Looking Back and Looking Forward

This has been a really exciting year for Team Rogue YA! From cover reveals to book releases, 2015 has been full of YA excitement.

This year, we had two fantastic Team Rogue releases:

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The Wanderers by Kate Ormand

YA Paranormal (September 1, 2015)

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The Fix by Natasha Sinel

YA Contemporary (September 1, 2015)

Next year the rest of the team will be releasing some fantastic YA goodness into the world, including:

 

25898435Beyond the Red by Ava Jae

YA Sci-Fi (March 1, 2016)

 

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Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath

YA Contemporary (March 15, 2016)

 

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The Taming of the Drew by Stephanie Kate Strohm

YA Contemporary (April 5, 2016)

 

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Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers

YA Contemporary (May 3, 2016)

 

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Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

YA Historical Fantasy (September 2016)

 

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Feathers by Rose Mannering

YA Fantasy (July 5, 2016)

 

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Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor

YA Contemporary (May 2016)

 

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Life Before by Michele Bacon

YA Contemporary (June 7, 2016)

 

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Timekeeper by Tara Sim

YA Historical Fantasy (Fall 2016)

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How to Make Out by Brianna Shrum

YA Contemporary (Fall 2016)

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Spin the Sky by Jill MacKenzie

YA Contemporary (Fall 2016)

 

We can’t wait to share much more excitement to come next year! Wishing you all a very happy New Year from the team. 🙂

A Very Team Rogue Update

We’ve had a great couple of months as of late over at Team Rogue!

Most recently, Kate Ormand and Natasha Sinel had their book birthdays on the first of September; everyone say hello to The Wanderers and The Fix!

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Meanwhile, we’ve had many new cover releases! Ami Allen-Vath’s Liars and Losers Like Us, Ava Jae’s Beyond the Red, Sarah Glenn Marsh’s Fear the Drowning Deep, and Stephanie Kate Strohm’s The Taming of the Drew all have beautiful covers now.

TRYA Covers

With 2016 quickly approaching, we’ll have many more new exciting updates and releases before we know it. 🙂

Trends in YA Book Covers by Olivia Rivers

Okay, time for a confession: I judge books by their covers. I know, I know, writers aren’t supposed to do that. But as someone who does a lot of digital design, I can’t help but give covers a close look-over whenever I see a new one. Having an awesome book resting on your shelf is always a satisfying feeling, but having an awesome book with an equally awesome cover is just… awesome-er.

Just like books themselves, covers have trends that come and go. A couple years ago, the YA trend pretty much revolved around gorgeous girls in fancy dresses. Then we had the mysterious forest covers, followed by the mysterious city covers. When The Fault in Our Stars hit it big, everything became loopy fonts with cute, illustrated graphics, even though main characters were suddenly dying in droves. (I’m still waiting for someone to explain the logic behind that one.)

Now, in 2015, we’re starting to see even more new trends emerge. There have been some great covers lately, and I thought I’d highlight some of these covers, along with some of the trends they represent:

Landscapes and Abstract Objects in Fantasy/Sci-Fi

For a while, the YA fantasy genre had covers that nearly always showed the main character (cue girls in very gorgeous and rather impractical dresses.) Now we’re seeing more and more covers that use landscapes as the focus instead of people. Personally, I enjoy covers like this, especially when the cover gives me a hint of a unique sci-fi or fantasy setting. There have also been quite a few recent fantasy YA covers that focus on a single, often abstract object instead of a human model.

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Turning Your Back

This pose is used on a lot of the “kickbutt” covers where the main character is just too cool to bother facing the reader. Personally, I love it, because it gives me an idea of the characters’ looks while also letting me imagine a lot of their features. It also adds a sense of mystery, which is always great for high-stakes stories.

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Bold, Simplistic Fonts

So it should be noted that I don’t use the word “simplistic” as an insult. It’s actually extremely difficult to design an eye-catching cover using “simple” fonts, but we’re seeing more and more of it in the YA genre.

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Legs

Okay, this one is pretty straightforward: There have been a ton of covers featuring legs this year, especially in the Contemporary genre. Why? Maybe because the fancy-dress trend is slowly dying down, or maybe YA readers just really like legs. I’m not sure, but it’s made for some interesting and quite pretty covers.

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Kinda-Sorta-Falling

A lot of recent covers feature models trapped in a fall of some sort, because apparently teenage girls spend lots of time flailing their arms around and hop-skipping places. As a teenage chick who uses a cane, this was news to me. But I can see why this flailing-falling-jumping-skip behavior is apparently so popular, because holy heck, these sort of pictures make for some truly gorgeous covers.

