Saturday, September 20, 2014

1 Caragh M. O'brien, author of THE VAULT OF DREAMERS, on writing what fascinates you and 13 drafts!

What is your favorite thing about THE VAULT OF DREAMERS?

My favorite thing about The Vault of Dreamers is likely to be its most controversial aspect, too, and that’s the ending. I can’t explain it without spoilers, but I can say that Rosie’s story is really a novel of ideas. The characters are artists at an arts school where creativity is highly prized, and they are urged to take risks and experiment. To be true to that premise, I felt that I needed to take risks, too, and since my art form is the novel, I played with the book itself. I wrote what fascinated me, even when that involved exploring unknown dimensions, and it became intense. So, my favorite thing is the last chapter. It’s the perfect ending for this particular book.

How long did you work on the book?

It’s hard to say exactly how long I worked on The Vault of Dreamers because I had interruptions to the process while my first editor was on a leave of absence, and then later I started working with a second editor when my first editor left Roaring Brook.  These kinds of shifts are part of the business, so we made it work, and I definitely benefited from having input from two great editors, Nancy Mercado and Kate Jacobs.  Altogether, I’d say it took me about a year and a half to write this novel.  It went through 13 drafts.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

My road to publication was initially quite short because I published a romance novel soon after I finished college, but then it took me another decade to publish again, and still another decade before I published Birthmarked, which was the beginning of my YA writing work.  I honestly can’t count how many novels are in my attic.  Half a dozen?  I’ve always written, even when I’ve had other work or when I’ve been discouraged.  I would have stopped if I possibly could have, to be honest, but I kept returning to it.  When writing becomes a version of being alive, a state unlike anything else, a person craves it.

Giveaway ends 9/21/2014 at midnight EST.


The Vault of Dreamers
by Caragh M. O'Brien
Roaring Brook Press
Released 9/16/2014

From the author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success:  every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the edges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

Purchase The Vault of Dreamers at Amazon
Purchase The Vault of Dreamers at IndieBound
View The Vault of Dreamers on Goodreads


Caragh M. O'Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS, both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. O'Brien was educated at Williams College and earned her MA from Johns Hopkins University. She recently resigned from teaching high school English in order to write young adult novels. For more information, visit

1 comment:

Tell us what you think. We'd love to hear from you! :)