Sunday, December 11, 2011
HOMEFREE now available as an ebook
She thinks she's losing her mind until she meets other teens with similar issues. They've all been summoned by Mr. Fairless, a blind old man with a raucous parrot. Although Fairless speaks only in questions, he may have the answers that Easter needs.
Friday, November 04, 2011
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Thursday, July 28, 2011
Coming soon--HOMEFREE on Kindle & Nook
Now it's time to revisit the paranormal world of Easter Hutton and see where that thread may lead.
Friend me on facebook for updates and just plain fun.
Thanks for reading my books! Let the story-weaving continue. . . .
Monday, August 25, 2008
HOMEFREE and SENSITIVE now in French, too!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Video Book Trailer: SENSITIVE by Nina Wright
Sensitive, the sequel to Homefree, follows sixteen-year-old Easter Hutton through her first weeks at the mysterious Fairless Grove Academy. The academy is the headquarters of Homefree, an agency dedicated to helping teens with paranormal abilities learn how to use their gifts. Easter discovers that in addition to her unusual talents for time travel, astral projection, and invisibility, she is a Sensitive—someone who can communicate with spirits.
Using her paranormal skills, Easter is called upon to settle a two-hundred-year-old misunderstanding while also dealing with her best friend’s mental breakdown, her own forbidden passions, and the whereabouts of her missing mother.
Author: Nina Wright
Available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your local independent bookseller.
Friday, November 30, 2007
teen reads.com applauds SENSITIVE
Reviewer Chris Shanley-Dillman says:
Nina Wright has delivered another exciting book about the paranormal mysteries. Readers will connect with the energetic Easter, feeling her blossoming out from under her mother’s destructive control, her impatience with school rules, her growing affections for Cal and her worries for Andrew. As Easter delves deeper into the metaphysical world, readers will beg for more, devouring each page quicker than the last. We can only hope that Wright is working on a third!
Check out her whole review here.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Coming Soon: YouTube Book Trailer: SENSITIVE
Many people claim the place is haunted.
The characters in my novel find out that it's true.
Coming soon: the book trailer for SENSITIVE, the eerie sequel to HOMEFREE.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
BOOKLIST picks SENSITIVE
Wright, Nina (Author)
Oct 2007. 240 p. Flux, paperback, $9.95. (0738711705).
In Homefree (2006), Easter and other teens with paranormal abilities were recruited to join a homeschool program and asked to discover how their talents might make the world a better place. Now in St. Augustine, Florida, a town filled with quirky residents, rich history, and plenty of supernatural prospects, Easter, Cal, and Andrew have an opportunity to covertly dabble in astral projection, psychokinesis, and post-cognition, despite many rules restricting the use of their talents. Easter becomes acquainted with the ghost of Placida, a girl rumored to have killed her whole family, but who leads Easter to some important information about her volatile, alcoholic, and currently missing mother. Easter and Cal develop a passionate but restrained relationship, and sensitive Andrew spends much of the novel away from the action, recuperating after a particularly disturbing paranormal episode. Readers will need to be familiar with the previous book before tackling this one, but those who are will enjoy the story and look forward to another episode.
— Heather Booth
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
SENSITIVE is nominated for a Cybil Award!
What's a Cybil? It's the internet's first literary award and probably the most egalitarian publishing prize ever.
The Cybils give readers a chance to name the books they want to honor. I'm thrilled that somebody out there rushed to nominate SENSITIVE in the sci-fi/fantasy category. Whether it makes the short list or not, what matters is that a reader cared enough about the adventures of Easter and her friends to enthusiastically recommend the book.
My job is to tell stories that reach readers, one by one. Gratitude to all of you who have found my books! Happy reading wherever you go.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Back in Class
That's a view of Yours Truly in teacher/writer mode. Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to three English classes at Lake Orion High School. We brainstormed a list of challenges that all writers face and then came up with solutions they could use in their current assignments. After that, I read excerpts from both Homefree and Sensitive. We talked about astral projection, St. Augustine, and the power of the storyteller.
Monday, October 08, 2007
First SENSITIVE review is in!
"Nina Wright delivers another fantastic and fresh book. I was truly pulled into Homefree and its sequel is even better. There is just something about these books that I love. They are so quirky and original, and I can only hope for more of them."
Read the whole review here.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
SENSITIVE: Coming soon to a bookstore near you!
