On Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the release party for Cat Winters’ new book “The Cure for Dreaming” at Powell’s Books. When the event schedule had first come out I brushed over her name, zeroing in on William Gibson (who, alas, I will not be able to see as I had originally planned). It took me a couple of weeks and a second go-over on the events page to connect the release party with the book I had been coveting on other blogs for weeks. I am glad I didn’t miss it, because it was great fun, complete with snacks, visual aids, costumes, and giveaways. I picked up the book on Saturday and am about halfway through and enjoying it immensely.
Here are a few takeaways from the reading and the Q&A Session:
Cat Winters has a young adult novel, short story, and adult historical fiction novel in the works. We can expect a lot more from her!
She is inspired by Victorian and Gothic literature. Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” plays a large role in “The Cure for Dreaming”.
She has a soft spot for “Wuthering Heights”.
“The Cure for Dreaming” was inspired by the music of Kristen Lawrence from Halloween Carols.
The cover illustration is a colorized version of an actual hypnosis session done in the 1800s.
She will probably stick with historical fiction for a while.
“The Cure for Dreaming” opens on Halloween because it was the day before the presidential election in 1900.
She spent hours researching and pouring over images for “The Cure for Dreaming”.
Now for the pictures! Please forgive the quality. It was a rainy, blustery day and I didn’t have a proper cover with me to tote my good camera from the car to the shop, so I was relying on my phone.
On Thursday night I had the pleasure of meeting Deborah Harkness, author of the best selling All Souls Trilogy which contains the books “Discovery of Witches”, “Shadow of Night”, and “The Book of Life”. I found the series shortly after the first book was released on a front display at Barnes and Noble. I have always been a fan of stories about witchcraft and the occult. On top of that, the cover was beautiful. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but I will freely admit that the more attractive the cover, the more likely I am to notice it. I don’t think I even read the synopsis before picking it up, and I normally meticulously pour through reviews and ratings before committing my treasured free reading time to a new book series. I was not disappointed.
The All Souls Trilogy is the story of reluctant witch Diana and her vampire companion Matthew as they work together to find out the secrets of a mysterious manuscript that might hold the key to saving the supernatural world. No one knows what is in the manuscript, but that isn’t stopping them from hunting it down. Diana and Matthew’s journey take them on an action packed journey around the world, through the past and the present, surrounded by an amazingly rich cast of characters.
Deborah Harkness is a history professor and it shows in her work. Her approach to the supernatural is intelligent and grounded in history with scientific explanations to back up the existence of the paranormal. The character’s fears, their world views, and their actions are guided by evidence of how supernatural beings were thought of and dealt with historically. During the Q&A session she revealed that the idea came to her one day as she stared down a wall of supernatural fiction inspired by the recent release of “Breaking Dawn”. Knowing what she knew about history, it seemed strange that supernatural beings in these stories walked amongst normal people with no one noticing, and that witches seemed happy to be witches, which “historically was not a good career path for a woman”. So, Diana’s character, a witch who did not want to be a witch, was born.
Ms. Harkness’ sense of humor, her passion for her stories and characters, showed through as she spoke to the full house at Powells. I cannot wait to dig into “The Book of Life” which is currently waiting for me to finish reading “The Belial Stone”. Until then, I will leave you with a few fun facts from the Q&A.
Ms. Harkness’ favorite historical character is Elizabeth the 1st, but for no particular reason.
She handles her fame by thinking of her fans as an extension of her students, only when she enters the room for a book signing, she knows everyone has done the reading.
There was an attempt to make a movie out of “A Discovery of Witches”, but it ended in an amicable breakup.
Male lead Matthew Clairmont is based on a missing poet named Matthew Roydon.
Originally Ms. Harkness thought she would be writing one book, but around page 400 she realized that is was going to be much longer than one book.
If you enjoy historical fiction and supernatural stories with a hint of romance and are looking for something a little bit different, I highly recommend the All Souls Trilogy.