Monday, November 22, 2010

Interview/Giveaway with Skyler White

It's a pleasure to have Skyler White here on the blog. She's here in celebration of her latest release In Dreams Begin

Hi Skyler, Welcome to Anna's Book Blog! I'm glad to have you here. To start off can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
I’m glad to be visiting, thanks for inviting me! I’m a newcomer, but late to the party. My first book and Falling, Fly came out in March of this year. In Dreams Begin is my second, begun before I sold Falling. I didn’t start thinking of myself as a writer until a few years ago, although writing to some extent, and certainly reading, has always been a part of my life. Before that, I was mostly feeling my way from one thing to the next trying to make a Life Path out of a fairly incoherent collection of interests. I’ve been a ballet dancer and a factory line worker. I got halfway through a BFA in choreography and switched to a BA in English Lit & Anthropology. I ran a theater company and wrote ad copy. I got a MA in theater history and started an online candle company. I had kids and got married. Mercifully, having become a writer, I can now call all that research!

In Dreams Begin is your latest release, can you tells us a little about it and the series?
Sure! In Dreams Begin is a prequel to and Falling, Fly but only in so much as The Harrowing is a series, which is kinda-sorta-but-not-really. I have a couple of core interests which keep manifesting themselves in certain characters who reoccur in my stories. Gaehod from Falling shows up in Dreams (but I’m not saying how or in what form!). And so does the Irish underground “hell.” Olivia even makes a brief cameo in Dreams (as Laura did in Falling). But really, the overlap is more of a little game, a hide-and-seek for readers who enjoy the occasional Easter egg, more than really critical to either book. In Dreams Begin tells the story of a contemporary woman whose awareness is channeled into the body of the Irish revolutionary and (self-reported) part faery Maud Gonne. Inhabiting Maud’s body, Laura meets and falls in love with the turn-of-the-century poet WB Yeats.

When your not writing what kind of books do you like to read?
I’ll read twenty pages of anything. I’m completely agnostic in regards to genre. I read non-fiction, graphic novels, literary fiction, poetry, fantasy – anything as long as it sucks me in. Right now I’m reading “The Anubis Gate.”

What are 3 things that are "must haves" for you when you sit down to write a book?
Coffee, noise-canceling in-ear headphones, and my hour-long track of thunderstorms

What type of research did you do for In Dreams Begin?
The difficult, time-consuming type? I actually took six months off writing just to research. I read both Yeats’s autobiographies and several biographies. I read Maud’s autobiography and two very good biographies of her. I read all the letters they wrote each other. And I read some specifically Irish history.

After I got the timelines sketched in, I did location research and then I wrote a first draft. The writing itself turned up racks of additional questions. So I did another round of research between the second and third draft. And the whole time I was writing, I was reading Yeats. In the course of the time it took me to write Dreams, I read all of his poetry, collecting the lines and little snippets that preface each chapter.

Finally, with a pretty evolved draft finished, I went to Ireland, London and Paris for two weeks and visited every location (or the closest thing still around) where I had a scene set. I have a tiny little netbook computer, so I was able to actually re-write scenes in the places where they were set. Which was wonderful. There are some pictures from that trip on my website here.

I'll admit even with my love of Ireland- when I started reading In Dreams Begin I wasn't familiar with Maud Gonne. Can you give us some insight on her or why you picked her to use in your story?
Well, it wasn’t the initial plan. I was reading up on Yeats, planning a straight time-travel or even historical novel. I was looking for a Victorian figure to model my hero on – someone Irish, passionate and romantic. What I found was Will Yeats. And he was perfect. Reading about him, I discovered Maud and their inexplicable thirty years of courtship and denial, their marriage “on the spiritual plane” and their involvement with the occult. At which point he and she became too perfect. I had to use them rather than simply model a fiction on them. Which about quadrupled the amount of research. But it was wonderful fun!

In the book your writing oozes with history and heritage. If you could visit any time which would it be?
Oh, I think I’d have to do the turn of the century Ireland and London. I’d want to see Will again.

