October 6, 2015
A high-concept, fantastical espionage novel set in a world where dreams are the ultimate form of political intelligence.
Livia is a dreamstrider. She can inhabit a subject's body while they are sleeping and, for a short time, move around in their skin. She uses her talent to work as a spy for the Barstadt Empire. But her partner, Brandt, has lately become distant, and when Marez comes to join their team from a neighborhing kingdom, he offers Livia the option of a life she had never dared to imagine. Livia knows of no other dreamstriders who have survived the pull of Nightmare. So only she understands the stakes when a plot against the Empire emerges that threatens to consume both the dreaming world and the waking one with misery and rage.
A richly conceived world full of political intrigue and fantastical dream sequences, at its heart Dreamstrider is about a girl who is struggling to live up to the potential before her.
- What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Aside from read? ;) I’m a really big board game and video game nerd! I cycle through a lot of different games, but right now I’m pretty obsessed with Heroes of the Storm, which is a battle arena game featuring a ton of characters from Blizzard games, and the board game Lords of Waterdeep. I love eating every cuisine imaginable and trying craft beers, as well.
- What can we expect from you in the future?
Next fall (2016) I have another YA novel coming out from Roaring Brook/Macmillan Children’s that’s currently titled A Darkly Beating Heart. I don’t have a full summary for it yet, but I call it an angry bisexual Japanese time travel revenge fantasy. :) I’m also a member of the writing team for an upcoming serialized fiction project, The Witch Who Came In from the Cold, which is all about magical spies in 1970s Prague. That should go live early next year.
- Do you have an interesting fact/inside joke about Dreamstrider?
There’s a scene where Livia and her team go undercover at a fancy masquerade ball early in the book, and Brandt, trying to pretend he’s intoxicated, goes on and on about the fact that there are tumblers at the ball. I shamelessly stole this from a friend who embarrassed himself when he met his favorite author George R. R. Martin, and tried to impress him with his knowledge of the opera company at Santa Fe (where Martin lives). When Martin replied that he hated opera, my friend insisted, “But they have tumblers! Tumblers!” Martin was unswayed.
- Who is your least favorite character in your book?
Ooh, that’s tough! Even in my most despicable characters, I can usually find something appealing about them, or that I respect, at least. (I always say this about villains--you gotta admire their persistence!) Some of the Barstadt Empire’s advisers and ministers, however, are pretty inexcusable. They try to stymie Livia or dismiss her advice at every possible turn, all purely to make themselves look better to the Emperor.
- Do you have any unique talents or hobbies? Any weird quirks while writing to help reach your writing goal?
I’ve gotten into the habit of writing with a timer instead of writing to a set word count. I’m not allowed to do anything--check social media, get a snack, turn on the TV--until the timer goes off. In the moment, sometimes I’ll get stuck, and each word I have to keep typing until that timer dings is painful, but whenever I look back on it later, it’s (almost) always perfectly fine in retrospect.
About the Author:
Author of YA historical thrillers SEKRET and SKANDAL and the forthcoming YA fantasy DREAMSTRIDER (all from Macmillan Children's). Russophile, foreign affairs junkie, nerd.
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