Saturday, June 15, 2013
But it can't bring back a book that's out of print. Well, not without some huge campaign where signatures are acquired or some such, anyway, and even then you can't figure a publisher would bring back a book first published in 1937.
That book is THE LOST QUEEN OF EGYPT by Lucile Morrison.
one of my favorite books when I was a kid. The book was old even then, and perhaps already out of print. But Cooke Library at Punahou School had a copy and I read it at least half a dozen times back then.
With the advent of places like Amazon, I was able to find most of the slightly more obscure books I loved as a kid like THE LITTLE BROOMSTICK by Mary Stewart, and MARA, DAUGHTER OF THE NILE by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. I even found NO FLYING IN THE HOUSE, by Betty Brock, a book that had me trying to kiss my elbow for weeks because I wanted to be able to fly too. (Read the book if you have no idea what I'm talking about - it's for middle graders and possibly younger, but it's a blast.)
But even with places like Amazon and Abe Books, and Google and Ebay, the cheapest I could find for a copy of THE LOST QUEEN OF EGYPT was a used copy for $84.40.
No, I haven't bought it. I'm not overflowing with money for those sorts of purchases, but still! It haunts me. I vividly remember the charming drawings inside of the young Ankhsenpaaten and Tutankhaten, the joy of family life as depicted in ancient Amarna, and the sadness as the young Queen moves toward her inevitable fall when her husband, King Tut, dies. And of course, the delightful, melancholy ending, which adds a marvelous twist to what could be a tragic tale.
I guess what I'm saying is - if your library has this book, read it! And savor the books you love that you're reading now. Not everything is accessible all the time, even in this day and age. And you may end up with nothing more than a beautiful memory when it comes to your favorite books.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Saturday, June 08, 2013
I stopped by the house of one of my oldest friends last night to pick him up for dinner. (We've known each other since first grade.) His amazing 10 year old daughters saw it was raining as we left and loaned me this adorable umbrella.
Seriously smart, kind, delightful young women. I had such a fun with them.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
I sold and signed a few books, got to chat with kids and adults, gave away temporary tiger tattoos, and found time to get to know a few more fellow authors.
At the table in front of me was fellow YA author Sherri L. Smith, who was not only smart and super nice, but was featuring two of her five books - FLYGIRL and ORLEANS both of which looked MOST intriguing! FLYGIRL really tweaked my interest - it's about an African American girl with skin light enough to pass for white who joins the Women's Air Force Service Pilots during World War II because she loves to fly. (African American's were not allowed to serve with whites at the time - all the armed forces were segregated, sadly.) I've heard about these amazing women, who took over all the domestic flying for the Air Force while the men were off flying fighter planes. (Women weren't allowed to be fighter pilots back then.) I love a good story about women doing what others thing they can't do, about pushing the boundaries of people's expectations. So I'm going to have to pick up FLYGIRL for sure.
I also saw and chatted with my Apocalypsie buddies Jennifer Bosworth and Gretchen McNeil, who were on a panel with Sherri and the lovely Carrie Arcos and Jessica Brody, talking YA.
After seeing how the other authors had cool easel holders and placards about their books, I realize I need to step up my game and invest in some of that stuff. But the librarians and council members of the El Segundo Library were unfailingly welcoming and helpful. If you're in the area, definitely check out the library there.
That was my last blast of author work before heading off to vacation. Well, I'll be writing the whole time, and THAT's author work, of course. Off to my homeland of Hawaii to see my dad and hang out with a bunch of my high school buddies, who will be in town. FUN! And yes, I'll bodysurf at Bellows because that's still my favorite thing to do in the whole wide worlds.
In fact, the cab is picking me up in about three hours and I'm still not completely packed! So I'm off to grab a snack and get ready. I probably won't be able to blog from there, but I'll be posting occasionally on my Facebook page and throwing out the occasional tweet.
Happy early June to one and all!
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Barnes and Noble will have books on hand for people to buy if they wish, but I'm happy to sign books already purchased - or anything else you like. I'm easy like that.
Here's the flyer (front and back) telling you about all the fabulous authors and panels and such. I haven't been before, but apparently they get a lot of people.
So many great authors attending!
(Just click on an image to make it bigger if you wish.)
Monday, May 20, 2013
(Photo by Syahrul Ramadan)
Oh wait, that's what this tiger is thinking.