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Illustrated Covers

As I noted before, The Fault in Our Stars seemed to start this trend, and it’s continued to grow and become more popular. Some of these covers are just way too adorable, and my personal collection of them is rapidly growing. Illustrated covers used to usually mean fluffy chick-lit books, but now we’re seeing more serious Contemporaries that use illustrations.

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What trends have you noticed recently in YA fiction? Are there any you particularly like or dislike?

Olivia Rivers is a Young Adult author who writes in multiple genres, ranging from Epic Fantasy to Contemporary Romance. Her fascination with technology led her to become a hybrid author, meaning some of her works are independently published, while others are traditionally published. She has a passion for representing diversity, and you’ll often find disabled main characters in her novels. Olivia is represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary.

FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP Cover Celebration!

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to have shared the exclusive cover reveal for FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP over on Pop! Goes the Reader yesterday. Here’s a peek:

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My favorite part about this cover is that you can’t see the girl’s face—she can look any way you want to imagine her. This way, people can place themselves in her (Bridey’s) shoes and feel closer to the story, or so I hope. I also love the softness of the blue-green hues; it reminds me of the watercolor paintings that have become a hobby of mine this past year!

So here’s the deal: even though we’ve posted this beauty here, you should head over to Pop! Goes the Reader to see the full reveal, an interview with me, and enter for a chance to win an advanced reader copy of my debut from the inimitable Jen!!!

But before you go, I want to give away a little something special here, too. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win a fancy swag package for FEAR, which will include goodies like a signed bookplate, postcard, bookmarks, and stickers!

Enter here!

Entered? Good luck! Now go enjoy that cover reveal and let me know your thoughts! And if you’re so inclined, add FEAR to your must-have shelves on Goodreads!!! September 2016 can’t come quickly enough for me!

Until next time—

Sarah

Sarah Glenn Marsh is a young adult and picture book author. Her YA historical fantasy debut, FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP, will be released by Sky Pony in September 2016. She is represented by Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency. Sarah lives in Richmond, VA with her husband and four rescued greyhounds, and when she’s not writing, she can often be found painting or antiquing.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Cuisine on the Isle of Man: A Foodie Post Inspired by FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP! by Sarah Glenn Marsh

When I tell people that my book takes place on the Isle of Man, I’m often met with the response, “I know where that is!” …only to have the person then point to the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Skye, random places in Scotland, or any number of other gorgeous, windswept locations in and around the U.K. But the Isle of Man is a unique destination!

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Isle of Man, circled here in yellow; it’s a Crown Dependency, but not actually part of the UK! So today, I’m here to share a little about the Isle of Man by introducing you all to an important aspect of any culture: the FOOD! Hopefully, by the time you’ve read this post, you’ll have at least the briefest of insights into what makes the Isle of Man a special place to visit (or, you know, to use for a book setting!).

Food features prominently in FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP: Bridey and her three sisters share secrets over meals. Bridey’s da provides for his family by going to sea and filling up his nets—until something scares all the fish away. Whenever Bridey’s in distress, she can run to her mam’s kitchen and make her favorite oatmeal-currant cookies.

As you might imagine, I had to do some delicious research on Manx cuisine! The food on the Isle, like the rest of its culture, has both Celtic and Norse influences. Below are some dishes that Bridey herself would recognize as authentically Manx.

#1: Spuds and Herrin’

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This is one of the most popular meals on the Isle, and is the Manx national dish! Despite Bridey’s distaste for seafood (she doesn’t trust anything from the ocean!), her mam often makes spuds and herrin’ for supper.

#2: Kippers

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While Bridey may not care for these salted, smoked fish (usually herring like the ones seen above), her mysterious crush, Fynn, can’t get enough of them.

#3: Queenies

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These Queen scallops, locally known as “Queenies,” are another popular seafood on the Isle. They’re often served with bacon and garlic butter. Mackerel, crab, and lobster are also frequently caught and consumed here!

#4: Loaghtan Lamb

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The Loaghtan is a type of sheep found only on the Isle of Man! These Manx sheep have four to six horns, and their dark, rich meat is considered a delicacy by many. Here’s a recipe for Manx Broth, which could be made with lamb or (if you don’t live on the Isle) regular beef.

#5: Bonnags

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This Manx cake-like fruit bread, often served for breakfast or tea-time, is one of Bridey’s favorite foods!

*If you’d like to try your hand at making a bonnag, there’s a handy recipe here.

#6: Samson

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A beverage made of treacle (molasses) and hops; Manxmen of the early 20th century believed this drink to be good for a boost of energy and strength! However, it isn’t made today.

And now, I’ll leave you with this adorable non-food picture:

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Because no post about the Isle of Man would be complete without the tailless Manx cat. Thanks for reading! And as Bridey would say, “Cair vie!” –That is, “Fair winds!”

