We love when authors are as passionate about the second book in their series as the first, and Kit Alloway’s fervor for Dreamfever matches her love of Dreamfire. In Dreamfever, Josh must rely on not only her friends, but also her enemies, to stop the radicals from taking power and controlling the Dream, all while picking up the pieces of her life.
Alloway was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about her Dreamfire saga below.
Dreamfever hit shelves on February 23. You can read an excerpt from Dreamfever here on YA Interrobang. For more on Kit Alloway, visit her website or follow her on Twitter.
Dreamfever is out now! What should we expect?
This book is certainly faster paced than Dreamfire. It’s a bit of a roller coaster. It features a new character, Mirren, the lost dream walker princess, who has spent her entire life in a pocket dimension and is experiencing the World – and falling in love – for the first time. Josh and Will are trying to face their demons—or rather, the same demon, and reacting in different ways, which are pulling them apart. And Whim is getting into all kinds of trouble. This book is less angsty than the first, and yet somehow a lot darker.
What inspired Dreamfire and Dreamfever? Was there an aspect of Dreamfever that was hardest for you to write? The easiest?
I don’t recall what inspired Dreamfire, but it was almost certainly my own chronic nightmares. I have a problem with nightmares. (Last night, I dreamt I was in Jurassic Park’s water park, and it was over-run by giant red-eyed rats.) Before I signed the contract for Dreamfire, my editor and I talked a lot about where we might take the story next and which parts of that world we could explore. Writing about the Dream Walker princess sounded like a chance to write a different kind of princess story, and it dovetailed nicely with Josh’s grandfather’s ongoing quest for power. The other major plots emerged organically from the events at the end of the first book.
Dreamfever was incredibly hard to write. Probably the hardest thing I’ve ever written. I got all up in my head and obsessed over the plot and tried to make everything fit together so perfectly, and it completely messed up my writing process. I’m a “pantser;” I work best when I just sit down and write and fix it all later. Eventually I remembered that and the writing began to flow again, but there was about a year when it felt like torture. I also rewrote Mirren’s first chapter a dozen times before I got her voice right.
The easiest parts to write were Josh’s nightmares about Feodor. The symbolism and psychology behind them made those scenes a lot of fun.
Tell us a bit about Josh and Will! What should we remember about them going into Dreamfever?
Josh and Will’s relationship began with his becoming her apprentice, which led to them falling in love. They complement each other nicely; Will helps Josh deal with her emotions, and Josh takes action when Will is too up in his head. They genuinely care about each other, but they’re very different people who deal with stress in completely different ways. They’re still learning how to trust and talk to each other, and they aren’t great at it yet. Not to mention that Will has never been in a serious relationship and Josh has only been in a serious relationship, but a really unhealthy one. “Commitment” means something very different to Josh than it does to Will.
You have four Chihuahua mixes. How do you write with them around, being adorable?
The puppies love that I work from home, because it means I’m around a lot. They really just like to be near me, so if I want to write on the couch, they want to be on the cushion next to me in a pile. (Actually, they want to sit on the laptop.) The adorableness is distracting. Sometimes I have to take a break to bury my face in their fur, rub their bellies, or let them lick the tip of my nose.
Do you have a writing routine – the same place you sit, what you listen to?
Since I developed chronic migraine, my writing routine has gone out the window. I never know when my head might hurt, so I write whenever I feel well. As long as I have my noise-cancelling headphones and my laptop, I can write. Ideally, I’m sitting in a recliner or on the couch, in the dark. I like to work at night when possible, but I’ve learned to be flexible.
What else do you want people to know about the Dreamfire series?
I stumbled across a review of Dreamfever the other day, and I don’t normally read reviews, but for some reason I read this one, and the reviewer just hated the book. Which is okay, not everybody has to like my writing. But what stuck out to me was that the things she hated were the things I like the most about the book—namely, that it turns a lot of genre conventions on their heads. I love that my heroine is an emotionally stunted, work-obsessed wreck and that my hero is a self-help-book loving foster kid. I love that my characters are deeply faulted, that the story plays with gender roles and clichés, and that the books are full of such diverse, unexpectedly weird nightmares. So if you like non-traditional sci-fi/fantasy stories with characters who are painfully and yet hilariously themselves, with girls named Josh and guys named Haley, who spend half their time fighting nightmare monsters and the other half dumping genre conventions on their heads, then Dreamfire is for you. But if you like cookie-cutter stories about sassy, beautiful girls who get rescued by cool, athletic, rich guys, this probably isn’t the story for you.