Happy Tuesday, bibliovores! Today I have an interview with Caragh O'Brien, author of The Keep of Ages. This is the final novel in the Vault of Dreamers trilogy. Stick around for the giveaway at the bottom of this post, in which you can win a copy of The Keep of Ages!
Meet Caragh O'Brien!
Alyssa: Hi Caragh! Welcome to The Eater of Books! I’m so happy to have you here today. I’ve been waiting for The Keep of Ages and I’m glad it’s finally here! How does it feel to complete another series?
Caragh: Thanks, Alyssa! I’m happy to here on The Eater of Books!
Finishing this series has been amazing for me. Rosie’s story was a huge undertaking that preoccupied me for four years, and I’m really happy with how it has turned out. When I held a finished copy in my hand for the first time this weekend, I was awed.
Alyssa: Which of the three books of this series was the most difficult to write?
Caragh: The second novel, The Rule of Mirrors, had special challenges because Rosie’s consciousness split in two, and I was dealing with two perspectives in two characters that grew apart and intertwined intricately. It was a fascinating puzzle to work on, and it took me a long time to figure out. The third book, The Keep of Ages, had special challenges, too, but they had more to do with psychological issues than the structure of novel. The book’s a bit of a mind-bender.
Alyssa: Do you have a favorite deleted/cut scene from The Keep of Ages (or any of the books in the series) that you can share or describe to us?
Caragh: A chapter in The Keep of Ages was originally written from the perspective of Thea, a key character in the second book, and it ended up being cut. I reworked the substance of the chapter into other parts of the novel to cover the plot turns, but I lost a scene of conversation that I liked. Writing the chapter helped me understand the characters better and identify other changes that needed to happen, but I believe the book is stronger without the little section. It interrupted the momentum of the main story line.
Alyssa: Did the end of this series change, from what you originally outlined to what is now set to publish?
Caragh: Yes. I had only a sketchy idea of how the series would evolve when I started it, so the entire last novel feels new to me. I originally began with characters I cared deeply about, and a creepy, intriguing situation (the dream mining), and I had to trust that the story would evolve from those elements. It did, I’m happy to report.
Alyssa: Who was your favorite character to write?
Caragh: Rosie has been my favorite all along. She’s so smart, but she also has a certain blindness about herself and others. For instance, at the start, she wants to be a film director and she’s very comfortable behind the camera, yet she doesn’t realize that she uses her filming of others to keep herself at a distance. Later, she grapples with truly trusting herself and loving someone. She grows enormously across the three books.
Alyssa: Do you have new books that you’re working on that you can tell us a little about?
Caragh: I’ve started a new project, another young adult novel, which I’m very excited about. I’ve always been interested in time and the way we create patterns and routines, so I’m playing around with that concept. I’m in a very early stage, but it’s already quite surprising and intriguing to me.
Thank you for all your support of my novels, Alyssa, and for having me by! This has been a treat!
Alyssa: Thank YOU so much for joining me today, Caragh! Best of luck with future projects. =)
About the Author:
Caragh M. O’Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS series, both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. O’Brien was educated at Williams College and earned her MA in the Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University. Her young adult science fiction has been honored by the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, the Amelia Bloomer Award, the Junior Library Guild, and numerous state reading lists. A former high school English teacher, she now writes young adult novels full time from her home in rural Connecticut.
Praise for Caragh M. O’Brien:
“Psychologically and philosophically rich.”
— Kirkus, The Keep of Ages
“Like O'Brien’s 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, The Vault of Dreamers
“A fast, satisfying psychological thriller.”
— Kirkus, The Vault of Dreamers
“Magnificent. The Vault of Dreamers left me breathless.”
— Mary Pearson, author of the New York Times bestselling series The Remnant Chronicles
“O’Brien (the Birthmarked trilogy) mixes the appeal of a classic boarding school novel with modern concerns about surveillance and reality as performance art, while questioning how human perception creates that reality in the first place. “
— Publishers Weekly, The Vault of Dreamers
"[T]here's plenty of intrigue and---as the whole dream operation is explored---a solid sense of building tension."
— Kirkus, The Rule of Mirrors
“An exciting, almost breakneck adventure… Readers who enjoy adventures with a strong heroine standing up to authority against the odds will enjoy this compelling tale.”
— School Library Journal, Birthmarked
“Reminiscent of both 1984 and a Brave New World, this gripping page-turner is a perfect intro to futuristic, dystopian fiction . . . Readers accompany the novel's inspiring heroine on an undertaking brimming with danger, intrigue, and romance.”
— Education.com, Birthmarked
“O'Brien's . . . impulsive and spirited heroine . . . is the kind readers adore.”
— Booklist, Birthmarked
“Well-written and fast-paced.”
— VOYA, Birthmarked
About The Keep of Ages:
The Keep of Ages by Caragh O'Brien
Book Three of The Vault of Dreamers series
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Summary (from Goodreads):
In the fast-paced, high-stakes conclusion to Caragh M. O'Brien's Vault of Dreamers trilogy, Rosie travels to a derelict theme park to shut down dream mining once and for all.
Driven by fear when Dean Berg kidnaps her family, Rosie Sinclair strikes out across the country to rescue them. When an elusive trail leads her to Grisly Valley, the contaminated ruin of a horror theme park, Rosie has to consider that Berg may once again be manipulating her every move to make her fearful, priming her for a final, lethal dream mining procedure. As Rosie struggles to outmaneuver Berg, she unearths the ultimate vault of dreamers and the hint of a consciousness more powerful and dangerous than any she's imagined before. Faced with unspeakable suffering and otherworldly beauty, Rosie must discover how to trust her mind, her friends, and reality itself.
Propulsive and deeply speculative, The Keep of Ages concludes the Vault of Dreamers trilogy with stirring possibilities for what it means to be alive.
Check out the series:
(Click on the covers for more information!)
Win a copy of The Keep of Ages! Courtesy of Media Masters Publicity. Open to USA residents only. Ends 08/18, 11:59 PM EST. You can see complete giveaway rules in the Rafflecopter or on my Giveaways page. Good luck!