Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop, Featuring Anna Silver, author of Otherborn

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop
March 29th to April 5th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Read Now Sleep Later

I am very excited to introduce a very talented new writer, Anna Silver, to Ensconced in YA for an interview and giveaway!

Otherborn (Otherborn, #1)Goodreads Book Description: London and her teenage friends live in a reprocessed world.

Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London has done the impossible and the illegal. She’s created something New- a song. But her mentor, club owner Pauly, is not impressed. Since the historic Energy Crisis forced everyone behind walls generations ago, the Tycoons have ensured there is truly nothing new allowed under the sun. Pauly warns London to keep her song to herself, if she knows what’s good for her.

What he doesn’t know is that London is keeping an even bigger secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. London’s band-mates and friends have begun dreaming as well, seeing themselves in “night pictures” as beings from another world. As Otherborn, they must piece together the story of their astral avatars, the Others, in order to save their world from a dreamless, hopeless future.

When Pauly is murdered and an Otherborn goes missing, London realizes someone is hunting them down. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their dreams to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them? Will being Otherborn save their lives, or destroy them?

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Author Blurb:

Anna Silver grew up with a passion for words, books, and storytelling. She began writing as a child and eventually landed at St. Edward’s University in Austin where she studied English Writing & Rhetoric. She has always nurtured a vivid imagination, a love for art and expression, and a need to lose herself in the mystical. Currently she resides in the greater Houston area with her family and pets where she continues to write, read, paint, and dream.

Author Interview
1. I love hearing stories about how authors start writing. When and how did you decide to write a book? Who or what inspired you?

I decided to be an author when I was about eight-years-old. And I started a number of novels when I was kid, in various spiral notebooks. But life sort of happened somewhere along the way and it wasn’t until I was nearing my thirties that I decided to get back into writing seriously. I wrote my first full novel when I was 28 or 29— a fantasy. Had a lot of good intentions about trying to publish it but just lost interest during the rewrite. A few years later, I caught the bug again and wrote another novel. That one I stuck with and began the equally arduous search into representation and publishing. Meanwhile, I decided to keep writing so the rejection wouldn’t eat me alive. OTHERBORN was my third novel and the first to get published.

2. I absolutely loved the world-building in this book. Can you tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for Otherborn?

OTHERBORN was born out of a couple of different influences. First, I’d read about the Otherkin subculture in a magazine and was instantly intrigued. To me, it just had novel written all over it. Did you know that there are people who truly believe they remember past-life experiences as non-human beings? I couldn’t stop imagining the fallout from that, how uncomfortable one would feel in their own skin if that were true— how conflicted and foreign.

The other was my personal research into dreaming. I’m fascinated by dreams and dream interpretation and the power dreams can hold in our waking lives. I read a book by a prolific author on the subject, Robert Moss, which talked about shamans from all over the world and all corners of history being able to meet up in their dreams and share information, help each other. Again, it just screamed, “Write me!”

I sort of crammed the ideas together and decided to contrast them with this dull, rote world to really amp up the conflict.

3. Characters are very important to me as a reader. Did you have a favorite character, and if so, why? Did any of them surprise you and make decisions you were not expecting?

My favorite character is Si’dah. I love writing her. She’s grace and wisdom and fantasy— pure joy for me as a writer. But I also love writing London, who is a perfect counterpart to Si’dah, because she’s all grit and impulse, raw emotion and barbed attitude. Together, they’re a lot of fun because there are so many ways they can play off each other and so many ways they can grow one another.

All of my characters surprise me. I’m a real pantser and even when I plot, my characters get in there and just wreak havoc on the best laid plans. I’ve learned to go with it.

4. I was fascinated by the underground community of Scrappers in this novel. Can you tell us a bit about how you came up with those ideas?

I’m kind of obsessed with junk, with one man’s trash being another man’s treasure. I’m not a hoarder or anything, but I like to look at things and imagine them with a purpose outside of the one they were created for. I love seeing things from totally different perspectives, like being able to see the beauty in something purely utilitarian. And when I came up with this idea of a world with nothing new, no creativity and no dreams, which are often the impetus behind history’s most creative acts, I thought it made sense that the culture would become obsessed with what was old. That our trash would sort of become the currency of the future, like recycling gone awry.

