Deadly Ever After

Archive for the tag “The Five Spot”

The Five Spot: Leigh Ann Kopans

Today’s Brew:  Raspberry Lime Seltzer.  It can’t always be beer.

by Kristen

Julie and I have been keeping an eye on Leigh Ann Kopans for months now, and not in the creepy, trash picking, Wendig stalking sort of way that might make you say eww.  If you’re considering self publishing, or if you have a debut book coming out from any publishing company, you should be paying attention to Leigh Ann as well.  Leigh Ann’s debut novel, ONE, released on Tuesday.  She decided to self publish.  Instead of just throwing it out there and hoping for the best, she launched a complete campaign including a street team and merchandising.  She gave herself almost six months of lead time to get the word out.  Leigh Ann’s journey to release day is to us an example of how self publishing should be done.  It was never in your face, spammy, or obnoxious.  But we were all still aware of her book.  Mine is on it’s way to me as we speak.  I can’t wait to see what’s between the covers!

Amazon Kindle

Special Edition Paperback with comics (from Amazon)

Barnes and Noble Nook


Signed (from my site)

Without further ado, we asked Leigh Ann five questions about ONE and her life in general:

Tell us about your favorite character in ONE.

Leigh Ann: I really do love the main character, Merrin. She’s doing that thing that teenagers are so good at – wanting a lot of different things and trying to chase them all. She’s grown up with a fierce independent streak, and when someone finally comes along that she can trust, she has kind of a hard time with that.
She’s also crazy-smart, but wants one fantastical thing more than anything else – to be able to fly, which she’s been taught is impossible for her. Her grit and determination drove the story for me.

Nick Flora wrote a song about ONE.  Tell us about your relationship with him.  How did he come up with that song for your book?

Leigh Ann: Nick is the friend of a very good friend. When he  started a Kickstarter for his newest album, “The Reintroduction of Nick Flora,” one of the selections for a contribution was “I’ll write a song about anything you want.” I knew that writing a song for my book was a lot to ask, so I contacted him privately, and a beautiful friendship was born. He ended up writing an absolutely INCREDIBLY PERFECT song for the book. It’s going up for sale on Amazon and iTunes soon.  Listen to it here:

You have put together a thorough campaign for ONE.  Tell us how you put together your team and who did you consider your target audience?

Leigh Ann: I was lucky to have an incredibly savvy assistant, John Hansen, from the very beginning. He helped me create buzz for a street team in his areas of reach – bloggers and teens – that really complimented mine. I brought a lot of writers and adult readers, some of whom are teachers and librarians. The result was that we were able to gather a street team that it pretty well balanced between writers and readers, teens and adults. I couldn’t be happier.
My target audience is definitely teens, and the people who help them choose books – I write Young Adult because I believe in the importance of good stories told well for teens.

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve come across as a self published author?

Leigh Ann: There’s definitely a stigma out there, so a lot of the time, people come into reading ONE, or even viewing it on Goodreads, as something they expect to be sub-standard right off the bat. To a certain extent, that’s a bummer, because I’d like to be given as fair a shot as anything traditionally published. But mostly, I’m not worried about it, because I’m confident in the book I’m putting out there and its quality.

We think it’s awesome that you’re a rabbi.  How does that influence your writing?

Leigh Ann: LOL thanks! You know, I’m not sure how – or whether – that influences my writing at all. Writing is something I picked up when I was bored out of my skull during the year I stayed at home with my children, and desperate to feel like something I did mattered. I’d always loved literature, but never tried writing anything. So it really came about as wholly separate from the rabbi thing. And I don’t really write about Jewish topics or themes – just the stories in my head.

Leave us with something from ONE.

A few lone fireflies flit around a bit too early. The top three-quarters of the sky are only slightly dark. I reach out to swipe one from the air and watch as it staggers across the back of my hand, testing its legs after a stretch of flight.

I wish walking felt more foreign to me than flying.

Praise for One


One balances a fully imagined, super world with deep, well-crafted characters and took me on a heart pounding, heartbreakingly authentic journey I hated to see end.

~Trisha Leigh, author of The Last Year series

 “Exciting, edgy, romantic and beautifully written, ONE is a book from an incredible new writing talent that will leave you longing for more!”

~Emma Pass, author of Acid (Random House 2013) and the upcoming The Fearless (Random House 2014)

 “I opened One and didn’t put it down. On the surface it’s a fast-paced superhero story combined with all the wonderful and terrible aspects of teenage life, but beneath that is the story of a girl who only wants to be more than she is. It’s a fun adventure cloaking a simple but powerful truth of the human condition.”

~Francesca Zappia, author of the upcoming Ask Again Later (Greenwillow/HarperCollins 2014)

Leigh Ann Kopans’s Biography:

Raised on comic books and classic novels, Leigh Ann developed an early love of science fiction and literature. After earning degrees in Sociology and Hebrew, she went on to become a rabbi at The Ohio State University. Surrounded by college students, she found her niche writing science fiction and romance for teens.

Leigh Ann, her husband, and four children live in Columbus, Ohio, which sadly lacks superheroes but does have the best football and fabulous ice cream.


The Five Spot: Pam van Hylckama Vlieg

Today’s Brew:  I’m on straight Starbuckian Goodness.  Early day today.

by Kristen

We are unveiling a new feature on Deadly Ever After:  The Five Spot.  We ask people you care about five questions, and they answer.

To kick off this series, we chose my agent, Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreward Literary.  Foreward is a new agency with a new attitude, so she was the perfect person to ask about what the heck is going on in publishing these days.

Many publishers are adopting a “hybrid” philosophy, but Foreward seems to be one of the first literary agencies to embrace this.  Can you tell us what a hybrid agency is what the advantages are?

We realize that clients want to publish in a myriad of different ways. Traditional, audio, self publishing, digital only, heck even video games. We want to make sure we can meet our client’s needs no matter what area of publishing they want to pursue.

Tell us about Fast Forward.

Fast Foreword is a digital short program. The books are almost novella length ranging from 15,000 – 25,000 words. We have a team in place to work with distributors and to get pesky things like covers and formatting handled. We believe that works like this are easy to produce and polish and can help build a fan base for a debut or an author who is already published. 

Do you think it’s more risky to be ahead of the trends or behind the trends as an agent or a publisher?

I think all things that are worth something are risky. But I think not keeping up with the times is dangerous. You don’t have to always be the first to do something, but being the very last usually means you’re losing whatever game you’re playing.

How do you feel that your background as a book blogger contributes to your success as an agent?

I think that as a blogger I came into agenting hyper aware of the market and who the key players are. I believe it gave me a different kind of education.

Publishing is changing rapidly.  What do you think we will see more of in the future?

More ways to exploit subrights!

Many thanks to Pam for these great answers!

About Pam van Hylckama Vlieg:


Pam van Hylckama Vlieg started her literary career as assistant to Laurie McLean in early 2012. By April Pam was promoted to Associate Agent at Larsen Pomada. In January of 2013 after selling twenty-one books in her first year of agenting Pam was promoted to agent. When Laurie McLean mentioned creating Foreword, Pam jumped at the chance to follow her mentor and create a new agency together.

Pam blogs at, and Brazen Reads. She partners her blogs with her local bookseller Hicklebee’s where magic happens daily.

Pam grew up on a sleepy little Podunk town in Virginia. She’s lived in the UK, several US states, and now resides in the Bay Area of California. She has two kids, two dogs, two guinea pigs, but only one husband. You can find her mostly on Twitter where she wastes copious amounts of time.

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