Sensitive, the Homefree sequel, follows sixteen-year-old Easter Hutton through her first weeks at the mysterious Fairless Grove Academy, headquarters for an agency dedicated to teaching teens to use their paranormal gifts. In addition to her talents for astral projection and invisiblity, Easter discovers that she is a Sensitive, someone who can communicate with the dead.
Then she meets Placida, a two-hundred-year-old spirit who insists that Easter has the power to help her solve an ancient misunderstanding. But Easter is overwhelmed. Her best friend is having a mental melt-down, and her crazy mother is on the run again. When she seeks comfort in the arms of her old boyfriend, Easter risks breaking Homefree's Absolute Rules. The consequence is expulsion, and Easter has nowhere to go.
Haunted by real problems as well as a genuine ghost, Easter must choose where her talents will lead her and where her loyalties lie.
About the Author: Nina Wright is an award-winning playwright and novelist. She is the author of the Whiskey Mattimoe mysteries (Midnight Ink) and other fiction. When not at her keyboard, Nina leads entertaining workshops in writing and the creative process.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Ghosts of the Old Fort
If you take Harry Stafford's tour, and I highly recommend that you do, your camera may pick up a light streak, fog, or orb (check out previous blog post "Ghost Hunting 101"). With your naked eye, you can easily see holes from fatal musket balls fired more than 200 years ago. But be careful: snakes occasionally curl up in some of those warm little nooks. This is Florida, after all, home to 44 kinds of snakes, only six of which are venomous. Or so I learned while doing research for another novel. One that doesn't have spirits in it.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Ghost Hunting 101
This was a ghost-hunting (paranormal investigative) tour, as opposed to a story-telling tour. Both kinds of tours are exciting, but the hands-on nature of the investigative tour has special appeal for me. Our guide, Dr. Harry Stafford, is an expert in all things extrasensory. He provided us with the equipment needed to detect subtle changes in our surroundings that we might otherwise miss. In addition to our own cameras, we used electromagnetic frequency (EMF) readers and a thermometer. Dr. Stafford also advised us to pay attention to our senses, including our sense of smell. Spirits sometimes manifest the odor most associated with them during life, such as cigarette smoke or cologne.
On our tour, odors were not a factor. However, it soon became apparent that our digital cameras were picking up images our naked eyes couldn't. Dr. Stafford instructed us to look for auras, orbs, streaks, and fogs--exactly the kinds of things my teen characters can detect without a camera in SENSITIVE, the HOMEFREE sequel. Although I couldn't see anything unusual, my camera did pick up a few light streaks and small orbs. But one of my fellow travelers was able to see and feel all kinds of things that the rest of us mortals couldn't. That's right, folks, I was in the presence of a genuine Sensitive. She discerned an unmarked grave and several sites where she was absolutely sure someone had endured great pain. She also saw shifts in light and pattern invisible to the rest of us.
Fortunately, a few spooky revelations were available to us all, including the mysterious gravestone pictured here. At night anyone can see the face of the young woman buried more than a century ago. But in broad daylight, the face vanishes. Trust me, it's true. I'm a writer. I do my homework.....
Monday, July 23, 2007
Welcome to Fairless Grove Academy
I've just had the pleasure of spending a few days here, paying homage to the Muse and revisiting old haunts. (All puns intended.) I made my first visit to St. A several years ago; you might say the city "spoke" to me as it revealed its ghost tours, graveyards, and great architecture.
This is a photo of the bayfront mansion that serves as my inspiration for Fairless Grove Academy, the school where Easter, Cal, and Andrew are sent to begin their Homefree education. It's a sprawling Victorian home complete with a turret and tangled tropical garden in back. Of course, no trip to St. A is complete without a ghost tour--as my fictional characters find out. I'll post some photos from that experience tomorrow....
Monday, June 18, 2007
From HOMEFREE to SENSITIVE: Easter's Story Continues
So Easter Hutton discovers in SENSITIVE, the HOMEFREE sequel (coming in October 2007). She thinks she’s leaving her old life behind when she moves to a special school for paranormally “gifted” teens. But the past is persistent; it finds you wherever you go.
Easter's new home is in St. Augustine, Florida—the Nation’s Oldest City—where she lived for three months right after her mom’s last divorce. But this time everything is different: Easter’s with Andrew and Cal, her two best friends. Mom (Nikki) is newly remarried and far away. Best of all, school won't start for three months, and there’s no adult supervision. That means Easter and Cal are free to explore their relationship, which is heating up fast.
Finally, Easter’s getting the life she wants. Or is she?
