Kerry Schafer lives in Colville, Washington, with her family, which includes two cats, a rescue fish, and a preternaturally large black dog. A self-styled perpetual student, she earned an RN from Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta; a BA in English (Honours) from York University in Toronto, Ontario; and an M.Ed. in counseling psychology from Washington State University.
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A Love of Secret Doorways
I have a great and abiding love for hidden doors and secret passageways, especially when they lead to other worlds. So far, I've only been encountered them in books, although I confess to a tiny, secret hope. Whenever I have occasion to go house hunting, or visit a house I've never been in, I keep an eye out for magic. Maybe if I push this button a secret panel will swing open. Maybe at the back of this closet there is a portal to another world.
There were not a lot of fairytales in my childhood. My mother didn't care for them much, and in the early years she was the book reader and the book buyer. When I learned to read for myself and had access to the school and town libraries my selection choices expanded. I discovered King Arthur, waded my way through Ivanhoe, immersed myself in Tennyson's poems. But somehow I never really stumbled onto the fantasy genre until I was in high school.
When I finally discovered C.S. Lewis and his magic wardrobe it spoke to something soul deep in me. I had always yearned for that experience of moving from the mundane, ordinary world into something other that lay waiting, just beyond my perception and ability to reach.
I started devouring fantasy novels, immersing myself in the worlds created by other authors. Most of the time, one journey through the book was not enough. I read and re-read Tolkien and L'Engle, Guy Gavriel Kay, Stephen R. Donaldson, and so many others.
Writing fantasy came a lot later. I'd been writing poetry off and on since sixth grade. Later, I started playing with personal essays and picture books, and then when I was finally ready I started writing my very first novel ever, without any planning or forethought or consideration whatsoever. It turned out to be a young adult fantasy, and it actually turned out better than it had any right to. It's still tucked away in a drawer, but I have thoughts of dusting it off and seeing if I can make it fit to publish.
I explored writing other genres, but in the end I came back to fantasy. Between pushed me to grow as a writer, but it also allowed me to play with my beloved alternate realities – doors as portals, secret passageways, sorcery and dragons. And yes - a scarred hero and just enough sizzle to keep things interesting.
Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours.
All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes—forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real.
And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once—a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…
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