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OVERHEARD ON A SALTMARSH...
August 2013
 
 
 
 
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Tue, Aug. 13th, 2013 02:07 pm

Recent excavations in my study following the completion of the manuscript for LYCH WAY (you wouldn't believe what a mess working on a trilogy makes!), has led to the discovery of several sketches from years past and not so past. These works include a little watercolor of Death dressed in outlandish mummer's garb, opening the gates of winter. I seem to recall that I had once wanted to use this as a holiday card, but the plan was vetoed...

http://www.ariberk.com/sketchbook.html

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Tue, Feb. 12th, 2013 12:22 pm

370_Mistle_Child_cvrIT




Today, excited and proud to announce the publication of MISTLE CHILD, book two in my Undertaken Trilogy.

MISTLE CHILD is my twelfth book and with its publication I celebrate a decade in mainstream publishing with major houses.

I've posted some of the images that both inspired the book and served as research on my website:

http://www.ariberk.com/mistlechild.html

From the book jacket:

In life, in death: family remains.
Silas Umber has finally come into his own as the Undertaker of Lichport when a mysterious invitation calls him beyond the marshes to Arvale, the ancestral manor of the Umbers. There, his extended family endures, waiting for a living Undertaker to return and preside over the Door Doom, an archaic rite that grants a terrible power to summon and bind the dead in judgment.

As Silas assumes the mantle of Janus, the Watcher at the Threshold, deep below the earth in the catacombs and sunken towers, grim spirits grow restless at his arrival—hungry for freedom and eager for vengeance against a family with a long history of harsh judgments. Now, Silas must right an ancient wrong and accept that even a house of ghosts can be haunted by its past—for in matters of family, we are who we were.

Delving deeper into the haunting world of ghosts, ancestors, and eldritch lore, Ari Berk returns to the series that Publisher's Weekly calls "thought-provoking gothic fantasy," with a style the School Library Journal praises as "reminiscent of the classic gothic works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shirley Jackson."

* * *

Early praise for MISTLE CHILD:

"Fine bedtime fare for readers looking to cut down on their sleep."
— Kirkus

"Berk’s second title in The Undertaken Trilogy will definitely satisfy gothic fantasy lovers. Berk is certainly a master storyteller. He understands how to tell a ghost tale dripping with rich detail and vivid imagery. He leads readers into a captivating world that seduces with each page turn. Readers who are fans of this genre will devour this sequel and look forward to the conclusion."
— VOYA

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Tue, Dec. 11th, 2012 05:18 pm

Cat Helps Write The Novel — A Play In One Act
by Ari Berk


CAT
[coming into my study]
I have just woken from a nap and would like to help you finish your novel because no one else is home and I am bored.

ME
No.

CAT
[brushing against my leg, whining for me to move so she can get under the desk]
Is this helping?

ME
No.

CAT
[jumping up on desk, pushes carefully ordered papers off with her tail]
Surely this is helping you finish your novel?

ME
No.

CAT
[runs to the stairs and cries as though something miserable has happened]

ME
[getting up and going to the stairs]
What?!?

CAT
[rolling over]
This is my belly. You should rub it.
[I rub the cat's belly. She purrs.]
Is this helping you finish your novel?

ME
No.

CAT
I think there's just no helping some people.

ME
Get out.

CAT
What time is Kris coming home?

ME
Get out.

CAT
Has *any* part of this been helpful?

ME
Get out.

[Curtain closes]

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Wed, Oct. 31st, 2012 01:46 pm

Just for Halloween, a visit to one of Lichport's oldest ghostly habitations...a shadowland that stands partly in the Narrows and partly at the edge of the suburbs of Fengdu, the City of Ghosts. Join Silas Umber for a cup of tea and perhaps a dumpling in the spectral Peony Lantern Teahouse...

http://www.ariberk.com/deathwatchpeony.html

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Tue, Sep. 25th, 2012 11:11 pm

Nightsong


Excited and proud today to announce the publication of my book NIGHTSONG. My hope is that people of all ages will enjoy this story about conquering fear and singing your song out into the world. It is also about the joys of adventure, the importance of home, and the power of listening...how by listening to the world around us, we can see the truth in all things. NIGHTSONG is my eleventh book published by a major press. If ya'll keep reading them, I'll keep writing them! Thank you!

