I am thrilled to be welcoming Anna Silver to my blog today for the blog tour of her debut novel, Otherborn.
Title: Otherborn (Otherborn, #1)
Author: Anna Silver
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Release Date: April 4th, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian/Science Fiction
Capital City’s concrete walls, Londonkeeps an impossible secret: she dreams. And she’s not alone. Her friends are seeing themselves in “night pictures” too, as beings from another world. Together they uncover the story of their avatars, astral shamans they call Otherborn.
When one Otherborn is murdered and another goes missing,
Londonrealizes someone is hunting them. Escaping along the Outroads, they brave the deserted Houselands with only their Otherborn to guide them. Can they find their friend before the assassin finds them?
Ten Things That Inspired OTHERBORN
Writers can find inspiration anywhere. Writing fiction in the vein of fantasy, paranormal romance, or sci-fi, really throws open the gates to inspiration— nothing is off limits. Nothing is too weird, too kinky, or too implausible to be fodder for the fiction writer’s imagination. My YA debut, Otherborn, can be compressed down to a couple of major influences, but in truth, a lot went into shaping my characters and the dystopian world of the Otherborn. I don’t have time to list them all, but in order to stimulate your own imaginative reflexes, here are just ten of the things I pulled from to make this novel.
I first read about the Otherkin subculture in a magazine called PanGaia. I was instantly fascinated by the concept of people who experienced memories of past lives in which they were something other than human. To me, it just had fantasy/sci-fi written all over it.
2. Robert Moss
I’m obsessed with dreaming. I spend a fair amount of time recording and interpreting my own dreams, as well as reading anything I can about them. My favorite author on this subject is Robert Moss, who has written a ton of books on all aspects of dreaming as well as traveling the world giving workshops. It was while reading Dreamways of the Iroquois that the idea for astral shamans came to me, based on an experience Moss described in the book.
Reincarnation is one of those fascinating topics that excites the imagination, whether it’s ultimately a part of your belief system or not. But the reincarnation stories that really interest me aren’t the ones where someone remembers they were Cleopatra or Joan of Arc, it’s the ones where someone remembers they were something entirely nonhuman, like a being from another dimension, or a plant deva, or even an animal.
So, the green movement is all the rage and for the most part, everyone agrees it’s a good thing, though there’s a lot of talk about some people using it for personal financial gain, political power, and so on. I couldn’t help imagining a dystopia where green goes wrong. Picturing the dark side of recycling led to this world where “new” is stigmatized and reprocessing rules.
My husband is a lover of all things conspiracy. We watched this great documentary about oil and gas tycoons deliberately covering up new energy technologies in order to protect their outrageous profits. And living here in
Houston, the major industry of oil and gas is right under my nose. Both of my parents and my grandmother worked for an oil company growing up. How much truth is behind the speculation in a documentary like Gasholes, I can’t say. But it makes for a great dystopian culture.
This one’s kind of a cheat. Technically speaking, I didn’t watch Thrive until after I wrote OTHERBORN, but it has been a big inspiration in writing the sequel and I wanted to give this documentary its due. Once again, my husband’s passion for conspiracy theories led me to this great documentary about renewable energy vs. power and greed. You can watch it online for free if you’re interested: http://www.thrivemovement.com/
7. Punk Music
I’m not one of those uber hip types who’s up on all the indie bands or big into the music scene. I have friends to do that for me (you know who you are). I count on them to keep me posted on what’s exciting and up and coming with music. But one of my favorite genres of music since I was a kid has been punk. Again, don’t shout band names at me, I probably won’t know them. But I really wanted to write a female protagonist with the kind of bravado and grit it would take to front a punk band. Enter
I love vintage anything. Mainly just because I love the treasure hunting experience of digging through a whole lot of crap to hit hipster gold. Creating a world where old, antiquated, and vintage are the new underground currency sounded like a dream come true. If only I could turn my own thrift hunter abilities into that kind of cash flow.
Alternative religions, indigenous cosmologies, myth, magic, Joseph Campbell…all of these things stir my imagination. Shamanism is fascinating to me because of the similarities it carries from one end of the world to the next, one century to the next. There is something very primal that seems to be a common thread in all of us; that weaves its way through shamanic practices. I’ve loved the idea of writing about characters that were shamans of some kind for a long time.
10. Astral Travel
Astral travel, astral projection, astral planes— we’ve all heard of these terms. And most of us have been curious. Through my dream research, I’ve come across some pretty extraordinary stories about astral travel from the people who experienced them. My own dreams have often bled over into real life, through precognition or healing results. There aren’t a ton of novels centered around dreaming or characters with supernatural dreaming abilities, and it felt like a natural choice for me to write one.
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
Austinwhere she studied English Writing & Rhetoric. She has always nurtured a vivid imagination and a love for art, expression, and fantasy. Currently she resides in the greater Houstonarea with her family and pets where she continues to read, write, and dream. Otherborn is her first published novel.
Thanks for stopping by, Anna! I love hearing about the different things that inspired authors as it always gets me more excited to read their novels and Otherborn seems like something unique - finally! - in the genre of YA Dystopian/Sci-Fi! What do you think?
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