GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Sheep Interview: Author Nina Berry + Giveaway! | I Smell Sheep

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sheep Interview: Author Nina Berry + Giveaway!

Today we welcome debut author Nina Berry to I Smell Sheep! This lady is one amazing writer and we are VERY excited to pick her braiiiiins!! Or, just sit down and talk like normal people. Make sure to stay tuned until the very end to win a signed copy of Otherkin

Katie: Hello Nina and welcome to the flock! Just step around the herd droppings…it's been a busy week!
*Sharon walks up with the pooper scooper* Um…lift your foot…thanks!
Nina: *lifting foot* Have you tried litter box training?
Katie: Great idea!

Katie: Can you start out by telling folks a little about your YA series Otherkin?
Nina: It’s about a girl with a back brace who learns she can shape-shift into a tiger. Almost the exact moment that happens, she’s captured by a secret group bent on wiping out her kind – the otherkin. She escapes with help from a mysterious, handsome boy and is off to find allies, foil the bad guys, learn the truth about who she is, and maybe fall in love. It’s got fiery helicopter crashes, first kisses, and a tiger. Something for everyone!

Katie: How long did it take you to come up with this story idea?
Nina: I wanted to write about a girl with a back brace for years, because I had one in high school, and it had a big effect on me. But I didn’t know quite how the story would go until I got a separate idea about a girl who turns into a tiger. Then I thought – how would my life have been different if I’d found out I could shift into a tiger while I had the brace? Would that have changed how I thought about myself and my body? So you could say it took years, or you could say it was – bam! One second when the ideas came together. I took maybe a couple weeks to outline it, then I started writing.

Katie: What can readers look forward to in the next installment?
Nina: Othermoon will be out January 31, 2013. I think of it as “The Empire Strikes Back” of the trilogy. It’s darker and deadlier. The bad guys come back stronger and more dangerous than ever. And there’s trouble on the love boat between Caleb and Dez, from a direction you would never expect. Book three should be out early in 2014.
Katie: Oh! You dirty tease!
Nina: Mwhahaha!

Sharon: Would you want to be your heroine?
Nina: Ooh, tough one. On one hand I’d love to be able to shift into a tiger – to be that powerful and fearless. On the other hand, I’d rather not have an entire secret organization bent on killing me and those I love. Drama’s better on the page than in real life.

Katie: I wonder as the series grows, and the characters ages, will this move into the adult realm of PNR?
Sharon: I think what she wants to ask is will there be of-legal-age smut eventually.
Katie: Yes, yes I do.
Nina: Hmm, don’t want to be spoilery, so let’s just say things do get hotter and heavier in the second book. But this is YA, so we won’t be going fifty shades of tiger, if you catch my drift.
Sharon: Katie, should we make her spell it out?
Katie: I’ve still got the duct tape and feathers from the last author that tried to hold out with the juicy details…

Sharon: What would you use a do-over spell for?
Nina: Wow, so many things. The worst events were all things I couldn’t control, like friends and relatives passing away, so even a do-over spell wouldn’t help, unfortunately. So I wish I could go back in time knowing it’s silly to worry about what people think and dedicate myself more to writing earlier in life. I’d trust myself a bit more. Also, there was this cute guy in college who really seemed to like me, and looking back, I can see I was super clueless. Do over!

Katie: Was Harry Potter an influence while writing because I hand some strong Potter moments!
Nina: I know what you’re talking about. I loved the Harry Potter books, but I wasn’t consciously thinking of them when I came up with the concept. Then, when I got to writing the school parts of my book, I realized the similarities and they worried me. I comforted myself with the thought that Morfael’s school is a lot less cozy than Hogwarts, and way smaller. They don’t have magical spells at my school to keep the bad guys out. Also, all the students hate each other. At least at first.
Sharon: Sounds like middle school…
Katie: In no way was I trying to say anything negative about the story Nina. It’s fantastic!
Nina: Oh no worries. It’s an honor to be compared to Harry Potter. And thanks!

