PYN: Tell us about your latest book!
Nina: OTHERSPHERE is the final book in my paranormal OTHERKIN trilogy. It’s goes places the first two books could only dream about. In the first book, OTHERKIN, my main character, Dez, discovers that she can shape-shift into a tiger. That leads her into a shadow world of shifter tribes and the fanatics who hunt them. Along the way she makes amazing friendships and finds love with a mysterious, reckless boy. The choices she makes in book two, OTHERMOON, complicate the love story even as Dez learns more about who she really is and brings the battle with their enemies to a climax, but at great cost. In OTHERSPHERE, to unlock the final secrets of her identity, Dez has to travel to another world and face an enemy greater, and closer, than ever before. And the love story reaches its own climax as she finally figures out what she really needs.
PYN: How did you build the world of Othersphere?
Nina: Piece by piece.
The long answer is that I started off with the idea of a very normal suburban girl shape-shifting into a tiger, then I backtracked and created a world where that could happen. It was a lot of fun! I came up with five different shifter tribes, mapped out their complicated internal politics, figured out the rules of the magic involved, and gave them a powerful enemy, the Tribunal. The shifters derive their power from a connection to a parallel world they call Othersphere, which is the world that lies closest to our own. The shifters, who call themselves otherkin, see that connection as magical, while the Tribunal approaches it from a scientific perspective, which allowed me to indulge in my (very amateurish) side interest in quantum physics in book 2.
PYN: Who’s your favorite paranormal character in pop culture, and why do you remember him/her?
Nina: Oh wow, there’s no way to pick just one! Lately I have a crush on Jonathan Rhys Meyer’s version of Dracula on the new NBC series, but I’m going to cheat and say that I’m also crazy about Harry Dresden in the many Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher, Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Will Herondale in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series, Becca in Storm by Brigid Kemmerer, Hermione in the Harry Potter books, Bartimaeus the demon in Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus trilogy, Hazel in Watership Down, and the fantastic armored polar bear Iorek Byrnison in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.
Iorek is a great example of the type of character I love, one that is both deeply flawed (that is, he has character flaws – his alcoholism and shame) and deeply awesome. He’s loyal, kind, wise, and utterly bad ass. I’d kill for a chance to be like Lyra and go for a ride through the snowy wastes on his back.
PYN: Can you tell us one fun/interesting paranormal fact you learned in your book research?
Nina: Did you know that Vlad Tepes, aka Dracula, was actually a bat-shifter? Or that the Mayan rulers were jaguar-shifters? [Tweet this!] Or that the Loch Ness monster is a creature from Othersphere that crossed the veil between worlds? You can learn all sorts of cool paranormal facts like those in my books.
PYN: What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?
Nina: They say you should write every day, and they’re not wrong, but for me it goes in spurts. Daydreaming and playing around with ideas in your head is an important aspect of writing for me, and I’ve learned to let myself do that for awhile as I start a project. Then I outline, do my research, and start writing. When I’m on deadline and in first draft mode, I write every single day. But I have a day job in television, so I write when I get home, usually from 8 – 10pm every night, then much of the day on the weekends.
I’ve written everywhere from an elephant sanctuary in Thailand (which was so cool!) to my Dad’s living room in Hawaii, but my favorite place to write is on my green couch in my own living room with my laptop on my lap. I get frequent visits from my kitten, Marlowe. When he needs me to stop typing and play with him, he gets up on his hind legs, puts his front paws on my knees, and digs in with his claws just enough for me go, “Okay, okay!”
PYN: What’s the first paranormal you read?
Nina: The Chronicles of Narnia. I consider them paranormal since some of the magical elements of Narnia infiltrate our world in the books, particularly The Magician’s Nephew. Those are still some of my favorite books, and they had a deep influence on me. My editor made a comment while reading OTHERSPHERE, that a particular scene reminded her of a scene in The Magician’s Nephew, and that made me so happy! I hadn’t consciously been going for that parallel, but there’s no doubt those books infuse my writing in all sorts of ways.
PYN: What’s next?
Nina: I’m writing an historical thriller series for Harlequin Teen. The first book will be titled THE NOTORIOUS PAGAN JONES, and it should be out it early 2015. It’s about a disgraced teen starlet who gets caught up in the intrigue and danger in Berlin just as the Berlin Wall goes up in August, 1961. I’m really excited about it. Pagan’s completely different from OTHERKIN’s protagonist, Dez, and she keeps surprising me!
Dez thought she knew who her mother was, who she was. Thought she had friends, a boy who loved her, and a school where she finally fit in. But across the veil linking our world and the next lurks a monster which can annihilate. . .or liberate her.
Now she must confront it there with help from one boy who loves her and one who can’t stand the sight of her.Dez thought she understood her tiger form, her deepest self. But in this treacherous place, she’ll have to choose between the two halves of her soul–and determine which world survives.
Othersphere is the third and final installment in Nina Berry’s acclaimed young adult Otherkin series, which blends romance, fantasy, and action in a powerful story of friendship and self-acceptance.
“Filled with suspense, action, friendship, and love, this book will have you on the edge of your seat until the end, when you’ll cry out, ‘I need more!'” – ParanormalReads.com review of Otherkin, book 1.
Otherkin Series on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nina-Berry/e/B005ZH2QW8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Otherkin Series on B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/nina-berry
Otherkin Series on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/79842-otherkin
One winner will get all three books in the Othersphere series, plus a stainless steel tiger necklace. Three winners will receive earrings with a quote from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: “Beware for I am fearless” (one earring) “Therefore, I am powerful” (second earring). Six winners will receive bookmarks.
Must be 13+ To Enter | Open to Internationally for only the bookmarks. Other 2 prizes ship in US only.