We’d like to thank all of our special guests for making the first Leviosa magical! In addition to these special guests, Leviosa had many amazing, impressive academics in attendance who delivered top-notch programming sessions. Details are still TBD for our next event, bu tyou can sign-up for our newsletter to hear about any exciting news!
Saturday YA Keynote
Victoria is the author of the New York Times bestselling RED QUEEN, the first in a trilogy about a society where the color of your blood means everything–if you’re a Red, you have nothing, and if you’re a Silver, you have everything… including superpowers. Victoria was born and raised in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, a small town known only for the worst traffic rotary in the continental United States. She moved to Los Angeles to earn a BFA in screenwriting at the University of Southern California, and stayed there despite the lack of seasons. She is currently an author and screenwriter, using her career as an excuse to read too many books and watch too many movies.
Saturday YA Keynote
Alexandra Bracken is the New York Times bestselling author of THE DARKEST MINDS trilogy and PASSENGER. Born and raised in Arizona, she moved east to study history and English at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. After working in publishing for several years, Alex now writes full-time and can find her hard at work on her next novel in a charming little apartment that’s perpetually overflowing with books. Visit her online at www.alexandrabracken.com and on Twitter @alexbracken.
Saturday YA Keynote
Susan Dennard has come a long way from small-town Georgia. As a marine biologist, she got to travel the world—six out of seven continents, to be exact (she’ll get to Asia one of these days!)—before she settled down as a full-time novelist and writing instructor. She is the author of the SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY series as well as the WITCHLANDS series from Tor, whose first book TRUTHWITCH debuted as a New York Times bestseller. When not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, exploring tidal pools, or practicing her tap dance shuffles.
Sarah J. Maas
Saturday YA Keynote
Sarah J. Maas is the New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of the THRONE OF GLASS series (Queen of Shadows, the fourth book, will release globally on September 1st, 2015) and the A COURT OF THORN AND ROSES series. She currently resides with her husband and loyal canine companion in Pennsylvania. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hamilton College in 2008 with a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Religious Studies. Sarah is represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.
Note: Friday Harry Potter Keynote Speaker or Speakers are still TBD. Watch this space!
Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter films
Chris Rankin played Percy Weasley in the Harry Potter franchise, and is a fan favorite in HP fandom and at conventions. Chris’s professional acting career kicked off in 2000 when he won the role of Percy, whom he played in five of the eight HP films. A huge HP fan both before and after he won the role, Chris fell into Harry Potter conventions after accidentially happening upon a Harry Potter covention while visiting Salem, Massachusetts in 2005. Since then, Chris has attended Azkatraz 2009, Infinitus 2010, LeakyCon 2011, Ascendio 2012, LeakyCon 2013, and MISTI Con 2015.
Outside of the Harry Potter films, Chris has also appeared in the TV mini-series The Rotters’ Club and Channel 5’s Victoria Cross Heroes in which he played Evelyn Wood. On stage, Chris has played a variety of roles in pantomimes across the country, as well as Edgar Linton in Wuthering Heights, Eilert Loevborg in Hedda Gabler, and Young Syrian in Salomé. Chris lives in Mid Wales Brecon with his wife, Megan Rankin née Walker, and now works in the film and television industry behind-the-scenes. He has worked on Da Vinci’s Demons for Starz, 2 series of Atlantis for BBC Wales, “The Bastard Executioner for Kurt Sutter and 20th Century Fox, and most recently Downton Abbey.
At Leviosa, Chris will be doing several panels and Q&As, signing autographs and taking pictures, and hosting our Friday night karaoke extravaganza!
Booktuber – A Book Utopia
Sasha Alsberg is also known as Abookutopia, her popular booktube channel, which boasts 248,000 subscribers and counting. Known for her enthusiasm for books, as well as her uncanny resemblance to Lily Collins (naturally, Sasha is a Mortal Instruments fan), Sasha’s current obsessions include Outlander, the Throne of Glass series and of course Harry Potter. A Chicago native, Sasha is a Ravenclaw who is currently pursuing a degree in publishing at Emerson College.
At Leviosa, Sasha will be speaking on a number of panels, as well as moderating the Saturday YA Keynote.
Draco and the Malfoys
Formed in 2005 as a “one time joke,” Draco & the Malfoys sing songs about Harry Potter from Draco Malfoy’s perspective. They have released 5 full-length albums and 1 EP and played over 200 shows at libraries, conventions, pizza shops, an indoor soccer arena, a cruise ship and other venues. They been featured on MTV, Fuse, Entertainment Weekly and more. Their blend of witty humor and love for music has earned them regular appearances at many Harry Potter and other geeky conferences. One of their favorite reviews called them, “old enough to know better.”
