I am thrilled to be able to welcome Author Sarah Beth Durst to the blog for a Q&A on the release day for her newest novel, THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM. It is an absolutely delightful and engaging and fun-to-read middle grade story with an easy to love heroine and an adorable monster.
The cover alone may be enough to make you want to read this book. But once you read what the author has to say about her story and characters in the interview, you will definitely want to find out more about the dream shop, meet Sophie and Monster, and discover what sorts of adventures they have.
As I loved this book – my review to post later this week – I am offering a copy up for giveaway. So if you’d like the chance to win, after checking out the Q&A, scroll down to enter in the Rafflecopter.
First, though, here’s some information about THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM.
Title: THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Release date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Clarion Books
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
Read an EXCERPT
Sophie loves the hidden shop below her parents’ bookstore, where dreams are secretly bought and sold. When the dream shop is robbed and her parents go missing, Sophie must unravel the truth to save them. Together with her best friend—a wisecracking and fanatically loyal monster named Monster—she must decide whom to trust with her family’s carefully guarded secrets. Who will help them, and who will betray them?
Q. How would you describe THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM in 15 words or less?
A girl, her best friend (a loyal and cupcake-loving monster), and a secret dream shop.
Q. What are the most valuable dreams that are bought and sold in the dream shop?
The more vivid the dream, the more expensive. Crystal-clear happy dreams sell the best: strolling beside a jewel-blue ocean, taking a curtain call as a Broadway star, landing on the moon… Flying dreams are always in demand (extra bonus if the dreamer didn’t crash into a mountainside). Food dreams sell well. People even buy bad food dreams: pizza with live fish, peanut butter and ketchup smoothies, spaghetti that transforms into worms. And exquisitely-scary monster dreams are very popular with the horror-moving crowd.
Q. What is it about Monster (or about Sophie) that makes Sophie want to befriend him versus run screaming from him when they first meet?
She’s lonely. Her family owns a secret dream shop, and Sophie has been keeping this massive secret her entire life. It’s hard to make friends when you feel as though you aren’t allowed to ever fully trust anyone. So when she meets Monster inside a dream (he’s from a classic monster-in-the-closet dream), she’s thrilled to have someone to talk to who already knows her secret.
Plus he’s really fuzzy. Kind of like a large house cat. With six tentacles.
Q. Aside from Sophie, who was your favorite character to create and write about in THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM and why were they a favorite?
Definitely Monster. I knew his voice from the instant I sat down to write this book. Usually I discover characters as I write, developing their voice and so forth, but with Monster… he came fully formed. And hungry.
Q. If you knew of a hidden dream shop, would you have only stolen one dream like Sophie did or might you have been more curious?
If there were a dream shop near me, I’d be there daily, buying up any dream with a dragon or a griffin or a unicorn or a magical-whatever. I love dreams, especially the fantastical ones that come with plots and villains and victories.
Q. What was your favorite aspect of writing a middle-grade novel?
I love that you can be silly and sincere at the same time in a middle-grade novel. You can laugh and cry without any of the self-conscious self-awareness that often comes with an older protagonist. I do love writing for teens and adults as well and they come with their own unique joys, but this is something special about writing MG.
Q. What was the biggest challenge you faced when writing THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM?
Saying goodbye. I know I’m supposed to feel victorious when I finish a novel, but by that point I have fallen so in love with the characters and feel so immersed in the world that letting go is surprisingly hard. I always feel this sense of loss when I’m done. My solution is to dive into the next story. And console myself with the thought that soon other people will get to meet Sophie and Monster too!
Thanks so much for interviewing me!
Fiktshun: Thank you so much for answering all my questions about your lovely new book!
Sarah Beth Durst is the author of nine fantasy novels for children, teens, and adults, including Conjured, Vessel, and Ice. Her next middle-grade novel, The Girl Who Could Not Dream, is scheduled for release in fall 2015 from HMH/Clarion Books, and her next novel for adults, The Queen of Blood, comes out in fall 2016 from Harper Voyager. Sarah was awarded the 2013 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature and has been a finalist for SFWA’s Andre Norton Award three times.
Sarah was born in Northboro, Massachusetts, a small town that later became the setting for her debut novel. At the age of ten, she decided she wanted to be a writer. (Before that, she wanted to be Wonder Woman, except with real flying ability instead of an invisible jet. She also would have accepted a career as a unicorn princess.) And she began writing fantasy stories. She attended Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and two children.
I am giving away a copy of THE GIRL WHO COULD NOT DREAM to ONE winner
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…