Hi Pitch Wars peeps, I’m Laura Taylor Namey, 2017 #pitchmadness team member and 2017 #pitchwars hopeful mentee.
I’m a dandelion-hunting, query-trench writer of young adult contemporary fiction, with a love for books, coffee, rainy days, travel, and the perfect leather jacket.
I’m a former teacher who treasures words––how they sound, the shapes and colors of them, and most of all, combining them into stories that will hopefully make you laugh a lot, maybe cry a little, and think a bit about life and love. I tend to gravitate toward coming-of-age tales with strong romantic themes. Most of my training came from reading. The rest, from the bootcamp trenches of the Alkongian Author Salon Novel Writing Program. I recommend it to every hopeful author I meet.
I write the teen lifestyle blog you’re reading right now. Cherry Blossom Chronicles is my joint venture with my teen daughter.
At the Chronicles, we explore fashion, friendship, teen hot topics, music, decor and style, health, books and authors, and etiquette. We are also partnering with teen anti-bullying crusader and author of The Purple Marble, Alyssa B. Antoci.
My loves? Besides leather jackets, I treasure my husband, dog, two superstar children, dear friends, and my little slice of San Diego.
My Manuscript: Paperback Midnight
Paperback Midnight is new, hot off revision, and ready for a pitch wars mentor. This young adult contemporary is the story of my heart, featuring a young protagonist I learned from as much as created.
Seventeen-year-old literary genius, Darcy Wells, has all the book boyfriends she needs, but when it comes to real life, she’d settle for a first kiss.
While she dreams of a happy ending plucked from one of the countless stories she’s memorized, Darcy is trapped behind book pages, hiding herself and the rest of the world from her mother’s hoarding. That is until a new apartment manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their building. Now Darcy must confront the hoard to save her home without driving her mother deeper under an avalanche of things.
As Darcy seeks the truth behind her mother’s compulsive shopping, she meets Asher Fleet, a teen pilot with a shattered future following a car accident. The two grow closer, and for the first time in her life Darcy can’t find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink and paper bomb shelter. Soon it becomes clear: unlocking her mother’s illness and finally securing her own love story requires Darcy to stop hiding and start living her own truth. Even if it’s messy.
Have you ever used books to escape? I know I have. When life has been sad or stressful I’ve often tucked myself inside my favorite novels. My seventeen-year-old protagonist, Darcy Jane Wells (ten points to the the house who guesses who her mother named her after…) is a book escaper. The only problem, Darcy has hidden herself so deeply in literature, in other girls’ lives and happy endings, she’s neglected her own. She’s taken her late-night flashlight and gone so far into books, she feels invisible to everyone. Especially boys.
“Darcy with a heart-shaped face. And a book-shaped heart.”
Darcy realizes, in order to save her mother and her home, in order to have any chance at love, she has to step out from behind her plot and paper walls. She must acknowledge her truth and live authentically. Darcy has to finally live her own story––even if it’s messy.
Paperback Midnight is the story of one girl’s journey from fairy tale into real life. And maybe into love.
Random stuff about me:
- Cats or dogs? Dogs. We have a Miniature Schnauzer named Rocco who owns much of my heart
- My last meal: Grilled cheese and tomato soup
- Music I’m listening to right now: Meg Mac, P!nk, Alessia Cara, Imagine Dragons, Tori Kelly, Ed Sheeran
- Places I can’t wait to visit: Italy, Greece, Japan, Ireland, Thailand
- Instruments I can play: Piano, synth, other instruments with keys (except the accordion and probably a pipe organ)
- Favorite amusement park: Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida
- If I could live anywhere in the world: London
- A few favorite YA authors: Rainbow Rowel, Gayle Forman, Nicola Yoon, John Green
- How I deal with tough times: Faith, family, and friends
- I’m not good at: Running/jogging, gardening, not freaking out on roller coasters
- Favorite classics: Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, To Kill a Mockingbird
- My nickname, given to me by my children: MOTY. Mother of the Year (usually said when I’m being silly or forgetful)
Dear pitch wars mentors, you’re amazing. I know how much love and time you invest and I want to thank all of you. I am ready to pluck this story from my heart, and hand it to one of you. Let’s cover it with hours and sweat and change. And, of course…coffee grounds.
Oh wow, Laura, this sounds so great. I was a book escaper, too, especially as a kid (my parents separated for 3 years when I was small), so I think I can relate to Darcy’s usage of books as refuge. I also love the title – it’s so catchy! Wishing you all the best luck in entering PW this year 🙂 -Rachel
Laura Taylor Namey
Thank you so much, Rachel!
Yes to books, travel and rainy days! And also oh my gosh I’m loving the sound of your story about a girl who’s built herself an ink and paper shelter and escapes into books. I can definitely relate to that! It sounds like such a sweet story, I’d love to read it! Good luck in Pitch Wars! 🙂
Laura Taylor Namey
Aww, thank you!
Elizabeth Van Tassel
Can’t wait to read this Laura and your description sounds so enticing! Wishing you all the best always!
Laura Taylor Namey
Thank you so much, Elizabeth! xoxo