Kerry Schafer’s brand new book, Between, comes out in just eight days, and she was kind enough to answer a few of my questions about the book, her writing, and more!
Please welcome Kerry to the blog!
Kerry, your debut book, Between, is out this month! How did you celebrate when you found out the book would be published?
My Viking bought me a bottle of champagne and we celebrated quietly at home with family.
Will you tell us a bit about Between, and what inspired you to write it?
Between falls into the category of what I call “Coming into Power” stories. Vivian, the main character, wants a normal ordinary life. She believes in science and logic and works as an ER doctor. As it turns out, she’s actually a Dreamshifter, and when her grandfather dies she has to face the fact that there are worlds out there to which logic does not apply. It’s hard to remain in denial when the dragons show up on your doorstep.
I was inspired by a fortunate collision of events and ideas. My co-worker at the time was a brilliant and wonderful man named Jamie Chivers. He and I had delightful conversations about the nature of reality, and he also introduced me both to the works of MC Escher and to a certain penguin named Vivian. My brain sort of took it from there.
What do you love most about writing fantasy?
When I’m writing fantasy my imagination gets to come out and play. There are really no limits to the possibilities of worlds and landscapes and characters. In non-fiction or real life fiction I feel limited and confined by facts. In fantasy, I still have to play by the rules of the world my characters are living in, but hey – I get to make those rules up in the first place.
What are some of your biggest literary influences?
Charles Dickens, JRR Tolkien, Madeleine L’Engle, Guy Gavriel Kay
If you could experience one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
The Lord of The Rings.
Who would be on your dream guest list at the ultimate dinner party?
I’m not entirely sure there is an ultimate dinner party – I’m much happier in small groups. How about this – my awesome agent, Deidre Knight. My editor, Danielle Stockley. And all of my writing friends accumulated on and offline –
I’m not going to start listing them all because I would forget people. Oh – and music provided by my one obsessive musician crush – Mark Knopfler.
You balance writing with a day job…when you manage to find some free time, how do you like to spend it?
What is this free time of which you speak? I’ve almost forgotten what that feels like. When I have time in my life, I spend a lot of it reading. I have a baby grand piano, which is sadly neglected at the moment, but I do love to play. Yoga. Long walks in the woods. Knitting, drawing, baking. Did I mention reading?
What’s next for you? Is there any news about upcoming project or events that you’d like to share (or anything at all!)?
I have a couple of next things. One of these is completely unrelated to writing. After twenty years away, I’m working on getting my RN license back. I’m currently doing clinical practicum hours and then I am done! As far as writing goes, the sequel to Between is with my editor now – I haven’t heard anything about pub dates for that so I can’t tell you more. And I have a lot of other writing projects I want to work on. One of them is my geriatric vampire novel, which I really want to get back to.
Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours.
All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes—forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real.
And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once—a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…