Katie: If you could shapeshift in to an animal that's not listed in your stories what would it be and why?
Nina: A dolphin. I love the water. I grew up in Hawaii and learned to bodysurf when I was nine, and I go back every year to my favorite beach. It’s where I feel happiest. Can you imagine how awesome it would be to surf as a dolphin? I’d slice through the water with all their power and grace, and I’d have a huge school of dolphin friends around me who love to do that too. We’d figure out a way to free all the dolphins and whales currently living in captivity and stop those damned whaling ships too. Now you’ve made me want to write a book about dolphin shifters, so good job.
Sharon: What would your dolphin superpowers be!? Shoot acid out of your blow hole? (okay, that sounds really wrong once I wrote it down)
Nina: That is a very disturbing and yet very cool idea. I was going to go much more conventional and say that maybe I had sonar that could penetrate objects, but let’s go for acid instead!

Sharon: Which Disney Princess would you like to be?
Nina: I’m a bit like Belle, a book reader. But the princess that inspired me the most comes from an obscure animated series from Japan that aired in Hawaii when I was six called Princess Knight. It had a huge effect on me, but I have yet to meet a single other person who’s seen it. I’d love to be Princess Sapphire in that show. She’s an expert with a sword, rides a horse as smart as she is, and has an angel in training as an ally. She kicks butt, has a great sense of humor, and breaks all the rules. Love her!

Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page in case anyone is interested:

Sharon: Sounds cool. Mulan is one of my favorite Disney heroines and this seems very similar.

Katie: Now it's time for some rapid fire questions! Hold on tight and answer with the first thing that pops up.

Nina: *holding tight*

Katie: Grilled cheese or Quesadilla?
Nina: Grilled cheese. Yum! Sharp cheddar, please.

Sharon: Newsweek or People Magazine?
Nina: Newsweek has jumped the shark with its silly controversial cover stories lately, so People.
Sharon: Plus People covers the best and worst dressed at award shows…and that is quality entertainment there.
Nina: The worst dressed are totally my favorite. Not that I can be catty or anything *cough cough*

Katie: Coke or Pepsi?
Nina: Coke, Diet. With ice. I love that sweet, acrid taste that can burn through rubber.
Sharon: *turns up music* sorry…can’t hear yoooooou!
Katie: Coke again for the win!!!! *dances a burn rubber dance to music* 

Sharon: Porch or deck?
Nina: Lanai, actually. I’m a Honolulu girl.
Sharon: Pssst…Katie. That is a Hawaiian porch. I googled it…
Katie: Ah, thanks Sharon. Was just going to smile and nod like I knew.

Katie: Stab in the back or stab in the heart?
Nina: I’m no backstabber. Right in the heart, face to face. Take that! (And yes, I’d take a stab in the heart first. You die faster that way. And betrayal’s the worst.)
Sharon: I think I am scared of you…

Sharon: Stephen King or Shakespeare?
Nina: Shakespeare. Greatest writer of all time, blah blah blah. I think even Stephen King would choose Shakespeare, but oooh, Salem’s Lot was fantastic.
Sharon: I know, right?! I loved that one. Read it when I was 11 scarred me for life!
Nina: His friend the vampire right outside the window….? Gah. I’m scared now!

Katie: Christmas cookies or Halloween candy?
Nina: Cookies! My mom and I make these shortbread snowball things every Christmas, then I inhale all of them while she smirks.

Sharon: Classic or modern?
Nina: Classic. Especially in movies and manners.

Photo by: Jeni Darling Photography
Katie: Haunted house or Haunted graveyard?
Nina: Graveyard! I love graveyards and cemeteries. Send me to a chapel made of bones, a catacomb of moldering bodies, or a dank Egyptian tomb and I’m the happiest girl on Earth.
Sharon: Still scared…

Katie: Action hero or Romance hero?
Nina: Action hero. Adds excitement to the romance.
Sharon: Got a favorite?
Nina: I’m a fan of the most recent James Bond, Daniel Craig. Also Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and of course Buffy herself.

Katie: Would you like to add anything before we wrap?
Nina: Thanks for having me. It was sheep-tastic!