Sarah Glenn Marsh is a young adult and picture book author. Her YA historical fantasy debut, FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP, will be released by Sky Pony in September 2016. She is represented by Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis Literary Agency. Sarah lives in Richmond, VA with her husband and four rescued greyhounds, and when she’s not writing, she can often be found painting or antiquing.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

Introducing Sarah Glenn Marsh and FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP!

Today we’re so excited to introduce you to TRYA co-founder Sarah Glenn Marsh and her YA Historical Fantasy Fear the Drowning Deep which is set to release September 2016!

  • Why did you choose the setting for your book? Did you draw from any real places to create your world?
    Fear takes place on the Isle of Man which, while it’s beautiful and rugged enough to be something out of a fantasy land, is very much a real island situated between England and Ireland. However, the town in the book is a fictional one called Port Coire. I loved having control over the layout of the town and its landmarks, so I made one up; it’s situated between the real towns of Peel and Kirk Michael. I chose the Isle of Man as my seaside setting because it’s exactly the sort of wild, untamed landscape where anything seems possible.
  • What was your inspiration for Fear the Drowning Deep?
    Reading the news: I was reading an article about a rare shark that had been spotted by fishermen (near Japan, if I recall) and it got me thinking about all the strange creatures in the ocean. It seems to me that people spend more time wondering about space, looking up, than they do wondering about what’s in the waters below us–way deep down, in the places we can’t see or touch…and the idea for Fear was born!
  • What was your favorite part about writing Fear the Drowning Deep?
    Researching the mythology, definitely. I had a great time learning about and shaping what my main character, Bridey, would be up against in her fight to save her town.
  • What was the hardest part about writing Fear the Drowning Deep?
    Without getting too spoilery, writing the Big Bad in this book really freaked me out! Also, Bridey’s so scared of the ocean that I often felt terrible about the things I was subjecting her to!
  • Who is your favorite rogue character from a book, TV show, or movie?
    River Tam from Firefly/Serenity! Also, Jayne Cobb from Firefly/Serenity. And Captain Mal, and…well, I’m sure everyone’s sensing a theme here, so I’ll stop now!
  • Your book takes place on Isle of Man in 1913. What sort of research did you do to get this unusual historical setting right?
    I ordered books from the Isle of Man itself (many weren’t in print here) to study their history. I also got a book on wildlife, and studied a lot of Manx fairy lore and cultural customs from reprints of books that dated back to the early-mid 1800s. I also watched videos of the Manx TT (Tourist Trophy) Motorcycle Race! While there are no motorcycles in FEAR of course, the TT race takes its competitors all across the island, and it was a way for me to hear some native Manx speakers as well as study the landscape in-depth! Mostly though, I just loved reading everything I could find about the Isle. Have a question about Manx life? Ask me!
  • Who is your favorite character from Fear the Drowning Deep and why?
    This is so tough to answer, but I’ll do my best! I’m going to choose Morag Maddrell. She’s the old woman who walks with a limp and lives above the town of Port Coire. Her cottage is dark, hidden deep in the woods like some feral creature, and the townspeople shun her because they think she’s a witch. I loved writing her (and can’t wait for you all to meet her) because she’s hilarious, sharp-tongued, stubborn, wise…and while she may not be a witch in the traditional sense, as Bridey learns, she knows a little magic and she’s there when it really counts. I love how their relationship evolves from witch and apprentice to something more like grandmother and granddaughter. And I’ll stop gushing now, but basically I adore her!
  • Many of the characters in your novel believe in fairies. Do you believe in anything supernatural or magical?
    I love this question! And I do. I believe there’s magic in the world that we overlook or explain away. With ghosts in particular (the first thing that comes to mind when I hear ‘supernatural’), many people I trust–clever, rational people–have had experiences I can’t just discount. I certainly think there are things around us that science can’t yet explain, and that it’s silly to close our minds to the possibility of something just because we don’t understand it!
  • Fear the Drowning Deep has such an evocative title! Can you share a little about your process of coming up with the title?
    Oh, how I wish I had a great story to share here! But it’s actually pretty simple. I was lying in bed one night, thinking about my new story idea (I’d only written the opening scene at the time), and how my character Bridey was so afraid of the ocean. The phrase “Fear the Drowning Deep” popped into my head, and I immediately woke my husband up and made him Google it! I was so sure it was a poem or a song lyric–but it wasn’t. Apparently, my brain just wanted to give me something cool before I fell asleep, and it’s stuck ever since!
  • What’s one thing you want readers to know about Fear the Drowning Deep
    Something readers might not guess from the title alone is that, while this book is full of mythology and monsters, it’s really a love story at its core. I’m a hopeless romantic, and this book has romance despite the dark things happening in Bridey’s town!