Friday, December 17, 2010

Skyler White

The child of two college professors, Skyler grew up in an environment of scholarship and academic rigor, so naturally left high school to pursue a career in ballet. She’s been dancing around research and thinking through muscle cramps ever since.

She has a master’s degree in theater and work experience in advertising; she’s won awards as a stage director and appeared on reality TV. She is a mother and an instigator, a wife and a realist, a liberal living in Texas and an atheist who believes in mythology. She is a sucker for paradox, and it’s a fortunate thing, too!

Nationally bestselling author Skyler White’s debut novel, the vampire/neuroscience fable and Falling, Fly‘ (Berkley, March 2010), was named one of the top five sci-fi/fantasy books of 2010 by ‘Library Journal’. Her follow-up, In Dreams Begin(Berkley, November 2010), is a time-travel horror/romance involving W.B. Yeats and other luminaries of the late Victorian ‘Golden Dawn’ occult movement, and was called a “singularly unique work of art” by Barnes & Noble.
In Dreams Begin

“Close your eyes tightly—tightly—
and keep them closed . . .”
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 siècle 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.

I was first introduced to Skyler White’s tremendous talent when I judged an unpublished writing contest. She had a wonderful voice and I saw great things for her. A few months later, she’d sold her first book, and Falling, Fly to Berkley. For me, it’s always a thrill when I meet an unpublished author who later goes on to sell. It’s like being a part of their journey.

What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?
SKYLER: I’ll read twenty pages of anything. I’m utterly promiscuous in regards to genre. I read non-fiction, graphic novels, literary fiction, poetry, fantasy – anything as long as it sucks me in. My favorite kind of book to get lost in is one that’s well-crafted, beautifully written, with fascinating characters doing exciting things. Cheating, I know, but it’s the truth!

CAT: What’s the first book you remember reading?
SKYLER: The d’Auliere’s “Book of Greek Myths” is the first book I remember reading over and over. I loved the stories and the illustrations so much, and the way they seemed to unlock so many other things. I loved (still love) following the tracks of those stories through the work of other artists, painters and poets and psychiatrists and novelists alike.

CAT: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
SKYLER: Depending on the day, Rumpelstiltskin or The Ugly Duckling.

CAT: What’s your favorite cartoon character?
SKYLER: Hobbes the stuffed tiger.

CAT: What turns you off like nothing else?
SKYLER: Childishness. I love children, but if a romantic lead protests something isn’t his fault or complains that someone or something “made him” behave badly, I’m done.

CAT: Where do you read and how often?
SKYLER: I read in bed mostly, although I read on the sofa some nights if there isn’t laundry to fold and my husband’s playing video games, just to be closer to him. But almost every Friday, I take the entire afternoon off and read – usually a half hour of poetry, an hour or so of non-fiction (but not research!) and then fiction until I have to stop and make dinner.

CAT: Do you write to music? If so, what kind?
SKYLER: Nope. I can’t do that. I end up listening to the music, following its path instead of my own. I can’t listen to music while I write, I need all my focus for the words. I have a one-hour track of white noise—thunderstorms actually—that I listen to on in-ear earbuds and I listen to it on my iPod, so I can turn off the sound on my computer. All a little precious, I know, but I’m easily distracted.

CAT: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
SKYLER: “Love Actually”

CAT: What’s something you’d like to tell your fans?
SKYLER: Talk back! A book is only the first volley of a conversation its author is so eager to have that she’s spend hundreds of hours trying to get it started just right.

CAT: If you couldn’t be a writer anymore, what profession would you take up?
SKYLER: Well, first I’d like to try writing for a living! I’m a newbie author. Living wage is still a looong way away! Unfortunately, all the other jobs I’ve had that I enjoyed didn’t pay super-well either. I think I’d probably be teaching. I run workshops for writers and I’ve found I really like that. I love seeing the light bulb go on behind someone’s eyes. I feel so strongly that people need a creative outlet, whether it’s writing or dancing or building model dinosaurs, that I think anything I could do professionally to support others in their hobbies would be really rewarding.

