Monday, November 17, 2014

Guest Post with Caragh M. O'Brien


Photo Content from Caragh 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. For more information, visit http://www.caraghobrien.com.

        


Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Grade Level: 7 - 9
Hardcover: 432 pages
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596439386
ISBN-13: 978-1596439382


Praise for THE VAULT OF DREAMERS

“A sharp novel about the ways in which everyone can be manipulated, either through editing or one's own desire to go the easiest path.” ―BCCB

“Like O'Briens Birthmarked trilogy, this dystopian, sci-fi, psychological-thriller hybrid raises ethical and moral questions about science. This might have been a difficult story to pull off, given the environment, but with a likable narrator who is thoroughly unimpressed with herself, it works . . . this should have wide appeal.” ―Booklist

“Fans looking for a science fiction novel that is not heavy on the science fiction or who want something vaguely dystopian will enjoy this title.” ―VOYA

“A mixture of science fiction and contemporary fiction, this novel is an interesting addition to both genres.” ―School Library Journal

“A fast, satisfying psychological thriller . . . The sudden cliffhanger will polarize readers.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Like viewers of The Forge Show, readers will want to keep watching Rosie.” ―Publishers Weekley



IS THERE SUCH THING AS A FORMULA FOR STORYTELLING?
This question about a formula for storytelling always interests me, and it triggers a strong, personal response in me. It seems so obvious to me that we have recurring patterns in our stories and novels, and I can’t help thinking that the common results must come from common starting points. This goes for every Cinderella retelling and script model like Save the Cat, where a plot framework can be seen as clearly as the exterior contours of a house. So, I have this uneasy sense that formulas do exist in storytelling.

At the same time, the writer in me, the person who gets frustrated and confused in the middle of writing a novel, resists believing that formulas are relevant, probably because they elude me entirely in my own work, and I think, am I just an idiot for resisting an obvious tool? Why do I bother trying to invent something original when I’m going to end up with something familiar anyway? Writing would be so EASY with a formula, I think, like a cookie recipe. Surely all the smart writers have figured out formulas by now.

But I can’t follow a formula. I have zero passion for a formula. Formulas feel like teases or lessons I could never master. To write a novel, I need to be fascinated, which means I need to NOT KNOW what’s coming next so I can be curious enough to figure it out. I have to write books I don’t know how to write yet. For me, discovery is the point of writing, and studying out a formula so I could follow it feels like the opposite of discovery.

Please don’t think I'm excusing an innate laziness. I’ve certainly argued with myself that formulas are like grammar, which I should grasp before I write in a nonstandard way. Similarly, I get that knowing a cliché helps you avoid it, and that children play more freely in the safety of a fenced yard. I’ve studied plots of stories I love, structures of plays, shapes of paragraphs, commonalities in cover copy, and progressions of turning points.

But in the end, I do better with my quirky discovery process. I prefer to let each novel create its own guidelines, and I trust that if I listen to the characters, they’ll tell me how to manage.


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.


You can purchase The Vault of Dreamers at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you CARAGH M. O'BRIEN for making this giveaway possible.
14 Winners will receive a Copy of The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien.
WEEK ONE
NOVEMBER 17th MONDAY JeanBookNerd GUEST POST 
NOVEMBER 18th TUESDAY Once Upon a Twilight MUSIC PLAYLIST
NOVEMBER 19th WEDNESDAY Insane About Books REVIEW & EXCERPT
NOVEMBER 20th THURSDAY A Dream Within a Dream REVIEW & TENS LIST 
NOVEMBER 21st FRIDAY Spiced Latte Reads REVIEW
NOVEMBER 22nd SATURDAY Literary Meanderings FAVORITE BOOKS
NOVEMBER 23rd SUNDAY Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW & EXCERPT

 WEEK TWO
NOVEMBER 24th MONDAY Chapter by Chapter REVIEW & DREAM CAST
NOVEMBER 25th TUESDAY BO-OK NERD CANADA REVIEW & THIS OR THAT 
NOVEMBER 26th WEDNESDAY Book Lovers Life RANDOM THINGS
NOVEMBER 27th THURSDAY Once Upon a Twilight EXCERPT
November 28th FRIDAY Swoony Boys Podcast REVIEW & INTERVIEW 
NOVEMBER 29th SATURDAY TTC Books and More REVIEW 
NOVEMBER 30th SUNDAY Such a Novel Idea REVIEW & TENS LIST
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