Like most novel writers, there is more to Kerry Schafer than meets the eye. On the surface, she appears soft-spoken, her presence comforting and a good listener, which probably goes hand-in-hand with her job as a counselor at NEW Alliance Counseling. One might not make the connection that she is the author of the new fantasy novel Between, an engaging narrative that avoids the usual traps and stereotypes that said novels can fall into and makes the reader wonder if they are dreaming while awake.
“It’s a lot like Colville,” says Schafer of the setting of her book, which was picked up by powerhouse publishing firm, Penguin Publishing last year. “The story came from a lot of different places. A friend of mine and I engaged in a long conversation about alternate realities---what they mean, do they exist, how we view our own reality.”
The story revolves around Vivian Maylor, an Emergency Room doctor who has just moved to a new town, got a job at the local hospital, and is starting her life anew. A rational person who relies in logic, Vivian becomes increasingly anxious when her dreams begin to bleed through into her waking hours, making her question her rejection of her mother’s claim that dream worlds are real.
Sequel to come
When a chance encounter leads her to meet someone she only knows from her dreams, she finds herself becoming increasingly involved in a world that is foreign and familiar to her all at the same time, and the lines between dreaming and reality begin to blur.
“Vivian is a person who wants her world to be logical and orderly,” says Schafer, who is also a Registered Nurse (RB) who used to work in emergency rooms. “She finds out, through a series of events, that she is the last in a line of dream shifters who are responsible for keeping the door between dreaming and the real world closed in order to protect people.”
Originally from Canada, Schafer currently lives on William’s Lake Road with her husband. She has always had an affinity for writing ands reading, memorizing her favorite stories at a young age and putting pen to paper to create her own tales in the 6th grade.
Between was born when Schafer took up the National Novel Writing Month challenge about four years ago. National Novel Writing Month, a.k.a. NaNoWriMo is an annual internet-based creative writing project that takes place every November. NaNoWriMo challenges participants to write 50,000 words of a new novel between November 1 and 30. Despite its name, it accepts entries from around the world.
“It’s crazy and fun,” Schafer says of NaNoWriMo. “The rough draft for Between came out of that. It got revised and rewritten, but that’s where it started.”
Taking her fledging manuscript, she posted it on the website bookcountry.com, an online space for genre fiction writers and readers to share and read fiction, give feedback, and discover new books. An editor from Penguin Publishing read the story and procured a two-book deal with Schafer. She is currently writing the sequel to Between, tentatively titled Wake World.
“The symbolism behind dreams is absolutely fascinating,” says Schafer. “I tend to believe that everyone has their own personal mythologies. I know some upstanding citizens whose dreams are pre-cognitive. Dreaming is something that we all do. It’s interesting to take a closer look and wonder what could this mean?”
Between is available for purchase at www.amazon.com . Schafer will be promoting her novel at the C2E2 Con in Chicago, April 26 through 28 and the Romantic Times Con in Kansas City, April 29 – May 5th.
For more information, go to www.kerryschafer.com .