At Leviosa, Brian will be performing a show on Thursday or Friday night, and will be selling merchandise in the vendor hall.
The Harry Potter Alliance
Community Action Group
The Harry Potter Alliance is a fandom staple which since 2005 has used Harry Potter and fandom as a tool for social justice and making the world a better place. Among many other things, the HPA has successfully lobbied to make all Harry Potter chocolate Fair Trade, sent five cargo planes to Haiti, donated over 150,000 books across the world, and has made significant contributions to the anti-genocide, LGBTQ equality, environmental, and media reform movements. The HPA will be at Leviosa bringing several of their initiatives and projects to our attendees, including their Apparating Library and a Dumbledore’s Army Workshop. Read more about the HPA at Leviosa here.
The Hillywood Show®
The creators behind some of the most beloved parody videos, including the Harry Potter “Friday” and Supernatural “Shake It Off” videos will be at Leviosa on Saturday. The Hillywood Show®–aka Hannah and Hilly Hindi–will be showcasing several of their parodies and answering your burning questions at a panel at 4 PM, as well as selling their merchandise in our Vendor Hall.
Mark Oshiro is the force behind Mark Reads and Mark Watches, where he chronicles his unspoiled journey through various television and book series. Since 2009 when Mark discovered Harry Potter, Mark has been subjecting himself to the emotional journey that one takes when they enter a fictional world for the first time. He mixes textual analysis, confessional blogging, and humor to analyze fiction that usually makes him cry and yell on camera. All of this earned Mark a Hugo nomination in the Fan Writer category in 2013 and 2014, and he has no plans on stopping. Somehow, he’s also writing the first book in a YA trilogy set in a pre-dystopian world, and he’s still determined to fulfill a lifelong goal in the process: to pet every dog ever.
Severus Snape and the Marauders
Harry Potter Untold Tales
From director Justin Zagri, the man behind the popular 2013 fan film The Greater Good, which has over 3 million views on YouTube. Severus Snape and the Marauders is an original fan film that takes place in 1978, right after James, Lily, Remus, Sirius, Peter and Snape graduated from Hogwarts. It will premiere later in 2015, and Leviosa is honored to host screenings of both SS&tM as well as The Greater Good at the con. Plus, Justin and several of his cast members will be doing panels to talk about the films, as well as the art of making fan films.
Three Patch Podcast
aka Potterlock @ Leviosa
The Three Patch Podcast is a podcast dedicated to the characters, storylines, and fans of the BBC Sherlock series. In each episode, their crew of consulting fans tackle character analysis and speculation, highlight fan creativity and enthusiasm, explore the shipping and relationship-side of things, and try their hands at crafting and learning Sherlock’s own skills. Many of the creative forces behind Three Patch hail from the Harry Potter fandom, and keep HP close to their hearts, hence they are psyched for Leviosa! Just like they have at 221B Con 2014 and 2015, Gridlock 2015, Three Patch will be creating a unique Sherlock immersion space at Leviosa, where you can buy HP & Sherlock fandom staple Fox Estacado’s amazing merch & art, attend meet-ups, and get your multi-fandom/Potterlock love on.
YA & NA Author
CHASING THE DREAM series, FUTURE SHOCK (Albert Whitman)
Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology, currently mentors teens in writing, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She’s the author of the new adult CHASING THE DREAM series and the upcoming young adult novel FUTURE SHOCK. Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of fluffy dogs.
RED, FOR REAL (Delacorte)
Alison Cherry is the author of RED, FOR REAL, and the forthcoming LOOK BOTH WAYS (all published by Delacorte) and an as-of-yet untitled middle grade book about a heist ring run by old ladies (to be published by Aladdin.) Alison has a degree in photography from Harvard and spent many years working as a lighting designer for theater, dance, and opera productions. She once had a near-death experience at the Metropolitan Opera. Now she lives in Brooklyn and writes full-time, which is significantly less dangerous. If she could find a way to make a living by eating cookies and listening to podcasts all day, she would probably do that instead. Her Patronus is a red panda.
THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN (MacMillan)
Roshani Chokshi is a South Asian fantasy writer. Her short stories have appeared in The Feminist Wire, Strange Horizons, Book Smugglers Publishing and Shimmer Magazine. Her first YA fantasy novel, THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN (MacMillan, May 2016), is a re-envisioning of the Hades and Persephone myth in the context of Indian mythology. She lives in Georgia, but won’t reveal her southern accent unless under extreme duress.
