Q. How Did You Get the Idea for The Vault of Dreamers?
A. When I started thinking about a new novel to write after Birthmarked, I was playing with the idea of an arts school for wildly talented, creative people. I was also fascinated by the way popular shows like American Idol tap into our deep-seated dreams of Cinderella-style fame and fortune, where an unappreciated talent can transform someone’s life overnight if that person just gets a chance in front of the cameras. In a more humble vein, I noticed how surveillance cameras have become ubiquitous in our lives, so in a way, we’re all in shows, all the time. I was reading about how total sleep deprivation can kill a rat in eleven days, and conversely, how enough sleep helps with learning and memory. I wondered how my son and other teenagers like him would feel about it if they were forced to sleep for 12 hours a night. I had another idea, too, a kernel about dreaming that mixed around with the other notions for an arts school ruled by cameras and forced sleep. Then this girl from the boxcars appeared to me, this smart, artistic, hungry girl, and she basically took over my mind.
Rosie didn’t obey my rules. And I had to write her story.
The Vault of Dreamers comes out in September, and I’m excited to announce that the cover will be revealed on Goodreads this coming Friday, April 14th! Feel free to add the book to your to-read list. More news to come.