Please welcome Kerry Schafer to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews and as part of the Between Blog Tour!

Interview with Kerry Schafer, author of Between - February 4, 2013

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Kerry:  Thank you for having me! I am so thrilled that Between is part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge!

TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Kerry:  I fell in love with words when I was just a little kid, and the only real thing to be done about that was to write. I started with writing poetry in about sixth grade. Fiction came years later.

TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Kerry:  Quirks? Me? Yeah, I have a few. For one thing, I half believe that the story exists fully formed on some plane outside of myself and it's my job to capture it and get it on paper. I definitely believe that the story knows things I don't know, and that interesting things happen if I allow it to show me.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Kerry:  I am an avid pantser at heart. When I let the story have its way, it leads me to things I never would have dreamed up by myself. For example, in an early draft of Between a key showed up in Vivian's pocket. She had no idea what it was for, and neither did I. But that key grew into an integral part of the plot. On the other hand, I've learned to make some concessions to plotting. Lining up a few key scenes keeps the pacing on track. But even if I've got a complete outline, I have a tendency to stray.

TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Kerry:  Doing it. Seriously. Sitting down and actually putting the words on the page, one after the other. Some days the words flow and it's all easy, but writing can be more like trying to pull teeth with eyebrow tweezers. Also, I work full time and have a lot of demands on my time. It would be easier if I never got tired and didn't need to sleep.

TQ:  Describe Between in 140 characters or less. 

Kerry:  Ouch. Okay, here goes: When dangerous creatures from dream spill into the waking world, Vivian risks the Between - where reality and dream intersect - to stop them.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Between?

Kerry:  I've always had a fascination with what I think of as "The Other" – whatever is out there that is beyond the reach of our concrete senses. Take that, add a job where reality is often tenuous, throw in a brilliant co-worker with a fondness for Escher, and finally add a random penguin. Voila! In my brain it all adds up to Between.

TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Between?

Kerry:  I had to do some medical research. I used to be a nurse a long time ago, and my mental health crisis job took me into the ER a lot, but I was shaky on some details. What sort of medical treatment would the victim of dragon poisoning receive? What about the victim of dream induced hypothermia? But hey, for the most part, Between is fantasy! I get to make stuff up.

TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Kerry:  Isobel, Vivian's mentally unstable mother, was actually the easiest character to write. I'm not sure why – she just presented herself to me as fully formed and I didn't have to tinker with her much at all. The hardest would have to be Zee. Initially, I loosely based Zee on a real life character, the aforementioned brilliant co-worker, Jamie, who gave me the idea for the book. I learned, to my great chagrin, that even a fascinating human being doesn't translate well to the page. The initial Zee came across as flat and wooden. Then, when I was in the process of completely redesigning him, Jamie died. One of the most brutally difficult things I have ever done in my writing was to eliminate him from the pages of Between while I was still grieving his real life death.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Between?

Kerry:  I am fond of the initial ER scene where it becomes clear to Vivian that the Dreamworld is real and spilling into reality. If I told you any more I'd have to swear you to secrecy on pain of death and then where would this interview be?

TQ:  What's next?

Kerry:  Well, the second of the Books of the Between – tentatively titled Wakeworld – is currently with my editor. Hopefully Ace will want to contract for the third book of the trilogy, but that's still up in the air. Other than that, I've got a half written geriatric vampire clamoring for attention, a YA Fantasy in need of revision, and a ton of other book ideas. I plan to be busy.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

About Between

The Books of the Between 1
Ace, January 29, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Interview with Kerry Schafer, author of Between - February 4, 2013
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…

About Kerry

Interview with Kerry Schafer, author of Between - February 4, 2013
Diane Maehl Photography
Kerry Schafer was born and raised in Canada*, moved back and forth across the border several times, and finally settled on a compromise. She now lives in Washington state, but within an hour’s drive of her home and native land. Her childhood book collection traveled with her through all of those moves, and although she now owns a Kindle she continues to acquire books and bookshelves. During her lifetime, Kerry has worked as a lumber piler, an OB nurse, a secretary, and a substitute teacher, among other things. No matter where she lives or what she is doing, she finds a way to create writing time. Currently she balances writing and family with her work as a mental health counselor.

*And yes, she does sometimes say ‘eh?’ but never, ever ‘aboot.’

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The Giveaway


What:  One commenter will win a copy of  Between (Books of the Between 1) from The Qwillery.

How:   Answer The Qwillery's Question: 

What about "The Other" fascinates you?

Please remember - if you don't answer the questions your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if youmention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

There are a total of 3 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry) and Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry).  This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook or Twitter mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Friday, February 11, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*