What’s the title of your book and can you tell us about it?
My debut is titled DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING, and it is set for release winter 2017. Here is the synopsis:
Alosa Kalligan is probably the only girl foolish enough to get herself kidnapped by pirates. Intentionally.
Two plots coincide when Alosa discovers that the pirate lord Draxen not only has a map that her father, the wealthy pirate king, wants, but also has plans to kidnap Alosa and hold her for ransom. Alosa finds it only logical, then, for her to orchestrate her own kidnapping. By day she is questioned for information regarding her father’s hideaway, but at night, Alosa searches the ship for the map, which supposedly leads to the legendary Isla de Canta, an island heaped with untold treasure and protected by its magical occupants, the sirens.
The task becomes difficult when her devious and attractive interrogator begins to suspect Alosa’s true reason for being on the ship. She must resort to faking escape attempts to make her imprisonment believable or risk him unraveling her entire plot. Torture and exile await Alosa if she tries to return to the pirate king empty-handed, yet death is a real possibility if Draxen and his crew learn of what she’s really doing on their ship.
How long have you been writing?
Unlike a lot of amazing writers I know, I did not start writing when I was in the womb. In fact, I didn’t even start reading for fun until I was in high school. I think the turning point was when I read Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet. Then I started reading every YA fantasy book I could get my hands on.
When I was a junior, I took one of those career questionnaires that tells you what jobs your personality is best suited for. One of the answers was an editor. After doing some research on what an editor does (lots of reading!), I determined that would be a great career choice. So when my senior year of high school came around and I needed a senior project, I decided I’d edit something. The problem was finding something fun to edit. I didn’t want to edit nonfiction. I definitely liked fiction. Specifically, YA fiction. But where was I going to find unedited YA fiction? After much deliberating, I came to the conclusion that I would just write something myself and edit it. So I decided to write and edit the first three chapters of a novel. We were supposed to spend 20 hours on our senior projects. I spent 60. Turned out I really enjoyed editing my own writing.
I never did finish that novel. It was a contemporary romance. People always said write what you know, which I think is terrible advice. Writers should explore and do what they find fun. What I found fun was YA fantasy. So the summer after my first year of college, I sat down and completed my first novel, a YA Fantasy.
So after six years and four completed novels, I now have a book deal.
Is your book a part of a series or a standalone?
It is the first of a duology. Book 2 is set to release winter 2018.
Do you listen to music while writing?
Not usually. I like to write in silence. Occasionally I’ll listen to movie soundtracks that don’t have lyrics, like Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean.
Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?
I wrote my first two books making them up as I went along. The last two I plotted out, and I have three future novels already plotted out. I think my books turn out better when I outline ahead of time, and it helps me write them faster. Always knowing what I’m going to do next banishes writer’s block from my life.
I don’t stick to my outlines perfectly, though. I often change things in the moment. And I rarely know exactly how the climax is going to go down before I get there. So there’s always some mixture of plotting and pantsing. And that mixture changes from book to book. The trick is to give each book what it needs.
Tricia Levenseller writes historical fantasy for young adult readers. Her debut, DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING, is set to release winter 2017 from Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers.
Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing and is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing
or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.