On a Ghost Tour, Easter discovers that her paranormal abilities are stronger--and stranger--than she knew. Besides being able to astral-project, she’s “sensitive,” capable of communicating with the dead. The spirit of a teen who died two hundred years ago pursues Easter, pleading for help. Meanwhile, Nikki threatens to leave her latest husband (here we go again) and move to St. Augustine so that Easter can “save” her. And Andrew may be too sensitive to handle the stress that comes with his psychic powers.
Then Madame Papinchak arrives with a list of Absolute Rules. Unless Easter and Cal can keep their hands off each other and their minds on their new summer jobs, Madame will expel them.
How can Easter help a ghost? What are her obligations to her messed-up mom? Is Andrew losing his mind? And how serious are the Absolute Rules? Could Easter actually get kicked out of Homefree?
Here's an excerpt from SENSITIVE explaining why Homefree recruited Easter, Andrew, and Cal:
In Andrew’s case: post-cognition—reading people’s memories.
In Cal’s case: psychokinesis, also known as energy-throwing.
And in my case: astral projection, plus a tendency to channel the occasional thoughts of strangers.
That’s right. Sometimes I transport myself through space and time just by using my mind. And once in a while I mentally download somebody else’s thoughts. Totally by accident. It’s like tuning in a radio station broadcasting from parts unknown.
As for Cal, he can turn on, move, or even break objects without touching them.
And Andrew picks up powerful vibes based on people’s deepest, darkest recollections.
The problem was we didn’t know how or why we did those things, so they mostly happened beyond our control. I’d left my body at some very inconvenient moments and ended up in places I never planned to visit. Likewise, when Cal lost his temper, look out. Appliances tended to overheat, and anything that wasn’t nailed down could become airborne. And if you didn’t want Andrew knowing what you’d prefer to forget, you should probably steer clear of him.
Right after hooking us up in Atlanta, Mme Papinchak had dispatched Cal, Andrew and me on an urgent road trip to our new school in St. A. So here we were, ready to learn about our “gifts.”
Except that nothing at Fairless Grove Academy was organized. Or even logical. We were required to share a single cell phone—the one that used to be mine. And although classes wouldn’t start for three more months, Madame called several times a day with lame assignments related to our special “gifts.” Assignments like pondering how to use our talents to make the world a better place. That was a tough one since as far as I knew our talents just made us freaks.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
teensreadtoo.com reviews HOMEFREE
Age Recommendation: Grades 6+
Release Date: 9/1/06
Reviewed by Sally Kruger
Rating: 5 Stars
Easter Hutton thinks she “just might have the worst life in the world”. Her parents are divorced, she’s had her fair share of step-dad/boyfriend experiences, and now her mother is pregnant. Add to that a temporary home in a rundown
If all that is not bad enough, Easter has begun “astral-projecting”. One minute she is in French class and the next, she’s back in her old apartment in
As her personal life seems to be exploding around her, Easter’s strange new experiences bring her in contact with other teens who have similar special abilities. With the help of some old friends and new acquaintances, Easter discovers there’s a place for special people – Homefree – and she’s been invited.
In HOMEFREE, author Nina Wright creates a wonderful mix of reality and fascinating paranormal activity. Easter’s less-than-perfect life is so believable that when the “weird” stuff starts happening, the reader just hangs on and goes along for the ride. This book would be a great addition to any classroom or library.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
More Sightings: Reviews of HOMEFREE
Just posted on Bookburger, their first-ever 10-second lit crit, and they picked HOMEFREE:
October 18, 2006
Say hey to Hannah. She's fifteen, a Bookburger reader, member of the B-list, and now a 10-second lit critic! Read Hannah's take on Nina Wright's HOMEFREE.
Here's a page turner about a girl who's constantly being shuffled around by her desperate-for-money-and-a-husband mom. All of a sudden she starts getting shuffled around by... well, herself. A great read for people of all ages, especially those who enjoy a good teleportation every once in a while, along with other amazing paranormal stuff...and just a hint of teen romance. It's a pretty sweet catch for anyone who's ever felt alone in life. And hey, who hasn't?
This is Nina talking again:
Thanks, Hannah! My appreciation, also, to Holly in Middletown, Rhode Island, and to Jessica the cool librarian for posting this on Teen Spot Reviews:
Adventurously magical, and woven from life, HOMEFREE is a must read for those who are lost.
Rating: 5 stars
Hannah and Holly, you both write beautifully.
Friday, October 06, 2006
INTERVIEWING NINA WRIGHT
Flux Publicist Brian Farrey asks the author. . . .
