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Kat O’Shea, Editor-in-Chief of Leap Books, LLC, which published Bonnie J. Doerr's ISLAND STING, answered a few questions for us:

Q: Can you tell me what first drew you to the manuscript ISLAND STING?

A: When I read Bonnie Doerr’s story, I was drawn to the fast-paced plot and the environmental theme. I’m always looking for books that will draw in reluctant readers, and ISLAND STING is guaranteed to do that. One other thing that impressed me about Bonnie’s manuscript was that it was error-free—not a comma out of place or a word misspelled—an editor’s dream.

Q: ISLAND STING is an eco-mystery. Where do you see the market right now for this genre?

A: There’s always a market for mysteries. And saving the environment is a hot topic, one that many teens are passionate about. In addition, teachers are always looking for books that can be applied across the curriculum, and ISLAND STING is perfect for that. Bonnie’s eco-mysteries are packed with facts about endangered species, but the story is so compelling and tightly plotted that many readers won’t realize how much they’re learning until the mystery is solved. For classroom use, Bonnie used her background as a reading and a science teacher to develop lesson plans that tie into all areas of the curriculum, so this title should do well in the school market.

Q: Are you accepting queries right now, and if so, what are you looking for specifically and how can writers contact you?

A: At the present time, Leap Books is only open to queries from agents and from attendees at conferences where our editors speak. From time to time, we may put out special calls for submissions in a specific genre via Twitter. If you’d like to find out where our editors are speaking, check our online calendar at www.leapbks.com. So far, I’m scheduled to speak at Epicon in March, at Chicago-North RWA in April, and at the Oregon Christian Writers in August. I’ll also be at BEA in May. I’m always open to meeting writers, taking pitches, and critiquing manuscripts at conferences.

Thanks to Kat O'Shea for that backstage glimpse! Read more about ISLAND STING and Bonnie's experience in the Florida Keys.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
Wow, error free, Bonnie, that's amazing.Looking forward to reading the Eco-Mystery, Island Sting!
Jan. 13th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC)
I second that about the error-free thing. It doesn't matter how hard I try, some little typo or grammatical error always sneaks by me, so I commend you!. And it sounds like your book is destined for great success in the schools!
Jan. 13th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC)
This seems like it would be a fun book to pair up with My Life in Pink and Green from 2k9!
Jan. 13th, 2010 11:50 pm (UTC)
Or, as Lauren Bjorkman suggests, S. Terrell French's Operation Redwood!
Jan. 13th, 2010 12:29 pm (UTC)
VERY high praise! This sounds like it would be great for the classroom.
Jan. 13th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
Wow, Bonnie, an editor's dream!! (afraid this is NOT what my editor would say about MY ms :) And I love the idea of pairing with My Life in Pink and Green!
Jan. 13th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
I can't wait to read this! It could also be paired with Operation Redwood.
Jan. 13th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
Okay, my editor is awesome, yes, but she is also prone to exaggeration... You know it's not possible to have an error free ms. :)

I agree with the book pairing ideas. That's why I interviewed S. Terrell French on BonnieBlogsGreen and asked for an interview with Lisa Greenwald even though I don't usually do interviews since it's not really a writer blog. Lisa and I haven't coordinated a time yet, though.
Jan. 14th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
I already bought 10 copies of Operation Redwood last year for my classroom to include to our book club collection, and the group who read it so far this fall absolutely loved it. I only have one copy of My Life in Pink and Green, but I noticed that it was just in the latest Scholastic book order. This will be a fun trio to pair up for book clubs. I will make sure and let you know if I end up doing this.

My students are 6th and 7th graders. Is there anything in Island Sting that might not be appropriate for their age range?
Feb. 9th, 2010 05:47 am (UTC)
Island Sting for Middle School
To answer your question, Island Sting's perfect for middle school. It's a fast-paced read, great for even reluctant readers. The kids will love it. I just finished reading it & can highly recommend it.
Jan. 14th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
I really love the idea of an "eco mystery"!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )