Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Taste of the Tasty Reviews for Otherkin...

The reviews are starting to come in for my book, and so far so great! Below are links and some text of one of the reviews. Yes, I'm tooting my own horn a bit here, but hat the hell. Maybe nice words about my writing will be old hat one day, but right now they make me feel awesome.

I will throw in the caveat that I don't read reviews on Goodreads and will probably not read reviews on Amazon. Bad reviews may appear in publications or on blogs, and I will probably avoid reading them and thus not post about them here. I caught a glimpse of one negative remark about the book on Goodreads (although most comments there seem to be positive so far...) and it really played with my head for awhile. As a writer I need to protect my writing head space. More on that in another post. But for now, onto the good stuff!

First up, OTHERKIN got a four out of four star reviews at RT Book Reviews! This is a paid subscription site, so I can't link you directly to the review.  I'll just quote a couple of salient paragraphs here:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Winners of the ARC Giveaway!

*Drum Roll*

To hell with waiting any longer! Without further ado, the winners of the two advance reader copies of Otherkin are:

Leo Bullock

Karen (Commenter #15, your favorite animal was a turtle. I love turtles too!)

Congratulations to Leo and Karen!

Both of you, please send me your mailing addresses at ninaberrybooks [at] gmail [dot] com and I'll send them to you right away. (My email addresses is printed that way to avoid spam. It works!)

So sorry to all those who didn't get a copy. It was hard for me to type the names of the winners because I knew that meant excluding most of you! The winners were chosen by a random number generator using the order in which you commented to establish your number. If a person left more than one comment, I used only their first comment as their number.

I will be doing another giveaway in about a week. If you want to enter again, follow me on Twitter, "like" me on Facebook (see the right hand side of my blog to do that), or check back here in a week or so to enter.

That giveaway will feature another question in the party game, but first l have to tell you that the words you used to describe your favorite animal actually describe...

...your ideal life partner.

No really! Well, okay. It's just a party game, but still!

I love the variety of the words chosen. I totally get how those words could apply to a very cool life partner.

My own three words were: cuddly, playful, and sleek. Used to describe a cat. I can still remember how I felt when someone at the party revealed what those words indicated. It took me aback, but when I thought about it - yeah. A partner with those qualities would be pretty great! I can think of a couple of guys I dated who qualified. Ahem!

And I'm not the only one who chose the word "sleek!" We should start a "Sleek Appreciation Club."

It's amazing what a variety of animals this small sample of people chose: unicorns, dragons, ducks, cats, dogs, pandas, crows, lions, tigers (yay!), ravens, elephants, panthers. I'm a huge lover of all animals (well, except maybe ticks and fleas) so it was a ton of fun to see how YOU saw these animals.

If you've already found your significant other for life, I can't help wondering if the words you chose seem like an accurate description of that person to you. If you feel like letting me know, please do in the comments! And of course, it's just a party game, so you should take it with a wee grain of salt.

Thanks for coming by and taking the time to enter this contest. You guys rock!

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Art of Revision

When I get notes from my editor on a manuscript, a concatenation of emotions tumbles through me. Because I just got the manuscript for Othermoon back with revision notes today, I'm still dealing with all the feelings it brings up. It's a great trip to go on, don't get me wrong. But it's quite a roller coaster.

1. I see an email from my editor in my Inbox. A jolt rocks through me. It contains a jumble of feelings:  excitement, fear, knowledge and pressure that work and a deadline lie ahead.

2. I hesitate. What if she hated it? What if she has notes I disagree with? Even more emotionally charged - what if she loved it? Oh no. That's too much to hope for.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Giveaway: An ARC of Otherkin

UPDATE: June 19, 2012, 9:37pm PST.

And now, because you're all so awesome, double your chance to win!

I've so been enjoying all your animal choices and descriptive words! Can't wait to tell you what they mean, according to this party game.  I'll post that information along with the names of the winners  the morning of June 21. Morning my time, here in Hollywood, Califonia, that is.

But I've also decided to give away not one but TWO ARCs of Otherkin!

Yes that's 2, deux, due, dos, iki (that's Turkish. I can count to 29 in Turkish. Long story.) つ (that's Japanese, according to Google translator) copies of the book will be mailed off to two of you lovely folks, selected at random.

If you haven't entered yet, what are you waiting for? Read the original post, below, to see what you need to do.

The deadline to enter is Midnight (Hollywood, California time), June 20, 2012. Winner announced the next morning. This is open to everyone in all countries anywhere mail can be delivered. I love to travel. If I'm lucky maybe some day I'll come visit you and the ARC and we can chat. Maybe have a nice cup of tea, or whatever they like to drink in your country.

And if you don't win, don't worry. I'll be doing another giveaway at the end of June, with another party game question to celebrate my and my Dad's birthdays.

Thanks, everyone!

In celebration of my Mom coming to visit this weekend, and to thank you, the readers of this blog, I'm giving away a personally autographed advanced reader copy (ARC) of my book! Woo hoo!

Unlike the giveaway on Goodreads, this is open to international folks. The winner will be chosen randomly.

All you need to do is leave a comment below telling me:

1. Your favorite animal;
2. Three adjectives describing that animal.

Why? Because it's fun, and because Otherkin is about people who shapeshift into animals. I'll choose the winner from among the commenters using this random number generator.

This is actually part of a party game, and it supposedly says something interesting about you. Hee hee. I'll reveal what that is (and if you know, don't tell!) when I announce the winner, next Thursday, June 21.

For the record, when I was asked this question at a party (before I knew what it supposedly meant about me) I said that my favorite animal is a cat. (It's actually a tiger, but I went more general rather than specific for some reason. You should feel free to be as general or specific as you like.)

And the three adjectives I chose were: cuddly, playful, and sleek.

There is no right or wrong answer! If you don't really have a favorite animal, just try to think what cool animal skill (flying, stalking, camouflage) you'd like to have and brainstorm from there.

The contest is officially open now and will close at 12am Pacific Time on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. I'll announce the winner the next day, get your info, sign a book, throw in a cool bookmark, and mail it off to wherever you are.

Can't wait to see what you guys post!

Friday, June 08, 2012

Otherkin - A Great Review!

I promise not to post here every time my book gets a good review. That would get tiresome fast. But this is my first novel, and this is the first "official" review I've seen of it.

It's at a blog called Paranormal Reads. Check it out here.

My head is spinning. Logically I know it's just one review on one blog. I know that there will be people who don't like the book for one reason or another. I'm braced for hate mail, honestly, even though my book isn't the controversial type that usually draws anger. But you never know. The world is big and wide and holds all kinds of opinions, and if you put your work out there, you have to be prepared for the consequences.

But a person I don't know read has my novel - and they liked it. And they wrote down in an official blog about books that they liked it. A lot. And they're looking forward to the next one.

That's just... freaky.

And fantastic.

Getting your first book published is this weird, slow entry into a whole new world. Or maybe it's the world that's entering you. And everything else.

As a writer, you spend so much time alone in front of your computer, living in the world you made, that it starts to seem real. Then you go to brunch with friends or talk to your Mom and you realize, duh,  nobody else is living in that world. It's not real, you silly writer, you!

Then, after a long long LONG time, if you're lucky and you work hard and persist, the book gets bought and you move toward it being published. Someone gives you money for your writing, and they give you notes to make it better, and you realize the world you thought was yours alone now belongs to a few other people besides.

Your private world, which was once just a thought in your head, has become a shared dream.

Then it gets listed on Amazon as copy writers step in and polish it up, and cover artists give you a gorgeous visual glimpse, and the advance copies go out to reviewers.  Dozens of people have knowledge of the world you made.

The shared dream has become instead a hologram, popping into our world like Princess Leigh emanating from R2-D2's projector. It's isolated, far from life-sized, and you can put your hand through it, but it resembles the real thing if you squint.

Then a reviewer comments, and people post about it on Goodreads, and the world you created isn't just an isolated Princess Leia-like hologram. It's as if the book world has begun infiltrating the fabric of the real world, warping things till they resembles the made-up world just a little.

See? I told you. It's freaky.

I can't wait to see what happens when the book is actually released!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Title and Cover Reveal for Otherkin's Sequel!

I'm so thrilled to share with you the cover for the sequel to OTHERKIN, which will also tell you its title:

Don't you LOVE it?

There's so much I think is amazing here - the moon looming behind her, that the model is moving and in action, that her hair (and her butt!) look great, that the tiger lurks almost like something out her subconscious in the background...

That not only is green my favorite color but it echoes the green in the eyes on the cover of OTHERKIN.

The branches are particularly apropos, and hint at part of her character development in this book, which is called OTHERMOON for a very good reason I can't share with you. That would be a spoiler, and we can't be having that. Most of you haven't even read the first book yet, for crying out loud.

The tagline is also an indication of plot and character development to come.... Too bad you have to wait until February of 2013 to figure out what the heck I'm talking about.

...pausing now to reflect on the fact that my name is in green on the cover of another book.

Holy dreams come true!

Guess this means the first one wasn't a fluke.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Title and Cover for Book 2 Coming Soon!

OTHERKIN is the first in a series of books. It's out July 31, and book 2 will be out in February of 2013.

Which means, given how things work in publishing, that I've written book 2 and will shortly be getting my editors notes on it to do a quick rewrite.

Meanwhile, the fabulous folks at KTeen have been working on other things, like publicity for OTHERKIN (more on that soon!), and cover art for book 2.

I got the art, and I love it. Like, unreservedly, fabulously, LOVE. IT.

I first saw it on my phone in an airport, and my heart leapt. I thought, "It can't be THAT cool, can it?" So when I got home and looked at it properly, I was prepared to find things wrong with it.

Except I just kept finding more things I loved!

So I'll be sharing the cover art and the title for book 2 in the Otherkin series early next week. Seriously, folks, it rocks!