I really liked both Ida Jameson and Laura Armstrong. What inspired you when writing these two women?
They grew out of the story I wanted tell, and in response to the real characters I already had. Will and Maud required them, and they both to some extent, are foils for Maud. Or Laura is. Ida is really a reaction to her. Laura is modern and rational and careful, none of which Maud was. Maud had two children with a married French revolutionary, and another one by a violent, drunken Boer War vet who molested her daughter, kicked Maud more than once, and ended up being executed by firing squad for his role in the 1916 Easter Rising. Laura marries her husband because they’re good together and she’s not crazy in love with him. Crazy is dangerous. Ida is dangerous. Poor Ida. I really loved writing her, allowing the times in which she lived and her alternate adoration and jealousy of Maud to warp and embitter her. It’s fun writing someone so twisted. I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

What is your fave W.B. Yeats poem?
Just one? Yikes. The Second Coming.

What is up next for you? Will you continue writing within the same universe as and Falling Fly & In Dreams Begin?
I’m working on an all-American, no travel east of the Mississippi, completely contemporary trilogy. It nestles into the world of Falling and Dreams, but I’m thinking of it as a stand-alone series. There will be some character overlap between them and previous characters, as there is with Dreams and Falling, both of the brief cameo type that Laura gets in Falling, and the larger backstory building in Dreams.
By Skyler White
Out Now!

From a Victorian Ireland of magic, poetry and rebellion, Ida Jameson, an amateur occultist, reaches out for power, but captures Laura Armstrong, a modern-day graphic artist instead. Now, for the man or demon she loves, each woman must span a bridge through Hell and across history . . . or destroy it.

“Every passionate man is linked with
another age, historical or imaginary, where
alone he finds images that rouse his energy.”
--W. B. Yeats

Anchored in fact on both sides of history, Laura and Ida, modern rationalist and fin de si├Ęcle occultist, are linked from the moment Ida channels Laura into the body of celebrated beauty and Irish freedom-fighter Maud Gonne. When Laura falls—from an ocean and a hundred years away—passionately, Victorianly in love with the young poet W. B. Yeats, their love affair entwines with Irish history and weaves through Yeats’s poetry until Ida discovers something she wants more than magic in the subterranean spaces in between.

With her Irish past threatening her orderly present and the man she loves in it, Laura and Yeats—the practical materialist and the poet magus—must find a way to make love last over time, in changing bodies, through modern damnation, and into the mythic past to link their pilgrim souls . . . or lose them forever.

About the Author:
Skyler White is the bestselling author of dark fantasy novels ‘and Falling, Fly’ (Berkley, March 2010) and ‘In Dreams Begin’ (Berkley, November 2010). She lives in Austin, TX. Visit her on the web at


I have a copy of and Falling, Fly & In Dreams Begin to giveaway to one lucky winner. To enter leave a comment along with your email address. Open to U.S. & Canada. The winner will be announced on November 30th.  Good Luck!!


  1. I would love to read and Falling, Fly & In Dreams Begin :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  2. Great interview! and -- Thanks for offering up books!

    LiquidityofTime @

  3. I've been wanting to read these books. Thanks for the chance.

    sgiden at

  4. These look so good! I cannot wait to read them! And the covers are amazing! Kudos to that!

    Thanks for the interview, Skyler! And thanks Anna for the contest! :D

    apereiraorama @

  5. Great interview. The books just sound so different, and cool

  6. great interview, would love to read both books!


  7. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  8. I really enjoyed your interview. I'd love to read both of these books.

  9. Sounds good, count me in!

  10. I enjoyed learning about the author.

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  11. Great interview and giveaway.please count me in

  12. Waiting hoping and tried for awhile to meet Skyler but every time she has a book signing event something else comes first! Since we are both here in Central Texas would love a chance at getting both the books to read and review!


    jackie >_<

  13. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  14. I am a follower and email subscriber. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read these books.

  15. Thanks for the interview and giveaway! Please enter me.

  16. I'd love to win these books.

  17. Great interview -ty for sharing! I found it interesting that Yeats was an inspiration. The books sound like great reads.

    Pam S
    pams00 @

  18. Great interview. Thanks for the giveaway!


  19. Loved the interview and they sound like great books. The cover is just amazing. I would so love to read these books.

  20. Great interview. Maud, Ida, and Laura sound like fascinating characters to read about!

    dsfrankj at gmail dot com

  21. Awesome interview! Yeats is one of my favourite poets and I'm really looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for the giveaway!

    spettolij AT gmail DOT com

  22. Im so agree with this words: Coffee, noise-canceling in-ear headphones, and my hour-long track of thunderstorms.



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