AUTHOR TAKEOVER #12: Kit Alloway, author of: Dreamfire
Author Takeover is a new feature here in HBT where we let our current favorite authors took over the blog. Expect Guest Posts, Interviews, LOTS of Playlists, giveaways and of course, a bunch load of FUN!
I’ve heard nothing but GOOD- AMAZING things about this book. All of the bloggers I trust love this and I can’t wait to read it! Thanks Kit for being awesome and visiting Her Book Thoughts!
Published February 24th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin
YA > Fantasy | Paranormal
About the book..
Joshlyn Weaver has always lived with a big secret. Ordinary kids spend their free time going to the movies, hanging out with friends, and searching on the internet.
But for her, an evening at home usually means entering people’s dreams. For many generations, her family has been part of a very powerful and very secretive society of dream walkers. Tasked with the responsibility of lowering the world’s general anxiety — which only leads to war and strife in the waking world — their job has always been to stop nightmares before they go too far.
By stopping nightmares while sleeping, they help to stop nightmares in real life.
But when an ancient feud within the dream walker society resurfaces right when a seemingly unconnected series of very strange and very scary events start occurring during her dream walks, Josh finds herself in a race against time. The one true dream walker has never been known. Could she be the one?
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hmm. I am thirty-three. I live with my boyfriend and our four Chihuahua mixes, who are attention hogs and the best snugglers ever. I watch a lot of movies and read a lot of books, and recently I began taking some undergrad English classics. I absolutely love museums.
Can you share with us how the whole concept of the book materialized?
I wrote the first draft fifteen years ago, so I don’t remember everything. All my life I’ve had nightmares, though, so the idea probably came from them. I originally wanted the story to be a graphic novel, but I can’t draw, so I had to write it instead. I was very inspired by the YA horror trilogies of the 1990s (many of which are being reprinted now), and I wanted to use that format, so I originally wrote the book in three parts. Deloise is largely based on my own younger sister, and Young Ben and Davita both had real-world inspirations, too. The early drafts of Dreamfire were very different from the published version—Feodor wasn’t even in them! I minored in Russian and East Europeans studies in college, and I knew I wanted to include an Eastern European villain, so I worked him into later drafts, and now it’s impossible to imagine the story without Feodor. Honestly, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this novel, it’s how integral revision is to writing.
What makes Joshlyn different from other YA heroines? What should we expect from her?
I love Josh, and I love what an unusual heroine she is. She isn’t beautiful. She isn’t popular. She doesn’t even own a cell phone. But she has this overriding, obsessive passion for dream walking. (Not coincidentally, it bears a striking resemblance to my teenage obsession with writing.) I think she’s interesting because she’s so good at this one thing, and more or less incompetent in every other area of her life. Plus she’s funny, and practical, and she cares desperately about her family and friends.
Your book cover is really gorgeous, but would you change it if you could?
No. I love the cover, especially the colors. I’m completely happy with it.
Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?
Whim is the most fun to write, because anything could come out of his mouth. I never know what he’s going to do next. But I also love writing Josh because her perspective comes very easily to me. Josh’s grandfather, Peregrine, is the hardest character to write. He’s despicable, and I guess I must not be, because I have a hard time getting into his head.
Is there something weird, funny, or scary that happened while writing Dreamfire?
The first nightmare that Josh and Will go into together, the one with Meepa the Albino Koala, was based off my own childhood nightmare about Kermit the Frog. In my dream, every time I said Kermit’s name, he would switch from good to evil or vice versa. But I kept forgetting that’s how it worked and accidentally saying his name, and I spent a lot of the dream running in terror from him. Which is weird, because I loved Kermit as a kid.
What can readers except from the romance angle in this story?
There were two things I was going for. First, I wanted the romance to be a subplot that would serve the adventure story, not the other way around. (I’m not sure why the book keeps getting shelved under Teen Romance, since it’s obviously a fantasy/sci-fi/adventure.) Second, I really wanted the romance to develop out of Josh and Will’s genuine affection for each other. I read so many books where guys act like self-destructive jerks and girls try to save them. I don’t find that romantic, and I don’t want to promote that model. So I wrote a love story I could get behind.
Are you working on something new?
I just finished final edits on the second book in the Dream Walker Trilogy, and I’m about halfway through a rough draft of the third. The story gets a lot darker in the second book, and a lot more action oriented. There’s also a major new character who just so happens to be a princess.
If you’re Joshlyn and can enter anyone’s dreams, whose dream would you enter?
I’d like to peek at the nightmares of YA author Christopher Pike. He was a huge influence on me when I started writing, and I still think his writing has a sort of effortless cool that no one has ever duplicated. Also phenomenal plotting. I suspect he has some fantastic nightmares. Second choice is David Lynch, the artist and filmmaker. Although his nightmares are probably terrifying.
What are your current YA favorites?
I thinkI was blown away by 50 Cent’s Playground. Amazing book. I just started Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up and am loving it. I’ve been taking some English classes, so I’ve mostly been reading classics lately. I highly recommend Hope Leslie, which was written before YA was a genre, but is about a group of Puritan teenagers sorting out their love lives in the aftermath of the Pequot War. Probably the most satisfying book I’ve read in a long time.
Thanks again, Kit for the Q&A! I REALLY cannot wait to get my hands on a physical copy of your book! You’re so awesome 🙂
What do you guys think of Dreamfire? Will you be reading it? Share your thoughts!