YA & MG AUTHOR
THE MURDER COMPLEX & THE BALANCE KEEPERS (HarperCollins)
Lindsay Cummings writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fantasy and science fiction at HarperCollins. Her debut YA novel, THE MURDER COMPLEX, was published in June 2014, quickly followed by her first middle grade series, THE BALANCE KEEPERS in September. She’s the creator of the #booknerdigans hashtag, and she lives in Texas with her husband, way too many animals, and not enough books. You can find her online at www.lindsaycummingsbooks.com
EXTRACTION series (St. Martin’s)
Twenty-two-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her first novel, EXTRACTION, when she should’ve been studying and making short films at San Diego State University. She has since written the next two books in the Extraction series, REBELLION and the forthcoming EVOLUTION, out September 8, 2015. When she isn’t lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fangirling over TV shows. Visit her online at www.stephaniediazbooks.com
Tobie Easton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she’s grown from a little girl who dreamed about magic to a twenty-something who writes about it. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, Tobie is a private writing instructor and hosts book clubs for tweens and teens (so she’s lucky enough to spend her days gabbing about books). She and her very kissable boyfriend enjoy traveling the globe and fostering packs of rescue puppies. Tobie’s debut novel, EMERGE, is the first book in the anticipated Mer Chronicles series, in which mermaids aren’t just real but live secretly among us.
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE series (Penguin), THE BODY ELECTRIC
Beth Revis is the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and IndieBound bestselling author of the Across the Universe series (Razorbill/Penguin ), as well as several in-world short stories published in various anthologies. Her latest release THE BODY ELECTRIC is a same-universe-different-characters prequel to ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and Beth’s first self-published title. A former teacher, Beth lives in rural North Carolina with her husband and dog. Currently, she is working on a new science fiction trilogy title for self publication and two forthcoming novels for Penguin/Razorbill. Beth is represented by Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House.
YA Author & Literary Agent
THE ART OF WISHING & THE FOURTH WISH (Dial)
Lindsay Ribar is the author of THE ART OF WISHING and THE FOURTH WISH (featuring hot, bisexual genies!). She is also an associate literary agent with Greenburger Associates, representing a small but mighty stable of authors and books. Lindsay grew up in New Jersey, where the only logical thing to do after high school was to move to New York. Lindsay majored in drama and English literature at NYU, and now works in book publishing, where she reads other people’s novels by day and writes her own by night. She owns approximately twelve bazillion CD’s, attends far too many concerts, and mainlines nerdy television shows like it’s going out of style. On the Harry Potter front, Lindsay is an equal-opportunity Remus/Tonks and Remus/Sirius shipper, and she previously attended LeakyCon 2014 and was a featured guest at Ascendio 2012.
I HEART BAND (Penguin), THE KAT SINCLAIR FILES (Penguin) & MAUDEVILLE (Random House)
Michelle Schusterman is a children’s author, freelance writer and editor, former band director, and owner of a ridiculous number of percussion instruments (you never know when you might need a full set of bass steel drums). She lives in New York City and teaches fiction writing workshops at Writopia. Her students are the most brilliantly creative young adults on the planet, in her totally unbiased opinion. Michelle is the author of the I HEART BAND series, published by Penguin’s Grosset & Dunlap imprint. The first book in her next series, THE KAT SINCLAIR FILES, will be out September 2015, and her horror/fantasy novel MAUDEVILLE will be published by Random House in spring 2016.
THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING, EXTRAORDINARY MEANS (Katherine Tegan Books)
Robyn Schneider is the author of the critically-acclaimed and bestselling YA novels The Beginning of Everything and Extraordinary Means, both of which contain an embarrassing amount of Harry Potter and Doctor Who references. She is a graduate of Columbia University, where she studied creative writing, and the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, where she earned a Masters of Bioethics. She lives in Los Angeles, California, but also on the internet.
Mary Elizabeth Summer
TRUST ME, I’M LYING (Delacorte, 2014)
Mary Elizabeth Summer contributes to the delinquency of minors by writing books about unruly teenagers with criminal leanings. She has a BA in creative writing from Wells College, and her philosophy on life is “you can never go wrong with sriracha sauce.” She lives in Portland, Oregon with her wife, their daughter, and their evil overlor—er, cat. Mary Elizabeth is represented by the incomparable Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency. TRUST ME, I’M LYING, her debut novel, was published by Delacorte in October 2014. The sequel, TRUST ME, I’M TROUBLE, will be released in Fall 2015.
Thao Le joined the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency in 2011. She handles the agency’s finances and select contracts. She is also an agent. Thao is looking for adult science-fiction/fantasy/horror, new adult, young adult, and middle grade. She enjoys both gritty, dark narratives and fantastically quirky stories. She is also looking for light-hearted, funny, and moving contemporary YAs with a raw, authentic teen voice. She’s particularly drawn to memorable characters, smart-mouthed dialogue, strong plots, and tight writing. Her favorite books are ones that reimagine familiar tales and tropes in a completely fresh new way and she has a passion for multicultural stories and lush settings.