You started your novel writing career as a mystery novelist. Why did you want to try your hand at a young adult novel?
Actually, I wrote a YA novel before I ever wrote an adult mystery. It was my “starter novel”—good enough to get me an agent, but not good enough to be published. That book taught me what works and what doesn’t. It also led me to SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), where I’ve met wonderful writers from all over the world. In fact, I dedicated Homefree to the members of my SCBWI critique group in
Back to your question about why I write for young adults: It’s exhilarating to spin a story with a teen at the center! My protagonist, Easter Hutton, doesn’t realize how brave and talented she is. I think that’s true of most of us when we’re in high school; we have no idea what we’re capable of because we haven’t flown solo.
Writing about Easter and her ability to astral-project allows me to imagine extraordinary problems that demand creative, courageous solutions. What’s more fun than that?
Where did the idea for HOMEFREE come from?
I think most stories—at least the ones I spin—are an amalgam of observations, experiences, dreams and wishes. Sometimes I don’t recognize the forces that shape my own work. But I can usually cite the primary inspiration.
Homefree was born of the discontent that followed my move from the Midwest to
You have such an intriguing background as an actress and playwright. How did you get involved with these areas?
I fell in love with acting and story-telling before I knew how to read. By the time I was four years old, my father was recording the plays I made up and starred in. That doesn’t mean my family wanted me to be in the theater. During the years I worked as an actor, my mother could never bring herself to tell her friends what I did for a living.
To supplement my meager income, I took on a variety of jobs, including writing newsletters, advertising copy and corporate speeches. That was how I discovered I had a natural ability to write dialogue. From there I taught myself to write plays. Slowly but surely, I began to get them produced in theaters across the country. What a thrill it is to sit in a darkened room full of strangers watching actors bring to life the characters and story you made up!
HOMEFREE’S main character, Easter Hutton, is a true individual who has learned to take care of herself but she can still feel vulnerable. What qualities do you share with Easter and how are you different?
Easter is deeply cynical whereas I’m only mildly sarcastic. We share a dry sense of humor. Unlike me, Easter shows no symptoms of people-pleaser syndrome. In fact, she’s perfecting the art of not caring what anyone thinks. That’s a response to watching Mom throw herself at guy after guy in the hopes that one of them will “rescue” her.
Easter is more self-sufficient than I was at her age. But I’m fundamentally a loner, as Easter is. We’re both independent thinkers and bold doers, capable of taking whatever action is necessary. Also, we’re very loyal to our friends.
Easter hasn’t seen her father in four years and doesn’t even know where he is. Her mother can barely take care of herself, let alone raise a daughter. My family was the opposite: close-knit, conservative and nurturing.
Sadly, I lack Easter’s paranormal abilities. I’ve had prophetic dreams and a few other psychic experiences, but I’ve never astral-projected.
Do you feel that the skills you possess as an actress and playwright inform the way you approach writing a novel and, if so, how?
Absolutely! I’m the writer I am today because of my skills as an actor/playwright. Theater taught me how to develop engaging characters and show rather than tell a story that fascinates the audience all the way to the end.
I urge aspiring novelists to take a course in playwriting or screenwriting and, if they’re gutsy, also an acting class. Working and reworking a scene, as actors do, forces you to think about intention and action: What does this character want? What is blocking her way? What will she do to get what she wants? How will her choices affect her and other characters?
Acting is about playing the truth, by which I don’t mean “realism” but rather finding what is real and urgent for your character. To anyone seriously interested in writing fiction, I say, Give yourself the gift of theater! Or take a writing seminar with me.
At the very least, find a local theater group or college theater department and ask if you can sit in on rehearsals. The process will amaze and inspire you.
Who are some of your favorite writers?
In addition to adult fiction, I read lots of books for teens. One of my favorite writers is M.T. Anderson, author of Feed, which is brilliant—chilling, thought-provoking and darkly funny. Other favorite writers for the teen market include Gary Schmidt (Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy) and Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere).
For me, the mark of an exceptional story is that it stays in my head and heart after I put it down. Anderson, Schmidt and Zevin have created books that do that to me.
Some of the teens in HOMEFREE exhibit paranormal abilities. If you could have a special power like that, what would it be?
If I could choose a special power, I would want Easter’s gift of astral-projection. That would fulfill my fantasy of being able to instantly visit places I love—and I do love to travel. It might also satisfy my childhood dream of being invisible now and then. But I wouldn’t want to read other people’s thoughts, as Andrew and Kayla can in Homefree. There’s some information we’re better off not knowing. . . .