CAT: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
SKYLER: Um, anything else?

CAT: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and specifically why?
SKYLER: Well, considering that “In Dreams Begin” carries the awareness of a woman who shares my name and birth date back in time to fin de siècle Ireland where she meets and falls in love with WB Yeats, I’ll going to shock you all by saying, Ireland, 1917. Specifically because I am in love with a man there.

CAT: What question are you never asked in interviews, but wish you were?
SKYLER: I’ve been asked some really thought-provoking and insightful questions in interviews, so I don’t have a burning list of them. I’m going to fudge it a little and say I wish I were more frequently asked unusual or difficult questions.

CAT: If you were a T-shirt, what color would you be?

CAT: This will be a question to stimulate comments throughout the day.
SKYLER: What makes the difference between a book you enjoy and one you remember?

Skyler is offering a personalized copy of IN DREAMS BEGIN for one commenter’s holiday reading pleasure.**

**Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only. If an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) is available, the author may utilize that option for International participants. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants.

Find out more about Skyler at her website:

Thank you, Skyler for blogging with us today.

Please stop back Monday, December 20th when Heather Snow hosts historical romance author Michelle Beattie.


  1. Skyler, thanks for blogging with us today. Your book sounds wonderful. I've always been a fan of people connecting through dreams. It seems like anything can happen while you're sleeping.

    I think what makes a book stand out for me is the world building. If I get connected to the world the characters are in, I keep going back there in my mind long after I've finished reading the book.

  2. Skyler, your books sound amazing. Yet more fabulous books to add to my TBR pile.

    Like you, I'm promiscuous when it comes to genre.

    In addition to great characters, surprises also make a book stick with me. If everything unfolds in the way I expect it to, if the voice and characters are great, I can be entertained while reading, but I might not remember the book a week later. But shock or surprise me? Take me somewhere I wasn't expecting? And I'll remember the book forever.

  3. I'm a huge fan of Irish history, and even pre-history, as I studied archaeology there, so this book is definitely going into my TBR pile! And I think the great books I've read resonate so strongly with me while I'm reading them that they become memorable quite easily.
    Thanks for this great interview!

  4. Skyler, I love the term promiscuous reader. Congratulations on your books, I cannot wait to read them. So tell me, did you sell as a result of a contest, or did you submit on your own and sell to Berkley? I know Cat judged you but I was unclear about your call story. Thanks for sharing with Get Lost in a Story! And best wishes for a wonderful publishing career.

  5. Thanks for this interview (and giveaway), I've had thus book on my wishlist for a while and it's nice to read more about the author.

  6. Sorry I missed the welcome party Skyler. (The baby was lonely and her daddy hadn't seen her in a while so we made an impromptu trip with Christmas supplies.)

    I envy your Friday afternoon reading time. What an awesome thing to schedule at the end of a busy week.


  7. My TBR pile is getting higher and higher.

    To answer your question, Skyler: The difference for me is the characters. It is truly amazing how many people remember the character of Jamie in Gabaldon's Outlander. He sacrified so much for his love...very memorable.


  8. Skyler,

    So sorry to be late to the party! Sick toddlers wreak havoc on available computer time :)

    I loved getting to know more about you. I'd heard such awesome things about "and, Falling Fly" and have it here in my TBR pile. I'd better read it quick, since "In Dreams Begin" sounds equally fantastic!

    I'm definitely going to have to structure my time to have a reading afternoon, like you do. That's the one thing I don't like about writing, is it cuts into my time to read!!!

    Thanks for coming by GLIAS :)

  9. Love to find an author who writes in my historical period. Well at least part of the time anyway! Lol!

    Looking forward to reading IN DREAMS BEGIN!

    When I think back on my favorite reads, it is usually a character that stays with me. But sometimes an unforgettable scene, as well. If a book has both it is usually a novel I read again and again.