Here's some of what the School Library Journal actually thought:
“Fans of the first book will be clamoring for this title and will be eager to get their paws on the final book in the trilogy. Plus, tiger fans will enjoy going ‘beyond the story’ at the end of the novel and learning some facts and proverbs about the great cat.”
There's no link online to it, since it's published in their magazine, but you get the idea.
I'm especially glad that they're pointing out the tiger facts/quotes/info I included at the end, because I'm pretty zealous about preserving the tigers and other big cats in the wild. Any and all education that gets out about that makes me very happy.
Speaking of which, if you sign up at TigerTime here, you'll get info on how you can help save tigers, without weird spam emails or any of that nonsense.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
You have till May 21 at midnight to enter! I'll sign the book over to the winners and include some bookmarks because you guys are awesome.
Hmm. Link below seems to be broken. GO HERE to enter.
(Sorry, international folks, but funds are low, so I can't swing the huge mailing costs for an international contest right now. But when things change a bit, that too will change!)
Thursday, April 25, 2013
You see, the last few weeks I've had my nose to that writing grindstone, finishing up a draft that was good enough for my editor to see. It wasn't easy, wrapping up three books full of adventure, romance, and paranormal world building. But it really was fun.
Now that I've had a few nights of sleep and have caught up with the latest episodes of Mad Men and The Good Wife (still have to catch up Justified, The Americans, and The Borgias, and well, I never stopped watching Game of Thrones and The Daily Show) I figured I'd announce the title of the book.
So this morning I clickety-clicked into my email and saw there was someone who wanted to be my friend on Goodreads. I clicked yes, then went to check my author page on that site, just to see what my to-reads were up to. And lo and behold! Goodreads had book 3 up already - with the correct title!
Crap. So much for my "big" announcement. Had it been announced in Publishers Weekly or something and I missed it? I high tailed it over to Amazon and voila! They also have the book up, available for pre-order (cough cough), and the release date down as December 31, 2013.
Well, that's news to me!
(I can't vouch for that being the correct release date, by the way. It could be correct, or not! Will let you know when I know...)
Fricking internet bots. Somehow they ferreted out the title. Not that title was this huge mystery. My friend's very smart daughter figured it out and emailed me, asking if she was right. Well, she was! Because after book 1's title being OTHERKIN, and book 2's OTHERMOON, the title of book 3 just had to be:
*insert pointless cymbal crash here*
Yep, Othersphere, the world that lies closest to our own, where the otherkin draw their shadow selves from. Where Caleb's powers as a Caller of Shadows dwells. A beautiful, magical, dangerous place. And yes, you get to step through the veil and see what it's like...
Otherkin Pinterest page.
Here it is on Goodreads, and Amazon. I couldn't find it on the Barnes and Noble site or anywhere else... yet. But it will be there, and in bookstores soon!
I hope to have the cover in a month or so to tantalize you with further. Till then - read on!
Friday, April 19, 2013
I'm so thrilled to make this BIG ANNOUNCEMENT that there isn't a font big enough or exciting enough to convey my feelings. As I typed away at book 3 in the Otherkin series, big things were afoot in my writing life, and at last I can share the news!
Voila, the deal announcement today in Publisher's Marketplace:
Children's: Young AdultHUZZAH!
Nina Berry's THE NOTORIOUS PAGAN JONES, the first in a new series set in Berlin in 1961, in which a disgraced Hollywood starlet is pulled into a complex world of politics and intrigue as the Cold War heats up, to Annie Stone at Harlequin Teen, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Tamar Rydzinski at the Laura Dail Literary Agency (World English).
I'll be telling you a lot more about my new protagonist, Pagan Jones, (isn't that coolest name? If I do say so myself...) in the weeks to come.
Nobody trusts her; nobody believes in her... and that's her biggest advantage. She's so fun to write! I think you'll have a blast following her adventures.
I've been doing a lot of research (which I love, crazy me) on the early 1960's and Berlin and Hollywood at that time. I've been pinning up inspirational images on Pinterest on the Sixties and Berlin and the wall. (Click those links to see the images) It was the Kennedy era, a time of fascinating contrasts and international tensions, where the Cold War bumped up against Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Chubby Checker asked us to "Twist Again" not long after the head of Soviet Russia told the US ambassadors: "We will bury you."