OK, ‘fess up—what kind of student were you in high school?
Your question brings to mind a line in a Susan Werner song: “I was weird in school.” What can I say? I was one of those artistic types who acted in plays, wrote romantic poetry and loved foreign languages, especially French. Sometimes when I went shopping, I faked a French accent. Other times I pretended to be blind. Or deaf. I wondered how people would react to me if I were someone else. I still wonder; that’s why I write fiction. . . .
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
REVIEW! School Library Journal likes HOMEFREE
--Roxanne Myers Spencer, Western Kentucky University , Bowling Green
School Library Journal
WRIGHT, Nina. Homefree. 230p. Flux. 2006. pap. $8.95. ISBN 0-7387-0927-1.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Nina reads HOMEFREE at Barnes & Noble, Toledo
Monday, September 11, 2006
Chilly but happy in Michigan
Suddenly, it's fall. Over the weekend, I reluctantly put my sandals away (until I go south again) and headed north to two great Michigan towns. I had a blast talking about my books in quaint Romeo and ultra-cool Ann Arbor.
Special thanks to librarian Patti Cheney and bookseller Robin Agnew for organizing the events. Thanks, also, to the folks who helped Patti and Robin, and all the readers who came out to meet us writers!
Next event: I''ll do a reading and book-signing at the Barnes & Noble on Monroe Street in Toledo, Ohio, on Sunday, September 17th, at 2:00.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Now Available at a Bookstore Near You!
Easter Hutton just might have the worst mom in the world: her new boyfriend is not only her boss, but he's also married. And then Mom gets pregnant. Easter wants to blend in at her new school, but that gets harder when she starts astral-projecting against her will. Which is worse: these mysterious jaunts or the antics of her unstable mother? Everything changes when Easter discovers Homefree, an underground organization devoted to helping teenagers, like herself, with paranormal gifts. Suddenly she doesn’t feel like an outsider anymore. Maybe a "normal" life—with real friends and a boyfriend—is possible after all.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
How to Survive High School, Easter Hutton Style
Easter isn’t sure that her ability to astral-project is a gift. Sometimes it feels more like a curse. I think back on the “gifts” I had in high school and remember feeling the same way. I was good at creative writing, acting, and learning foreign languages. But those aptitudes didn’t do much to make me popular, let alone sexy. Or confident about my future.
I wanted to be the cheerleader rather than the artistic, moody loner I really was. True, I knew how to be funny, and that helped. But mostly, I was dramatically intense. I had to be; my life was hugely misunderstood. To underscore that, I dressed as if I couldn’t possibly belong to my conservative middle-class family. Despite my strict mother and the school dress code, I managed to look outlandish. I wore the most make-up and the most eccentric accessories I could find.
Confession: I wore wigs to school. Every color, every style. On some level, I think I was hoping my fellow students wouldn’t recognize me. Or would want to meet the Real Me, whoever that was. If I could have astral-projected instead of wearing a blue-black wig one day, an auburn one the next, I’m sure I would have. . . .
My point? Easter’s ability to zap herself to another time and place, even though she can’t control it, expresses a basic human desire. How many times in high school—and adult life—do people just want to be somewhere else?
“Get me out of here” when the going gets awful. Or awful boring.
I now suspect that my desire to be elsewhere was the reason I became an actor and a writer. I wanted to keep wearing wigs. Sometimes, as an actor, I was required to wear one. Happy day!
As a writer, I own a vast metaphorical wig collection, and I don a different one for each point-of-view character. Easter Hutton’s is flat black. I never owned one like that in real life, but wearing hers has taught me how I survived high school.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Meet Nina Wright, author of HOMEFREE and other fiction.
(Her sidekick is a white cat nicknamed Fiona Whiffer.)
Nina is available to teach workshops in writing and the creative process. For more info, see
Friday, January 06, 2006
Coming later this year: HOMEFREE
Then this book's for you.
Coming later this year: HOMEFREE by Nina Wright.
Here's what the author has to say:
This will be an amazing journey. And I invite you to join me when Llewellyn launches Flux, its newest imprint, featuring my novel HOMEFREE.
What's Flux about? A new kind of teen fiction that takes risks and asks tough questions.
What's HOMEFREE about? Teen outsiders are recruited by a mysterious underground network that may or may not be run by a surly old man with a talking parrot. Gradually the teens realize that they have one thing in common: they all have some kind of paranormal "gift"--like clairvoyance, psychokinesis, or astral projection. And they have to leave home now.
See sample pages....