Friday, March 22, 2013

Blog Tour: Otherborn by Anna Sweat (Guest Post & Giveaway)

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
Release Date: April 4th, 2013
Genre: YA Dystopian/Science Fiction
Confined within Capital City’s concrete walls, London keeps 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, London realizes 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?
Tenspiration:
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.
1. Otherkin
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.
3. Reincarnation
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.
4. Recycling
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.
5. Gasholes
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.
6. THRIVE
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 London.
8. Vintage
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.
9. Shamanism
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 Austin where 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 Houston area 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?

Giveaway!
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17 comments:

  1. OOH. THIS SOUNDS FANTASTIC. WANT. NEED. YES, NEED.

    Ever since I watched an anime about shamans (Shaman King), I've been very giggly when I see the word or any reference to it. Combining it with the sometimes otherworldly concept of dreams takes the cake. Conspiracies? SIGN ME UP.

    Thanks for sharing this with us, Keertana :D

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  2. I loved this book! I was thoroughly engrossed from cover to cover, and was sad to see it end. I can't wait for the next book in this new series! London is a great character but I'm looking forward to watching her grow and mature.

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  3. When I first read about Otherborn, I thought it highly reminded me of The Lost Girl, a book which I adored, but reading all the things which influenced Anna to write this book in the first place, shows me just how different it is. I love how many different things led to this story being born. Thanks for sharing this post with us Keertana and Anna! :)

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  4. Gellie, Henry Jordan, & Jasprit- Thank you so much for your wonderful comments! I am so glad you have enjoyed or are looking forward to OTHERBORN. I loved writing it!

    Keertana- thanks for a terrific post! What a great stop this has been on my tour!

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  5. Henry Jordan, since you read OTHERBORN already, you can get 10 easy entries in my month-long Kindle Fire HD giveaway starting April 4th on my blog (http://www.annasilverauthor.blogspot.com/) by leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads. Keertana, you can enter too! There will be lots of ways to enter, so be sure to stop by on 4/4 and enter!

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  6. I love the sound of this! And I loved the guest post as well. It's certainly an interesting list of inspiration. I think interpreting dreams can be a fascinating thing - although when I think back on my own, what little I can remember of them is really weird lol. And the idea of astral travel, as well. Thanks for sharing, ladies! :)

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  7. What an interesting combination for inspiration! Oh I love that. Love it when things that don't seem to have anything in common come together. Great post!

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  8. Oh, this guest post is just another proof for me that we can find inspiration in practically anything! ;) Shamanism is a very interesting concept, and oh, reincarnation! I'm really interested how Anna adopts these concepts in Otherborn. :) Yay for vintage! I love vintage things, and I agree, it feels just like treasure hunting sometimes! :)

    Amazing guest post! :)

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  9. Thanks Aa'lshah, Melissa of Books and Things, & Hilda K for your wonderful comments!

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  10. Wow, that description is great (night pictures?!) and I love the author's list. Thanks so much for featuring this guest post--I may have to check this one out as some point.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  11. I've been dying to read this book and can't wait to dig in!

    Thanks for the AMAZING giveaway Anna!
    Tobi
    tobihelton at gmail dot com

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  12. I haven't read it but would LOVE too..Thanks for the chance!!

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  14. Otherborn is an awesome dystopian book and I'm so ready to read the next one. I'm so excited about the "Others", there is so much we need to know about them and how and when they will help London and friends lol.
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