There’s a giveaway happening right now on Goodreads for a signed hardcover of STARFISH! Make sure you enter while there’s still time. Contest ends September 19th, 2017. Good luck everyone!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman


by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Giveaway ends September 19, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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Remember back in the day when I said you should hang on to your preorder receipts? Well, this is why! I’m so excited to share these amazingly cool STARFISH goodies with you, but first, some important info:

  • ★ If you preorder STARFISH (hardcover or ebook), please send proof of purchase to akemidawnbowman [at] gmail [dot] com, along with your full name and mailing address. To make this easier for me, please make sure you write your address the exact way you would write it on an envelope or package.
  • ★ This preorder campaign is open to international readers!
  • ★ Proof of purchase can either be a screenshot or email forward of the receipt.
  • ★ I only have a limited supply of book swag, so I’ll be sending everything out on a first come first serve basis. Due to time constraints, you won’t get a response from me, but everything will be posted between September-October, 2017.
  • ★ If supplies run out before you get a chance to submit proof of purchase, I do apologize. Everything was printed in limited quantities because I’m covering the costs of these items myself (including shipping). Thanks for understanding!

And now for the best part…the available preorder goodies!

  • ★ A signed bookplate (this is a small sticker you can put inside your book when it arrives).
  • ★ A bookmark featuring a quote from the book.
  • ★ A gorgeous STARFISH promo card (digital art by the talented Grace P. Fong). This piece features Kiko and Jamie listening to music on the sidewalk (you might even recognize it from the book if you’ve already read it!), and was commissioned specifically for this preorder campaign. I hope you love it as much as I do!


Thanks so much for all your interest in STARFISH!

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I’ve been keeping this a secret for a little while (I’ve already gone through a round of edits with it!), but I can officially announce that Summer Bird Blue is going to be my second published book! I’m ecstatic. I love this story so much, and I can’t wait for you all to meet Rumi.

I don’t have a fancy Goodreads page or anything like that yet, but here’s a short synopsis:


Seventeen-year-old Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. Whether it’s as minor as her favorite food, or as important as her sexuality, she often feels lost in a world that’s just too big for her. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

But then Lea dies in a tragic accident, and her mother sends her to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi tries to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.

Summer Bird Blue is a story about family, loss, and learning how to say goodbye to someone who is already gone. Set for publication in Fall 2018 with Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster.


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If you’re reading this, there’s a fairly good chance it’s because you’re a Pitch Wars hopeful doing some recon on potential mentors. I know the drill—I’ve done recon on many an agent and editor over the years. I totally get the excitement of wanting to find the perfect match for your work, who gets your story and loves it the absolute most, who can be critical while also being kind, who knows how to help make a manuscript even stronger, and who also might get you a little bit, too. No pressure or anything, right? *deep breath*

But seriously, I am so excited to say that this is my very first year as a Pitch Wars mentor, and I’m SO looking forward to reading your pitches and ultimately working with one of you! Brenda Drake and the team over at the Pitch Wars headquarters—(I want to believe this is a thing, complete with a Bat Cave—let me have this, please!)—have created such a wonderful opportunity for writers to get their manuscripts in fighting shape and into the hands of agents, and I’m so thrilled I get to be a part of the Pitch Wars family this year. So! Without further ado…my Pitch Wars bio and wishlist!

My name is Akemi Dawn Bowman, and I am the author of STARFISH (out 9/26/17 with Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster). I am originally from Las Vegas, but have been living in the UK for the past seven years. I’m obsessed with Star Wars, I’ve played every single Pokémon game since Red and Blue first came out (and once knew the corresponding names and numbers for all original 151 Pokémon), and I’ve recently been introduced to graphic novels which are slowly taking over my bookshelf. I’m represented by Penny Moore at Empire Literary.

For YA fantasy/sci-fi, I’m looking for a standout plot with characters who stick with you long after you’ve put the book down. I’m a STAR WARS fan, so a diverse space opera is definitely something that would be right up my street, especially if it’s packed with twists and turns. I also love stories where people have special powers—the more unique, the better. I love an ensemble cast that’s done right with each character fully fleshed out (See: SIX OF CROWS), but I still tend to prefer single POV over dual POV. I’m drawn to weird and wonderful fantasy lands with lush world-building, and of course I rarely say “no” to kick-ass heroines with something to prove. I also love monster-like creatures woven into familiar worlds, a la PAN’S LABYRINTH, but be gentle with me on the gore—I’m squeamish and I scare easily!

For YA contemporary, I’m always a sucker for a good love story—the nerdier, the better. I really enjoy geeky banter, and stories that revolve more around the falling in love rather than the being in love. I’m also drawn to messy family dynamics, stories with a strong emotional core, and books that make me laugh out loud. If you have something like MEAN GIRLS but where all the students are in band/theater/choir/etc., or FANGIRL but where the main character is obsessed with comics or video games… *raises hand* Basically, I’m looking for diverse stories that will make me laugh, cry, and dream about first love all over again.

Editing Style

Ideally, I would like to do a first round of edits where I send my overall thoughts and any big changes I think should be made. I’m happy to go back and forth discussing these revisions and talking through ideas with the mentee if they’d like. If time allows, I’d then like to do another round or two for line edits/clean-up to make sure the manuscript is as strong as possible before the agent round.

I want to point out here that your story will always be your story, and you’re not required to change anything you’re not comfortable with. That being said, I want to work with someone who isn’t afraid to chop scenes/alter the plot/change characters/or whatever it might take to make a story stronger. I’m not looking for a perfect manuscript, but I am looking for something with massive potential that I feel I’d be able to really help shine. If you’re not interested in putting a lot of hours into revisions or would only be happy making minimal changes to your story, I won’t be the right mentor for you. I’m ready and willing to put a lot of time and work into helping my future mentee, and it would probably be a wasted opportunity if I was paired up with someone who didn’t want to do the same.

All this being said, my notes usually start off with screaming, exclamation points, and ALL CAPS, before getting into the constructive criticism parts, so it’s not all doom and gloom! I’m also happy to schedule a Skype call to discuss edits, or any other questions the mentee might have. I want to be as useful as I possibly can!

Yay! I’m so looking forward to all the Pitch Wars excitement waiting around the corner. Good luck to everyone, and to my future mentee—I can’t wait to meet you!

PS. You can check out what the other Pitch Wars mentors are looking for below!

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