5. What is your favorite YA book of all time and your favorite YA read of this year?

Well, my favorite YA read of 2012 was BORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood. I really can’t shut up about it. If you haven’t read it, do so immediately! It was just that good. It had all kinds of things I like: magic, witches, love triangles, peculiar alternative histories, and feminist conflict.

As far as my favorite YA read of all time? That’s tough. BORN WICKED would certainly be at the top of that list, but there are so many others too. We didn’t exactly have YA when I was growing up, or it wasn’t called that anyway. But I loved books like A WRINKLE IN TIME and THE LAST UNICORN. When my daughters got into reading, I delved into YA in order to stay abreast of what they were being exposed to. We loved books like the VAMPIRE ACADEMY series and THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH. I keep a Goodreads list going and a Pinterest board that show everything I’ve read or want to read, and I try to be good about leaving reviews.

6. If you could freeze a favorite moment in the entire process of writing this book, what would it be and why?

Probably the first chapter that’s written in Si’dah’s voice. I think it’s chapter nine. That whole chapter just flowed out of me and it’s still one of my favorites. After writing eight chapters full of the downtrodden, dreary world London and her friends live in, it was really nice to be somewhere as liberating and vivid as the Astral plane and a relief to write in this completely refreshing voice. London really matches her world, she’s such a product of it. She’s very angry inside and abrasive outside. She doesn’t want to show any weakness. But Si’dah is kind of like the personification of London’s potential. She’s honest about her emotions and she’s very real, very down-to-earth for a character that isn’t even from our world!

7. I think we all have YA authors that we adore and look up to. Who is that author for you and why?

Oh man, there are so many! Now, I’d have to say I’m really impressed with writers like Jessica Spotswood, Maggie Stiefvater, Jodi Meadows, and Veronica Roth. From my childhood, I still love and remember writers like Madeleine L’Engle and Judy Blume. And of course, I never grow tired of the classic authors, J.R.R. Tolkien, Philip Pullman, and Marion Zimmer Bradley. Those may not be considered technically YA though.

8. I am excited to continue this journey with London and her friends. Can you tell us a little bit about what's in store for them?

The working title for the second book in the OTHERBORN series is ASTRAL TIDE, though that may change. You can definitely look for London and the gang to start really learning more about what it means to be Otherborn in their world and how to harness some of the power they possess and put it to use in their fight against the Tycoons. Of course, they’ll also be learning about the consequences that go along with using that power.

Alliances begin to shift and new characters come into play, while the old ones find they are irrevocably changed by all that’s happened. New love sprouts where old ties wither and London is forced to face some challenging emotions for more than just one guy. The Astral becomes much more active in this book, and we get a peek into the rest of the characters who make up the Circle.

The Tycoons still have the upper hand in book two, and they have the Otherborn on the run, but they can only run for so long. Eventually, they’ll have to face what waits when the road runs out. Eventually, all their fates will catch up with them.

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  1. Thanks for the interview, interesting to see where an author takes inspiration from :-)

  2. i agree! those that inspire always have interested me too!

  3. Great Interview, the book sounds great!

  4. very nice interview, can't wait to read the book.

  5. This is a very thorough review and interview. I hope I WIN the giveaway so I can read it. Thank you for the chance! Happy Easter & Happy Spring! =)

  6. BYW, I am Kathleen on the Rafflecopter... thanks!

  7. Nice inspiration for the book

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! This looks like a great read!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  9. Great interview!!! I think I will look into this book as well as the Born Wicked the author said she read and loved.
    Amy Brewer

  10. This was a great interview and I can't wait to read the book!
    Thanks for the giveaway! =)

  11. This looks like a great read. I enjoy a good mystery.

  12. I enjoyed the interview. Thank you for the chance!

  13. from the us and yes I have an e reader

  14. wow!! This book sounds so good!!! This book has a great story line and something I will definitely read and know I will enjoy it!! It's on my wish list and ready to order when it gets released!! Thank you so much for a chance to win and for being a part of this fun and awesome blog hop!!

  15. I love author interviews because we get to learn some new things about the authors. I really want to read this book it sounds amazing. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  16. Now I really want to read this! :D TY for the chance to win!
    Samantha D

  17. Otherkin are fascinating. Definitely looking forward to this one!

  18. Great interview! I definitely will have to get this one!

  19. Great interview!! Sounds like such a great read!