Most importantly, Dior created the suit-dress. Check it out. And yes, Pagan gets to wear one:
Okay, so maybe the Berlin Wall going up is a wee bit more important than a dress, but isn't it fabulous? And fabulous suits my mood right now.
I'm thrilled to be working with the amazing folks at Harlequin Teen. Big thanks to editor Annie Stone and my amazing agent, Tamar Rydzinski, for their help in making this happen.
More on the notorious Pagan Jones and her life full of jeopardy and glamor soon!
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Minutes later, I heard that someone I worked with a few years ago was killed this weekend, along with his wife, in a car crash.
There you have it, the seesaw of life. It gives with one hand, and somewhere, for someone, it's taking everything away with the other.
What do we learn from this? I think Auntie Mame said it best.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Check out badass Mom and baby:
They have the same ears in the same position!
The Sire, Tapit, is a gray, and some have speculated that Z13 will turn gray because his cute little nose is kind of white. Gray horses often start out dark or some other color and get grayer as they get older. So it'll be fun to see what happens.
I've blogged before about Zenyatta. Here's my post about saying farewell to her at Hollywood Park. All of those photos are mine. (The one above is by Kyle Acebo.)
Been following the prep races before the Kentucky Derby, and was wowed by Animal Kingdom's win at the Dubai World Cup this past Saturday. Can't quite believe I saw him race at the Breeder's Cup last November, where he lost to the amazing Wise Dan in the Mile. Here's the Dubai World Cup, in which he is much the best.
In non-horsey news, I'm writing like a maniac to finish up book 3 in the Otherkin series.
I'm in the trench with blasters firing at me, too fast to follow. I'm aiming for the target... Almost there...
My social life is suffering a bit because when I come home from the day job it's just - write, eat, shower, write, sleep. Or every other day I throw in a work out + hair-washing shower + blow dry hair, all of which takes longer than you think, because I have more hair than God.
But I did have a lovely Easter dinner with friends last weekend. There was this broccoli casserole with crisp crumby things on top that I couldn't stop eating. For some it's peeps at Easter. For me it's... broccoli?
Yes, I'm a weirdo.
Oh, and I did my taxes. *SHUDDER*
My camera broke while I was in Thailand (Dang! I need to do a real post about that trip. Soon!) so no new fabulous photos of my darling kitten Marlowe, who is practically all grown up. He's not nearly as nutty and energetic as he was before, but he still purrs the second I pick him up. And he walks right up to my cranky cat Lucy and licks her head. Such a sweetie! He did get neutered back in November, and afterwards he lazed in the sun, most becomingly. Here's the yawn to end all yawns.
Once I save up for a new camera, there will be more shots - of him and other things!
Back to writing! Hope you all had great Passovers or Easters or even just a great weekend!
Monday, March 25, 2013
You may already have seen HBO's cool new promotion for the show at www.JointheRealm.com, where you can create your own House Sigil, like the Starks and the Lannisters. Warning: it's addictive!
My first stab looked like this - based on Berry's Second Law (per my father) which is the motto:
The dragon and the unicorn face outward, as if searching, each symbolizing a different aspect of love.
Berry's First Law is: "When in Doubt, Go Left," which would also make a good motto, seems to me.
Then my best friend told me no, obviously my motto is:
Yes, it's a line from the movie version of Fellowship of the Ring, spoken by Galadriel. As soon as he saw her get all glowy and crazy when she was tempted by the ring, my best friend pointed at me and said - "That's you."
The symbol is a phoenix because it just looked right to me - kind of like Galadriel with her arms out, radiating power, immortal, death/birth.
One's friends give one an interesting perspective on one. Don't they?
Yes, I love the color green, so I keep using it. Maybe the "All Shall Love Me" sigil should be black or red, with a skull or something.
Or perhaps to show we don't take it all quite so seriously:
What's your sigil?
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Well, in electronic formats.
You can get it for $2.99 on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, and Sony until March 25.
That's next Monday!
Blerg. I better have a lot more of book 3 written by then. I know where I'm going, but it always takes longer to get there than you think...
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Me, I pledged enough to get the t-shirt, script pdf, and a digital download of the finished movie. I have no doubt this project will fund, but I just had to share because I want to see this movie NOW!
Monday, March 11, 2013
Scroll down the list of emails from non-profits and advocacy groups. La la la.
See headline: "Mother Bear Kills Cub and Self to Escape Life of Bile 'Milking.'"
