A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Monday, November 29, 2010

Author Interview with Skyler White

Skyler White is the nationally bestselling author of dark fantasy novels and Falling, Fly (Berkley, March 2010) and In Dreams Begin (Berkley, November 2010).

The child of two college professors, Skyler grew up in an environment of scholarship and academic rigor, so naturally left high school to pursue a career in ballet. She’s been dancing around research and thinking through muscle cramps ever since. She has a master’s degree in theater and work experience in advertising; she’s won awards as a stage director and appeared on reality TV. She is a mother and an instigator, a wife and a realist, a liberal living in Texas and an atheist who believes in mythology. She is a sucker for paradox, and it’s a fortunate thing, too!

Connect with Skyler:

I mention in my review how readers will need to adjust to the swap between first person and third person POV while reading IN DREAMS BEGIN. I then continued discussing your motives behind writing the differing points at the same time. The obvious is so readers can easily differentiate who is being focused on, but I also came up with another idea: "Laura was in first person because she was the modern woman, while Ida was in third person because all the events in her life occurred in the past." 

What are your thoughts on this theory? Did you have a reason for choosing the different POVs? Why?

You got it! Ida is past tense because her story is in the past. Also, at the very end, there’s a tiny tweak on that. Ida comments on it.

Spoiler Alert!!!!
Ida takes up residence inside Laura at the very end, possessing her body, not as completely as Laura did Maud’s, but co-existing with her. It’s why Laura trips on the spiral stairs like Ida always does, and it’s why the last paragraph says “Now ‘I’ means Laura. But even within an artist’s mind, Ida Jameson is more free than when a father or a husband housed her. … And – although to tell her real and secret story, she must learn to speak of the past in its own tense, and to write herself as ‘she’ – still, Ida will not be silent.”

You tackle a number of different themes in your novel such as need versus want, what love is, infatuation, freedom, sexuality, and imagination. I thought that each topic advanced IN DREAMS BEGIN to an entirely new and unique level when compared to other books out there. Would you like to discuss any of these themes further and explain why you chose them?

Oy. Well, first of all, thank you! I know it’s a little atypical for the genre, but it’s very gratifying to hear that qualified as “advanced!”

I chose the themes I did in part because they were the topics needling me at the time, and in part because they were what the story itself suggested. It would be very hard to write a time-travel to Victorian times, and not have sexuality, body image, and femininity come up. They were such important issues then, and the attitudes are so different now, even if no less fraught. When history turned up the factoid that Maud believed herself to be part faery, and Yeats described faeries as lacking imagination, that topic suggested itself, both relative to fidelity (is fantasy cheating?) and to art – commercial or poetic.

Regarding the themes you chose: I think a lot of readers, when reading novels such as IN DREAMS BEGIN, wonder how an author includes so many different themes into his/her story. Was this a conscious decision of yours while writing this book?

Yup! I don’t think I could do that unconsciously. Also, knowing the thematic ground you want to explore helps a writer (or helps me, anyway!) make decisions about what gets included in the story. Knowing I wanted to work with the idea of possession, for example, gave me the space to introduce a devil who is the spirit of possession, to contrast the number of possessions Laura and Maud own, to question the relationship of a person to their own body, or to the body of a loved one, to investigate women as the property of their husbands or fathers, to play with demonic possession and fidelity.

While we're on the topic of your writing, what is your writing process typically like? I know you had to do a lot of research for this particular book, including a trip to Ireland, but what about when you finally sat down and began? Do you need absolute silence? Are you a plotter or do you wing it?

I’m a plotter. And I do a lot of pre-writing. This project was unique, in that history dictated so much of the storyline, but I tend to start with an idea or a question, and play with it, tease it out and fluff it up, interrogate it and iterate on it until I have a giant, messy tangle of idea, character, plot and structure. Once I’ve got that, I start to spin the threads of the story out of it, trying to organize and order and tame them. I make a raggedy first draft, grabbing new threads when I find I need them, dropping others when they don’t work. After that, it’s all about editing. Weaving loose bits in, yanking bad bits out, shaping and blocking and smoothing. And I do sort of need silence, yes. Actually, what I need is the absence of other words or audible patterns. I’m fine in a loud coffee shop with a chaotic din of music and conversation. But if I can sing along with the music or overhear a conversation, my mind wanders off on those threads. I keep an hour-long track of thunder and rain on my netbook and plug in the headphones if wherever I’m working is too full of other people’s words.

What do you have in store for your next novel? How many books do you have planned for
the Harrowing series?

I don’t have a number planned. I have at least three more stories I know the basic outline of, one set before “Dreams” and “Falling,” one at about the same time, and one after. But I know there are several others in there as well. Right now I’m working on a story that explores the hotel that was started in “Dreams” and which we see in “Falling” but in its American manifestation, which isn’t a hotel, but a travelling circus. It’s a Prometheus story about a singer who loses his voice and the detective who finds it.

Thanks for stopping by Skyer!

Skyler White is the nationally bestselling author of dark fantasy novels ‘and Falling, Fly’ (Berkley, March 2010) and ‘In Dreams Begin’ (Berkley, November 2010). She lives in Austin, TX. Visit her on the web at http://www.skylerwhite.com.


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