What dreams may come: Author Kerry Schafer hosts giveaway

WakeworldAs a redhead, I was immediately drawn to Kerry Schafer’s BETWEEN because of its cover. Of course, that’s like saying I was drawn to the Louvre because because it has comfortable bathrooms! Kerry is a phenomenal author with a great discovery tale and loads of ideas springing from her fingertips. I’m honored to host her today at Skipping Midnight.

After the interview, leave a comment for a chance to win both BETWEEN and an advanced reading copy (well, aren’t you ahead of the game!) of WAKEWORLD, which comes out January 28.

Kerry Schafer1. You have a very interesting publishing story, having gotten your big break using Penguin Random House’s Book Country. What appealed to you about this community and how did it lead to a two-book deal with Penguin/Ace?

When I connected with Book Country is was brand new and still in test mode. I was invited to be one of the original beta testers and the whole idea just sounded like fun!  it was also helpful to my writing process. Getting feedback from a wide variety of readers is an eye opening thing – it helped me see some aspects of my writing that beta readers hadn’t pointed out. It also helped me understand that what one reader loves the next reader might hate, and that you can’t possibly please everybody. As for the book deal – a lot of agents and editors keep their eyes on Book Country. I was lucky to be the first author acquired directly off the site.

2. THE BETWEEN books deal with both the world as we know it and another world only accessed through dreams. Can I assume that you are one of those people (like me) who have very vivid dreams? Where else do your ideas come from?

I do have some vivid dreams, it’s true. But the idea for the book came from a slightly different place. What happens to me, fairly often, is that I will have dreamed something and entirely forgotten it. Later in the day some simple movement – reaching my hand out to pick up an object, entering a building – brings back a dream fragment, and I realize I dreamed this moment. Put that together with that odd space I think we have all experienced, where you’re not fully awake or fully asleep and reality is all muddled up with the dreaming, and you get the Between. As for my ideas – they just show up. A bit of conversataion overheard in a coffee shop, a news story, a random word – these all trigger ideas. Sometimes an idea just floats into my brain without any known reason. Coming up with ideas is easy! Developing them into a story is the hard part.

3. The second book of THE BETWEEN series, WAKEWORLD, comes out January 28. What can fans of your first book expect more of? What will take them by surprise?

More Poe. More Zee. And a lot more dragons. But if I tell you what will be a surprise then it won’t be, so I’m not going to answer that part.

4. When can we expect the third book, and do you have plans for what will come next?

Vivian has a complex legacy to work through. In Between, she comes to terms with being a dreamshifter. In Wakeworld, she must confront her inner dragon. In the third book it will be time for her to explore the sorcery side of things. Timing is still pretty much up in the air on when the third book will come out. I’m also working on a fun project called Dead Before Dying, which involves supernatural goings on in a home for senior citizens.

5. In addition to BETWEEN and WAKEWORLD, you’ve also penned several novellas in the DREAM WARS series. How difficult is it to switch between the two? How have you found the writing processes to differ between novels and novellas?

Writing the novellas was fast and fun. Jesse pretty much just showed up when I first sat down to write. She knew who she was and what she was up against and had no problem telling me all about it. The worlds are actually very different, even though they both deal with dreams, so there was no difficulty keeping them separate or switching between them. The Dream Wars novellas are grounded firmly in reality. The fantastical element come in the form of a supernatural being called the Dream Merchant, who can sell you a custom made dream in exchange for something like, say, your soul. These dreams can be addictive and dangerous, and things get interesting when humans figure out a formula for bootlegging them.

6. What is your writing process like?

I write most days. If I don’t, no matter how much else I accomplish, I go to bed feeling restless and unfinished. Weekday mornings I get up at 4:30 am, so that I have time to write for an hour before getting ready for the day job. Some nights I write after work, as well, and I try to clear some time on weekends. It’s an ongoing balancing act making the time. As for where I start – usually I just sit down and start writing. I create my characters with words, not with character charts. I usually *think* I’m starting at the beginning, but everything gets shifted around during revision and the beginning pretty nearly always changes.

7. Becoming a published author is never an easy path. How do you make it through the tough days?

Alcohol? Just kidding, or at least mostly. It’s tremendously important to have good and supportive friends who can talk you down out of the tree when things go badly. I’m lucky to have an incredible support group of online people, in addition to my Viking at home. In addition – I work really hard to stay focused on writing from a place of love for words and story. That’s how I got started in the first place, and it’s really what keeps me going, although having a contract really helps. I’m one of those odd writers who actually likes deadlines.

8. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received that you can share with aspiring writers?

Finish the damn book. This is the single most important piece of writing advice ever. Followed by, now move on and write another, better, one.

To keep up with Kerry, check out her website (www.kerryschafer.com) and her Facebook page. She is also a huge fan of Twitter (@kerryschafer), where she tries to respond to all tweets directed to her. As she says, “I love having conversations with readers!”