Go from 1 to 10 on the rage meter. Eyes tear. Look around for something to rend or throw.
Tell self to calm down.
Start to drive to work.
Unable to get thoughts of animal torture and despair out of head. Wiping surreptitiously under eyes, knowing other drivers aren't looking anyway.
Tell self to calm down again. Remind self that suicide is a touchy subject due to a friend that killed herself.
Ponder the intelligence and emotion in a bear that would rather kill her cub and then herself than continue to live in agony.
Decide for umpteenth time that animals are smarter and more emotional than most humans will ever know. Try to push images of vast animal abuse all over the globe out of head.
Gaze at pedestrians on Hollywood Boulevard. Wonder if they're nice people or evil sons of bitches.
Picture pitched battle with persona of "Despair," using cool ninja martial arts moves.
Imagine donning Iron Man suit, flying over to China, and gunning down any and all humans involved in this vile practice of 'milking' bear bile.
Get to work.
Turn on computer. Get tea. Go immediately to article to find organization who is fighting this practice.
Find Animals Asia online.
Immediately sign petition to end bear bile farming in China.
Post petition to Twitter, trying not to knock every item off my desk in impotent rage. Reflect on how doing that could raise questions about my sanity and then I'd just have to pick everything up off the floor anyway. Also, losing job and/or getting locked up for crazy behavior would strongly curtail my ability to donate money or advocate for these bears or other animals in any way.
Donate money to Animals Asia.
Ponder moving to China to volunteer/work for Animals Asia and help the bears they save.
Realize this is unrealistic. Calming down. Remind myself of all the good that people do as well as all the horror.
Write blog post to channel remaining fury.
Sunday, March 03, 2013
(In case you can't read cat, that spells FUN.)
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
How happy did that make me?
Then a friend in the Bay area sent THIS is, from her local B&N:
Which made me say:
Then today, friends in the UK sent me this shot, showing what they've been up to lately:
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
And you think that but really you have just NO FLIPPING IDEA how it's doing.
People ask me how book sales are going, and the truth is I don't know.
And that's because there is no one source for book sales, and some sources won't share their info. I can look at what Amazon tells me on my Author Page, but those numbers don't include: 1. Sales from independent book stores who don't use bookscan. 2. Kindle sales. (No, really. Amazon won't tell me how many electronic copies they've sold of my books on Kindle. You would think that would be the easiest thing thing for them to track and to share with an author. But no.) 3. Nook sales. (Barnes and Noble doesn't even have an Author page or its equivalent, so forget it!) 4. Kobo sales. 5. Sony E-Reader Sales. 6. Random other sales that apparently happen that nobody knows about.
You would think in this age of electronic whatchamajiggies and tracking thingamabobs that it would all be known.
No, it is not flippin' known!
So when I get a cool @reply on Twitter from a friend telling me that OTHERKIN has hit #94 on the Amazon Teen Fantasy (Kindle) charts, I rush out and squee and tweet about it. And I watch obsessively throughout the day, refreshing the OTHERKIN page to see if it's moved. And it did move! All the way up to #81 on that chart! Then it was on two charts - Kindle Teen Fantasy and Kindle Children's Books at spots 84 and 99!
Now today, it's not on either chart, but is (as I type this) ranked #4,694. OTHERMOON isn't far behind.
But what does that mean?
Say it with me:
Now this may vary, depending on your publisher. Another writer told me that her publisher sent her weekly emails with sales numbers.
I hope she's right. But I can't quite believe it. It's like believing in fairies or the Easter Bunny. You want it to be true, but if your life depended on believing it... like, if a vampire was coming at you and you held up a picture of the Easter Bunny to fend it off, would the vampire flinch back? Or would it laugh and tear the picture from your hand, saying, "Your lack of faith will be your doom!"
What if the Easter Bunny was a vampire? Oh wait. They did that story. And it was awesome.
So I celebrated and tweeted being on the Amazon charts yesterday. But I have no idea what that really means for my sales. It's good - don't get me wrong. But I can't quantify "good" for you. I wish I could.
Eventually I will get royalty statements. I'm looking forward to those.
I think some part of me is glad not to know, not to quantify my writing too much. It's a creative process. Getting numbery about it isn't conducive to my creativity.
Meanwhile, a three day weekend is coming up, which means ... more writing away at book 3. Wish me luck. Wishing you a happy: