath, ‘idents’ are hated and feared because only one twin is human, the other a superhuman monster with ‘twisted’ blood. Kyle is a tough loner scraping a living out in the harsh Barrenlands. Sky is a daring windjammer pilot and an ident rebel. Thrown together when Kyle stumbles across a cruel truth, they must put aside their differences and work together if they are to survive. But it won’t be easy … Wrath’s secrets run deeper and nastier than either can imagine! The Sign Of One is the first book of a trilogy. Volume two, Into The No-Zone, will be published in April 2017. 

As a debut author, I’m delighted and honoured to take part in the #LostAndFound bookshop tour with Olivia, Kathryn, Patrice and Sue. Our books are very different but they all have in common YA protagonists who start out lost and struggling, but eventually find themselves ... something we hope our readers will relate to. It’s not long now until our first gig, and I can’t wait to share our stories! 

More on: The Sign of One

Patrice Lawrence @LawrencePatrice

My name is Patrice Lawrence. I gave birth to Orangeboy in June 2016 after a long and interesting labour. Two things fascinate me. One is the gap between the person we think we are and the way other people see us. (What happens if the other view seems way more exciting?) Second, what does it take for nice people to do not very nice things? 

After the worst first date in history, geeky 16-year-old Marlon finds himself lost in a brutal world of revenge and casual violence. His pursuers are looking for Mr Orange. What’s the connection to Marlon? And what happens if Mr Orange is found? 

This is my first full length novel and, honestly, the advice and encouragement from those further down the road remains vital. However, there is something really special about being part of a group who have all entered a different stage of their authors’ journey together. We can compare notes, be just a little indiscreet and give each other a hand in getting to the next stage.

More on: Orangeboy

#LostandFound hard at work
Thank you #LostandFound for showing Words & Pictures just how amazing SCBWI collaboration can be. Check out their first event at Birmingham Waterstones on 1st October. 


@LMMinns
Lou Minns is the (joint) Features Editor for Words & Pictures SCBWI BI and also the new Social Media Co-ordinator for SCBWI San Francisco North & East Bay.

Contact: writers@britishscbwi.org 




Follow: @LMMinns



4 comments:

  1. A really exciting group collaboration - can't wait for your first Waterstones event at Brum!

    ReplyDelete
  2. #LostandFound is such a fabulous idea! And what a great collection of books. As I read down the post, my brain kept going 'I gotta read that!' 'I gotta read THAT!' 'I gotta READ THAT!' Well done guys, I'll be fascinated to find out the results of your experiment. Make sure to return with a post mortem after your tour.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am so thrilled about this. Love The Island, love Orangeboy, looking forward to reading the rest!

    ReplyDelete

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