Nina is giving away a signed copy of Otherkin to one lucky winner. US/Canada only. To enter please do the following in the comments below: 

1. Your Email Address 
2. What animal would you like to shapeshift in to? 
3. Double entries for followers!

Contest ends November 12th at midnight. Good luck! 


  1. Congrats on your book. How very exciting! If I could shape shift, I would shift into a feline of some sort.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. Great interview! I would love to shift into a tiger or dragon. Thanks for the great giveaway!
    j-g-holmes at hotmail dot com
    GFC Julie H.

    1. What about a TigerDragon? That would be a fun mix! :)

  3. Congrats :)
    Thanks for sharing the interview and about book

    What animal would you like to shapeshift in to?
    Cougar or Wolf

    G+ Beckey White
    Twitter @beckeywhite


  4. Probably a wolf would be my choice!
    GFC Rebe

  5. Thanks for the great post and congrats on the newest release! Ummm... I'd want to be something big and powerful, probably a cougar or tiger ;)

    gfc: erin

  6. I'd like to shapeshift into a jaguar.

    I follow via email.


  7. I would love to shape shift into a beautiful horse. I just find them very powerful and strong.
    GFC aprildan01
    twitter: twirlygirl77

    Thaks for the awesome giveaway and the chance to win :)

  8. 1. mmafsmith AT gmail DOT com
    2. I would shapeshift into a panther or leopard. Sleek and powerful!
    3. GFC - Texas Book Lover

    Thanks so much!

  9. 1. blinkysthebest at aol dot com
    2. I want to be a dragon shifter
    3. GFC Lona Stringer

    Thx for the giveaway, love the cover.

  10. I love the cover of Otherkin! The red hair is amazing! I would shapeshift into a panther or wolf. I know, not very original but those are always my picks. I would love to be a black panther where all you could see is my eyes in the dark.
    email subscriber: Lmackesy @
    also a GFC follower: Lauren Mackesy

  11. I think it would have to a feline of some kind.
    GFC Megblod

  12. lol why is no one thus far picking like a grasshopper or a hedgehog?

    1. LOL... I'd probably choose a hedgehog if only I could be Sonic the Hedgehog! :)

    2. You win awesome sauce award of the day!!! :)

  13. I would love to be a panther!


  14. Awesome interview! I need to read Salem's Lot... I keep forgetting about that King novel.

    I would love to shape-shift into a wolf or a black panther. Thank you for the great giveaway! :)

    GFC: States of Decay

  15. I would like to shapeshift into a tiger. That would be interesting!

    GFC: NA

  16. A wolf. Thanks for the chance to win!
    I follow by email.
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  17. Id want to shift into a big cat or a wolf. Both are favorites of mine. :D Thank you for the awesome giveaway!
    GFC: shadow_kohler
    FB: Shadow Kohler
    Twitter: LuvToRead09
    Email subscriber

  18. I think I would like to shift into one of those itty-bitty dragons, you know the ones we see pics of all the time on FB. I would be able to lurk all over gathering information on the folks without anyone really noticing (except of course for that gal who keeps picking me up and taking my pic and putting it on FB). I would also have this uber power, when I am in danger or fighting mode, where I grow really huge and puff fire out my nose.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful interview with us today and making me smile. I am looking forward to reading Otherkin :)

    I am definitely a sheeply follower, just turn around and I'm there, total stalker gal, but watch out and remember nose . . . fire . . . puff

  19. I am shifting into a jaguar- guaranteed. I follow on FB (Sandy Lion), twitter (@sdylion) and GFC-sdylion.-sdylion(at)gmail(dot)com

  20. a dolphin would be cool. thanks for the giveaway.

    i follow gfc twitter and email


  21. tiger is what i would like to shift to and i follow gfc april alvey and email ANd Fb April Alvey

  22. a BEAR! i follow with GFC. thanks for introducing me to a new author!

  23. contest is closed and the winner is Texas Book Lover! You will be getting an email soon! thanks to everyone who played with us