I absolutely loved THE VAULT OF DREAMERS and I am so excited to be today’s stop on THE VAULT OF DREAMERS Blog Tour with an interview with the very amazing author, Caragh M. O’Brien.
This book’s title caught my eye, its cover grabbed me, and its description completely sold me. The setting – a boarding school – is one of my favorites, the idea that “every waking moment” of the students’ lives are being caught on camera and televised piqued my interest, and the fact that something sinister might be going on at night made this an absolute must read.
And I did read it. Early. And I did love it. A lot. It had all sorts of unexpected twists and turns. It did not follow a predictable path. And had this novel been a standalone that ending would have been a total mind-bender. As it stands, it’s still an ending that left an impression… one I probably shouldn’t share or I will completely spoil what happens.
THE VAULT OF DREAMERS released yesterday, September 16th, so if you just can’t wait to find out what happens, head to your library, bookstore, or pick up a copy online. Some information about the book and places you can find it are below.
If you’d like to learn a little bit more about THE VAULT OF DREAMERS, check out my Q&A with Caragh M. O’Brien in which she talks about the story’s POV, the Forge School of the Arts, her favorite scenes, and more. And if you visit some (or all) of the stops on the tour you can find more interviews, a few excerpts, and a few reviews.
Each stop on the tour has a copy of of THE VAULT OF DREAMERS for giveaway (US only). So be sure to visit all the stops for more chances to win.
And be sure to check out the FIERCE READS Tour page to see if Caragh M. O’Brien will be talking about and signing THE VAULT OF DREAMERS in your town.
About The Vault of Dreamers
Title: THE VAULT OF DREAMERS
Author: Caragh M. O’Brien
Release date: September 16, 2014
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.
The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students’ lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students’ schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What’s worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.
Q. Had you intended THE VAULT OF DREAMERS to be a standalone when you first wrote it? If so, what changes did you make in order to expand it into a series?
First, let me say thanks, Rachel, for inviting me by! I’m so delighted to be visiting Fiktshun on the Vault of Dreamers Blog Tour!
Since I first conceived of The Vault of Dreamers, I have always had a sense of it being part of a larger story arc, but as I wrote this first book, I focused on it as its own, complete story, and I’m very aware that it could be read as a stand alone novel. In fact, I rather like the ending just as it is and part of me would be very happy to leave things there. My planning for the next books has been deliberately open ended so that I’ll be able to explore and discover while I’m writing them, too. For instance, while the setting of the first novel is primarily the campus of the Forge School, it’s connected to a larger world, and the characters, especially the evil ones, have larger motives. I also left myself a few key loose ends to play with and planted some quirky details I plan to follow up on later.
Q. THE VAULT OF DREAMERS is written in first person whereas your Birthmarked series is written in third person. What made you decide to change the POV to first person to tell Rosie Sinclair’s story?
As it happens, I tried a couple chapters in third person just to see how they would work, but I quickly decided to use the energy of Rosie’s inner voice to guide the story. First person also worked well with Rosie’s gradual discovery of the hidden layers at the Forge School. It was a challenge, though. Rosie thinks more quickly than I naturally do, and she has a very visual, camera-like way of seeing the world, so it took some adjusting for me to write from her perspective. She’s also not the most reliable narrator, and it was challenging to convey information that I wanted the reader to grasp when Rosie herself didn’t understand it. With guys, for instance, Rosie is slow to pick up certain cues, and she makes mistakes with her trust.
Q. For those who haven’t yet visited it, could you please describe the Forge School of the Arts and what their supposed mission is?
I love this boarding school. I had so much fun thinking it up. In the first place, it’s a prestigious, innovative arts school that’s incredibly competitive to get into. It’s also the setting of The Forge Show, a reality TV show that follows every student so they’re each the star of their own feed, and people who watch the show determine the students’ blip ranks of popularity. The attention and pressure are geared to make the students be more creative, and this works, but the daily intensity has to be balanced, so the school requires the students to sleep for 12 hours every night. The mission of the Forge School of the Arts is to foster the most creative, accomplished artists possible in all of the arts: dance, music, theater, film, painting, sculpture, creative writing, photography, and even IMGD. It’s ambitious in the extreme.
Q. Without revealing too much, can you tell us more about what their real aim is and what Rosie discovered?
The surface layer of the arts school is already very complicated, but there’s another level going on in the novel, too. Rosie first glimpses it when she skips her sleeping pill and sees the school doctor tending one of the other sleeping girls in a sinister way. It has to do with dreams, as you might guess from the title, but for the sake of not spoiling anything, I really ought not to say anything more.
Q. What was your favorite scene to write in THE VAULT OF DREAMERS (and why was it a favorite)?
I have a few favorites for different reasons. There’s a moment that scares me every single time I read it. It happens on a particular morning when Rosie wakes up in her dorm room after a bad night. I know it’s coming, I wrote it myself, and yet when a certain line shows up, it totally freaks me out. The ending scene is a favorite of mine, too. I originally planned to use the scene in the opening chapter of Book 2, but then I realized it was the perfect way to end Book 1 because of the risks it takes, so I shifted it there.
Q. There were quite a few unexpected twists and turns in the story which will keep readers on the edge of their seats. What were the challenges, if any, in crafting a story that continued to shock and surprise throughout?
To be honest, the novel needed many, many drafts before it came together, probably because I was discovering the evil along with Rosie at first, and later I had to go back and think of the story from the bad guy’s perspective. It’s a story in layers that get peeled away, and I had to be careful that the reveals built on each other to create suspense. By the end, after many shifts and cuts, I had a very precise timeline of how the nights and days fit together, and it became impossible to shift a scene even by a few hours. That’s when I knew I had nailed down the plot.
Thanks, Rachel, for these thought-provoking questions, and thanks again for having me by!
About Caragh M. O’Brien
Caragh M. O’Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS, both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. O’Brien was educated at Williams College and earned her MA from Johns Hopkins University. She recently resigned from teaching high school English in order to write young adult novels.
Thanks to the awesome folks at Macmillan, I have a hardcover copy of THE VAULT OF DREAMERS to offer to ONE WINNER – US ONLY.
Prize will be sent directly from the publisher.
- Must be 13 or older to enter
- There will be ONE winner
- Giveaway is US ONLY
- Giveaway ends September 23, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific
- Winner will be chosen by Random via Rafflecopter
- Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
- Winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen
Enter in the Rafflecopter below…
The Tour Schedule
Sept. 13th | Fiction Fare