From the publisher:
NIGHTSONG
by Ari Berk
illustrated by Loren Long
Published by Simon and Schuster.
On shelves September 25th!

"What is sense?" The little bat asked.
His mother folded him in her wings and whispered into his waiting ears, "Sense is the song you sing out into the world, and the song the world sings back to you..."

With these words, Chiro's mother sends him off into the night for the first time alone. It's an adventure, but how will he find his way? And how will he find his way home? As the young bat discovers, navigating the world around him is easy as long as he uses his good sense.

This beautiful and touching coming-of-age story, with mesmerizing artwork from New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long and lyrical text from Ari Berk, conveys a heartwarming and universal message: No matter how far from away you go, you can always find your way home.


REVIEWS

"Chiro is both alien and us, bat and beyond, childlike and knowing, a savant and anyone who grows into his/her song. This is what a picture book should be."
— Jane Yolen, best-selling author of How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?

* "Exquisite design coupled with evocative illustrations enrich this charming tale of a little bat taking his first solo flight and how he learns to “see” with his “good sense,” otherwise known as echolocation.... Talented storytelling features rich yet concrete language to describe and to build suspense during the bat’s nocturnal trip...Young ones will relate to Chiro and cheer as he gains confidence with his newfound skill and will be deeply satisfied flying along on his sensory-rich journey."
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review


"Berk (The Secret History of Giants) presents a delicate, lyrical story about independence, trusting one’s instincts and abilities, and bats. Written in passionate prose-poetry, it stars Chiro, a bat who is nervous about his first solo venture. Momma reassures him that his “good sense” will help him find his way. “Sense is the song you sing out into the world, and the song the world sings back to you.” It’s a brilliant description of echolocation and an equally strong metaphor for the logic and perception that human children can use to cut through fear. Long’s (Otis and the Tornado) soft lines convey the concept clearly; surrounded by ink-black night, Chiro’s song illuminates a cone-shaped area in front of him, which reveals trees, geese, and other surprises in the dark."
— Publishers Weekly


"An ideal book for sending a child to school for the first time, tryouts for a team or a class play...[t]his lyrical, sumptuous picture book about a small bat taking his first solo night flight will inspire confidence in any child trying something new--and independently--for the first time."
— Shelf Awareness

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Wed, Sep. 19th, 2012 12:16 am

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Wed, Sep. 5th, 2012 01:30 pm




A little nice news today: NIGHTSONG was selected as one of only four picture books on Amazon's "Editors Picks In Fall Reading for Kids" list!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=amb_link_364982502_5?ie=UTF8&docId=1000830081&plgroup=1&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-1&pf_rd_r=B9B13FF1DD2C4292A52E&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1393120342&pf_rd_i=5742004011

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Tue, Sep. 4th, 2012 02:57 pm

Up now over a Fate Magazine, a spectral Q&A with yours truly put together by the altogether phantastic and phantasmal author and researcher April Slaughter. Was a total pleasure answering her questions and now you can read the results and learn a little more about some of the ideas buried beneath my novel DEATH WATCH. Enjoy!
http://www.fatemag.com/bloggers/april-slaughter/death-watch/

To read more about April and her ongoing ghostly investigations, check out her website:
http://www.aprilslaughter.com/

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Wed, Aug. 29th, 2012 06:53 pm

Nightsong

Was delighted to learn today that NIGHTSONG has been included in the ABA (American Booksellers Association) ABC 2012 Best Books for Children Catalog!

http://news.bookweb.org/news/2012-abc-best-books-children-catalog-titles-unveiled

Reviews of NIGHTSONG and samples pages with some of Loren Long's wonderful illustrations can be seen here:

http://www.ariberk.com/nightsong.html

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Mon, Aug. 6th, 2012 11:31 am

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