It is with great pleasure I welcome today's guest to the blog, someone who is celebrating the birth of their book baby this week!
AND THIS BOOK IS ABSOLUTELY DREAMY - QUITE LITERALLY! So, go buy it.
Check it out...
Lorelei Savaryn is an author of creepy, magical stories for children. She holds a BA in creative writing and is a former elementary teacher and instructional coach. When she isn't writing, she spends her time amidst the beautiful chaos of life with her husband and four children outside of Chicago.
Follow Lorelei here!
Cover art: Matt Saunders
Cover Design: Samira Iravani
A dream world turns haunting nightmare in this spellbinding debut novel, perfect for fans of Circus Mirandus and The Night Gardener.
After Andrea's brother, Francis, disappeared, everything changed. Her world turned upside down, and there was nothing she could do to right it. So when she discovers a magical dream world called Reverie in the woods near her home, Andrea jumps at the chance to escape her pain and go inside. But the cost of admission is high: Andrea must give up a memory in order to enter. And she knows exactly which memory she'd like to give up.
Once inside, Andrea discovers tent after tent of dreams come alive; she can fly on a gust of wind, brave swashbuckling pirates and search for buried treasure, reach for--and wish on--a tangible star, and much, much more. But Andrea soon realizes that not all of Reverie's dreams are meant to delight, and the Sandman behind the circus tents seems to have plans of his own. When Andrea finds a tent in which her brother's darkest nightmare has been brought to life, she realizes the dark truth: Reverie is not an escape; it's a trap.
Will Andrea and her new friend Penny have what it takes to find Francis, figure out what's really going on in Reverie, and break free from this nightmarish dream world?
A wonderfully inventive, deliciously creepy debut novel that is sure to linger in readers' minds long after the last thrilling page has been turned.
Grab your copy here!
Barnes and Noble
Signed copies available from The Book Stall (make note of request for signed copy on your order)
Who are you and what do you write?
Hi! I’m Lorelei, and I live outside Chicago with my husband and 4 children. I worked for several years as an elementary school teacher and as an instructional coach before becoming an author. I love ice cream, chocolate, reading books in my hammock, taking walks, and hanging out with my family!
I write creepy, magical middle grade stories with a lot of heart.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you? How has the journey to this point been?
I have a bin in the basement of stories from back when I was a kid! I’m really looking forward to bringing a few of those gems out when I talk with kids about writing down the line.
I realized I wanted to seriously try and write as an adult in 2007 when I was still in college, but it took me 10 whole years to muster up the courage to really sit down and finish a manuscript.
I finished my first (not very good) manuscript in 2017 just after my third child was born, and spent nearly a year revising it before shelving it and turning to middle grade and the story that would become THE CIRCUS OF STOLEN DREAMS. I learned a lot about revision, and the craft of writing through a lot of time invested into seeking out resources, and I grew exponentially more as a writer through Pitch Wars in 2018. The experience of having a set of mentors who were invested in helping both me and my story, made all the difference.
With my first manuscript, I queried just under 40 agents over several months before shelving it. With CIRCUS, I queried around 60 agents over the course of 5 weeks, and ended up with 5 offers of representation. My manuscript then went on to sell in a 2 book pre-empt.
The beginning of my journey was very slow, during those 10 years when I couldn’t finish anything I started. But it definitely picked up speed towards the end.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
I will always, always remember the day I received my first offer of representation, and then the day I learned we had a pre-empt. Those moments felt so very validating and made all the prior rejection completely worth it. But, the most enjoyable thing, I think is yet to come. I think it might be the first time I talk to a group of students about my book, or the first time a kid reaches out to tell me that my story meant something to them. I also think it will be pretty amazing to see my book on a bookshelf at a bookstore! I used to work at a children’s bookstore in high school, and have always felt like bookstores are magical places. To be even a small part of that magic feels pretty special.
The hardest part of the process is how surprised I’ve been at how vulnerable it feels to put a piece of my heart out into the world. Part of the deal in getting to publish a book is that complete strangers are entitled to have an opinion about my story, and I’m working very hard on navigating that vulnerability in a healthy way, and focusing my energy on finding ways to connect with kids, and with teachers and librarians and parents, who help get stories into kids’ hands.
Would you go back and change anything?
I’m a big believer in the idea that nothing is wasted. There is a part of me that wishes I could whisper to my younger self to dig in and finish a manuscript before I let 10 years go by. But, at the same time, those 10 years have changed me as a person and as a writer, and I’m really happy with the stories that are coming out of my experiences now. I think it’s all happening when it was supposed to happen.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10?
It is my one of my deepest wishes to be able to continue to have the privilege to write stories for kids for years to come. 5, 10, 15 years from now, if kids find any sense of comfort, or hope, or healing, or beauty, or escape in the stories that I’ve written, I would consider it an honor and would feel like I’ve been successful in what I set out to do. The thought of living out the next decade raising my children and writing books for kids just sounds like an absolute dream come to life for me.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
This industry comes with a lot of rejection, and I think it’s a good idea to have a plan for how to take care of your mental health when you hear less-than-favorable news. It starts early with querying agents, or applying to mentorship programs. It continues when you go on sub. And it will continue when your book releases. I haven’t found that rejection has necessarily gotten easier, but I have found ways to make sure I take things in stride and focus in on the things that matter to me, which is writing stories that connect with kids. I would also add that I’ve found it valuable to celebrate each and every success, no matter how small. Finished a new draft? Celebrate! Or even a new chapter? Celebrate! Got your first personalized feedback on a query? Celebrate! This is the kind of dream that requires us to put ourselves out there time and time again, and making a big deal out of small victories goes a long way, and helps us recognize the progress we’ve made.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? - Ha-depends on the food! Generally- beef=ketchup, chicken=mayo
Night or Day? - Night! I’m a night owl by nature, though having 4 young kids makes it hard to stay up too often.
Inside or Outside? - Inside, but with windows open.
Dogs or Cats? - … Neither… *winces* Our house is so messy and busy with the kids right now! But if I had to pick, I’d say dogs. A lot of our family members have dogs, and they are all very sweet.
Twitter or Facebook? - I’m actually really getting into Instagram! Everything is so pretty and kind there! I use Twitter for author stuff, and Facebook for keeping up with family and friends.
e-book or Paperback? - Paperback! For me, nothing quite compares to turning physical pages.
Sun or Rain? - Rain, but with a hint of sun peeking through.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - This also depends! I type my drafts, but often brainstorm ideas in a notebook.
Comedy or Drama? - Drama
Chips or Chocolate? - CHOCOLATE. All day. Every day.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!