Pitch Madness #3 – Linnea Ren and “The First Nine”

1. Let's hear your pitch.
[Laughs] my pitch. Well, I wrote it very quickly in a half dazed state when I entered PitchMadness, and didn’t save it. But here’s something close to it:
When the demon queen takes Mia Sòng under her care, Mia discovers a mystical world. Without any magic, she must learn to fight against the queen’s enemies, or lose her twin brother to death.

2. If you were querying me, what would the teaser of your book be?
When a relic from her mother’s homeland is destroyed, Mia’s dull life gains some excitement. An unseasonal blizzard overtakes the Rocky Mountains, worsening her brother’s illness and bringing with it a mysterious child who never speaks. It is only when a stalker appears in the shadows of the forest, haunting Mia’s waking and sleeping world, that her life cracks.
When she learns that her brother can use magic, it shatters.

3. Who is your target audience? What genre is your book?
I want my audience to be anyone, really, but the writing and characters are geared more toward the Young Adult age. Particularly to teenage girls, as finding a heroine you can connect to is difficult.
The genre most closely fits Urban Fantasy. It could also be Paranormal, but my demons aren’t from any myth.

4. How did this story come about? Who or what inspired you/this story?
Oh geeze. This story came about when I was seventeen. It was October, and I’d just learned about NaNoWriMo, and kind of wanted to do something for it, but I didn’t want to work on a WIP. I wanted a new story. I was sitting in my friends’ kitchen while they talked about their own stories. As one of them was talking (the older sister), I started forming an idea: What if the queen of all demons started protecting three teenagers.
I wrote the first book in October, and the second book in the first ten days of November.
It’s changed a lot since then. I’ve added a character, got rid of a relationship, and let it grow as I did. One of my biggest inspirations for the book was actually when I started learning to speak Chinese. I didn’t know much about Chinese culture when I wrote the book, but listening to my teachers, and now living in Southern China, I’ve had so much inspiration from this beautiful and amazingly complex culture. I really hope it shines through Mia and Derek (the twins), and their interactions with their father.

5. Is this your first book?
Far from it. My first book was something I wrote when I was six or seven. Super short, but still. My first novel idea was when I was eleven, and is actually another idea that I’m working on, and my first completed novel is a 250k word LGBT romance called “Is There an Elephant in the Room?” Still working on cutting that one down.

6. Why did you enter #PitchMadness?
There are many reasons. The first is that when I woke up I saw that the submission window had opened, and in my half awake state I entered. Then realized that I entered.

But the bigger reason is that I’ve wanted to get published since I first read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” when I was six years old, and I thought this might be a good idea. It’s a chance to possibly get my work noticed by an agent, and maybe then by a publisher.


7. Do you have any past experiences with this story you would like to share?
This isn’t the first contest I’ve entered. I discovered them last year I think? Maybe two years ago, and found they’re kind of fun. I’ve met a lot of good people, and almost made it into an agent round last summer.

8. What can we expect from your story in the future, do you have any plans?
This story? Well, hopefully it’ll get published. It’s the first in a five book series that delves into semantics and mental stability, as well as the idea of personal choice and the stereotype of the modern day “hero.”

9. Can we hear an excerpt?
Woohoo! An excerpt. Here you go:

Blair cornered her at school one day. Mia couldn’t find the energy to react as Blair struggled to explain herself. About the visions, about her magic, about not helping when Mia was kidnapped, and about kissing Derek. Her words grated Mia’s nerves, and the conversation ended when Mia held up her middle finger.

Sometimes she felt guilty about her actions. One night she returned late — very late — and heard her parents talking about their concern. She wanted to bust into the room and tell them everything. But the voice reminded her that they didn’t care. They were the ones who pulled away first. They decided to move the entire family to Willow Creek. They worked eleven hour days.

They didn’t care.

She let passivity take over. Steven ensured her it was alright. His words removed the criminality of her actions, even though somewhere she knew it was wrong. When Adelia and Li spoke to her one evening, she almost asked them for help.

*Ignore them,* the voice whispered. *You don’t need help.*

The voice went on, drowning out her other unwanted friend, as well as her own conscience. Often, it was the only thing she could hear.

Sometimes she told the voice to shut up.

Sometimes she ran through the woods to clear her mind.

Sometimes she gave in to the temptation of her only companion.

But every night, she sat in her room, crying, begging for something to save her.


10. Have a website or social media platform for your story?
I have a twitter (@Twin_Lotus), and a blog. I don’t update often, as I’m living in a country where both sites are banned, but I try my best.

11. You said this is part of a series. Can you expand on that a bit more? Do you have the entire arc finished?
I do have the entire arc finished. The series follows a couple thousand year war between demons and gods (original mythology) through the eyes of four teens, Mia, Derek, Blair, and Cody.

12. A question about the title. The First Nine. You mentioned four teens. So does that mean these four will be the main characters of all five books, or do you have more planned?
The First Nine, refers to nine immortal demons who the four teens become friends with. The demon queen is the leader of The Nine.

 

You can connect with Linnea on Twitter @Twin_Lotus