WIN!

To win a copy of BETWEEN as well as an advanced reading copy of WAKEWORLD, please leave a comment below. The giveaway will remain open until 10 p.m. Thursday, January 9, at which point we’ll pick a winner at random. Best of luck to you all!

If you are a published/soon-to-be-published author and would like to be interviewed for Skipping Midnight, please click here.

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47 Comments

Filed under Author Interviews

47 responses to “What dreams may come: Author Kerry Schafer hosts giveaway

  1. Cathleen Lykens

    Both The Between and Wakeworld sound intriguing. I admit to also having that de je vu feeling of having my dream memories and real life experinces intersect. I hope to read both books soon.

  2. I loved The Between so much. The world building and the way that dreams work is so original. Cannot wait to read Wakeworld 🙂

    Rebecca

  3. Ooo, all your projects sound awesome, Kerry. BETWEEN was a wonderful book and I can’t wait for WAKEWORLD. I really need to pick up your novellas. And that Dead Before Dying sounds like loads of fun. Arrggh. I need more time to read!

  4. Best wishes for your newest book and here’s to continued success of your debut, Kerry! ❤

  5. Ooooh, I loved BETWEEN (especially Poe!), and would be thrilled to get my hands on an early copy of WAKEWORLD! Count me in. 🙂

  6. stefenfriesen

    I can’t wait for Wakeworld, and Dead Before Dying sounds awesome!

  7. I really loved Between & can’t wait to get Wakeworld! Congrats Kerry! Thanks Laura…

  8. *waves madly* Hi, Kerry. Do I need to go all fan girl here? You know I love your books and I was lucky enough to know you before. It’s been wonderful watching your publishing journey and seeing your books catch up to your voice and talent. 😉 I’m reading madly to clear off my reading list so the deck will be cleared when WAKEWORLD hits!

  9. I love BETWEEN and might have forced it on a friend *whistles innocently* (btw: she loved it as well). I might be doing the same with WAKEWORLD.
    I finally got hold of all the Dream War novella’s and will be reading them to tide me over until the release of WAKEWORLD.
    (If this is an international giveaway, please include me)

  10. Enjoyed reading Between so much, really looking forward to Wakeworld.
    I’ve always been fascinated by, and drawn towards, between places feelings and themes. Also, loving the Dream Wars novellas. You translate to that story length well.

    And yes, “Finish the book” is probably the best, most “get the first thing first” advice I’ve heard in a while. Sometimes we get so caught up in the finer points of engineering and shining that we may lose touch with the thought or feeling of the story.

    Yay, on Wakeworld release!

  11. Between was one of my favorite books. Can’t wait for Wakeworld. The Dream War novellas sound interesting and will give me more Kerry Schafer to read.

  12. Kathleen Garden

    as she already knows I LOVED BETWEEN! I have been so excited about the release of waskeworld for months! now its only 20 days away! Love your writing Kerry keep up the Great work.

  13. I so loved Between and Can not wait for WAKEWORLD! Unfortunately, I will have to wait until my library orders it, then I will have to wait on waiting list to get it.. But still can’t wait! excited! In suspense!

  14. Robin

    I absolutely LOVED Between and am bouncing with anticipation for Wakeworld! Congrats on all the success, Kerry!

  15. Shawnda Waltress

    i would like to read both book the synopsis and the theme appeal to me.

  16. rinib

    Sounds like a very interesting series, I like the concept of dreamshifting.

  17. Jessica Edens

    I loved Between and can’t wait for Wakeworld! Loved the original storyline! Keep them coming!

  18. Alex Clapper

    I really loved the book Between. Everything from the world-building to the characters, to the humor and sarcasm was extraordinary. I especially loved the little penguin, Poe 😀 I am really looking forward to reading Wakeworld! Best of luck!

  19. Rachel V

    I have wanted to read Between since I first heard about it last year. I would love to win a copy. This series sounds so unbelievable interesting and I have heard nothing but good things about it. Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

  20. Hello, and congratulations on the upcoming WAKEWORLD! I hope Poe, even as an Antarctic native, is enjoying this Arctic weather. 🙂 I’ve read the first DREAM WARS novella — I first expected them to tie together, but as above, that’s not the case. Looking forward to more!

  21. Marie-Claude

    Between and Wakeworld sound soooooo interesting !!! I need to start reading this serie.

  22. Tiffany C

    Sounds like a good book! I would like to win!

  23. katie

    This is a series I’ve got my eye on. Hoping to read them via my library soon!

  24. This series looks so good. It has been on my wishlist since the first book came out. I liked the advice you gave to authors to finish the book. I personally always have ideas of “great books” but only start something and then change my mind and just stop. sigh.

  25. Elaine

    Fabulous interview. I appreciated your comments about the writing process and character development. You earned a fan and I can’t wait to start reading your work.

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