Recent sales include: Lisa Freeman’s LGBTQ surf YA Honey Girl (Sky Pony Press), IPPY Award-winning S.K. Falls’ New Adult novel One Last Song (Forever Yours), Wendy Spinale’s steampunk Peter Pan retelling Everland (Scholastic), Emily Skrutskie’s sea monster YA The Abyss Surrounds Us (Flux), and Kathryn Tanquary’s MG fantasy The Night Parade (Sourcebooks)
Director of Literary Services & Literary Agent
After teaching high school English for several years, Suzie Townsend started publishing at FinePrint Literary Management in January 2009 and worked her way up from intern to agent. Now an agent at New Leaf Literary, she represents adult and children’s fiction. Suzie reps, among many others, Victoria Aveyard, Stacey Kade, Cora Carmack, Mindee Arnett, MarcyKate Connolly and Chelsea Fine. She is actively looking to build her list. In adult, she’s specifically looking for new adult, romance (all subgenres), fantasy (urban fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, epic fantasy) and crime fiction (mysteries, thrillers). In Childrens’ she loves YA (all subgenres) and is dying to find great Middle Grade projects. Suzie loves strong characters and voice driven stories that break out of the typical tropes of their genres. For more information on her projects and clients, see here. Suzie is the lead Tumblr question-answerer on New Leaf Literary’s Tumblr, and frequently provides insightful, awesome answers about the industry.
President & Literary Agent
Joanna represents all brands of fiction from picture books to adult novels. Her picture book taste is the most eclectic, ranging from sweet to fun to smart to quirky. For other fiction (both adult and children’s) she has an affinity for stories that have a darker element to them, whether they be horror, drama or comedy. She’s not the kind of reader that needs a romance in her novels, though she does appreciate a good one.
On the non-fiction side her tastes are much more specific. For children she looks for topics that captivate kids: biographies, animal-related stories, all sciences and history, etc. Joanna also has an affinity for morbid, weird or offbeat topics. In her adult non-fiction tastes she tends toward all things geek-related, foodie books, travel books, and general pop-culture and pop-science.
Overall, she’s looking for anything that highlights under-represented characters. More diversity, please!
Jessica Watterson graduated from the University of California at Irvine with a degree in sociocultural anthropology and English. Jessica is most interested in all sub-genres of romance. She greatly enjoys character driven plots that pull the reader into the pages and won’t let go, ending with a fantastic happily ever after. Jessica also loves second chance romances, and stories of redemption. She is also interested in select women’s fiction and young adult fiction that are unique, lighthearted, and address relevant societal issues.
Her most recent sales include Melissa Brown’s forthcoming RED CARPET KISS (Montlake Romance), Beth Ehemann’s CRANBERRY INN SERIES and an additional untitled book (Montlake Romance), Tara Wyatt’s 3 book adult romance series (Forever), Amanda Heger’s new adult WITHOUT BORDERS series (Diversion Books), Sophia Henry’s PILOT’S HOCKEY series (Flirt/Penguin Random House), and Emily Albright’s YA novel THE HEIR AND THE SPARE (Merit Press).
Carlisle Webber is the founder of CK Webber Associates, an agency specializing in middle grade, YA, and adult fiction. Prior to opening her own agency, she worked for the New England Publishing Associates/Publish or Perish Agency and the Jane Rotrosen Agency. She is a graduate of the Columbia Publishing Course and holds a Master of Library and Information Science and a Professional Certificate in Editing.
She is seeking books in a variety of genres, including mystery, thriller, women’s fiction, contemporary science fiction and fantasy, horror, and romance. Since her favorite authors include Shirley Jackson and Stephen King, she’s always on the lookout for something spine-tingling. Her manuscript wishlist includes, but is not limited to, stories about women’s friendships, gothic settings, modern Westerns, magical realism, medical thrillers, and literary YA. She is not looking for picture books. In her spare time, she runs half marathons and listens to classic rock. Follow her on Twitter: @carliebeth
Kamilla Benko spent most of her childhood climbing into wardrobes, trying to step through mirrors, and plotting to run away to an art museum. When she grew up, she moved to NYC and entered into the world of children’s publishing. She now wrangles manuscripts as an editor for Paper Lantern Lit, the literary packaging company founded by YA authors Lauren Oliver and Lexa Hillyer. Kamilla’s debut novel, THE UNICORN HUNT, the first in a fantasy trilogy, will be published by Bloomsbury Fall 2017.
Jordan Hamessley is the editorial director of Adaptive Books where she develops book properties based on abandoned film/tv IP and pairs the right author with the right idea. Prior to Adaptive, Jordan was an editor at Egmont USA and Grosset & Dunlap (Penguin Young Readers) where she edited YA and middle grade horror and science fiction.