Chloe Valcourt drifts between two worlds: the dark reality of her domineering mother and feeble father and the vivid fantasy of her imagination. With her condition comes the harsh observation of doctors who intend to cure her of it. But a chance encounter with a handsome and vaguely familiar young man in her dream world hints at the possibility of hidden truths—and a life she can’t remember. As her drifts become a greater escape from the cruelty of the real world, Chloe finds herself lost between what is real and what is imagined, questioning her very existence. Can she remain in the lush new imagined landscape to find happiness in a realm of her own invention? Is she doomed to return to the harsh reality of the outside world forever? Or will she become trapped somewhere between the two…unable to return to either?
How did you come up with the idea of writing a book?
I needed a hobby that didn’t revolve around my children. I was in desperate need for an outlet. I’ve always been a writer, and I had promised myself I would write a book someday. It could be my great mental escape. Whether I had it in me or not, I wasn’t sure. But I started writing, and haven’t stopped since.
Where did your inspiration come from?
I decided to write a book, but I didn’t have an idea for a story just yet. I stared aimlessly out the window at three feet of snow, thick grey clouds, and flickering streetlights. It was a depressing New England winter day, and my mind wandered into a warmer place, like San Diego. I imagined the heat of the sun and the feeling of sand between my toes, but a cold draft stung my skin and snapped me out of my daze. I wished I had the ability to live in a daydream for a few minutes, just so I could enjoy the warm sun. I began to wonder if people had that capability, and that’s when the story began to flood my mind.
Does writing take time away from your family?
My family has and always will come first to me, but the second the kids are sleeping; my fictional world comes to life. My husband has been exceptionally understanding of the time spent on my book, and he’s been the most supportive person during this journey.
Have you learned anything about yourself since you started writing Schasm?
I’ve learned that my wondering mind can land in some pretty crazy places. I’ve also learned that my lifelong passion for art has folded nicely into my love for writing. I’ve always been one to notice tiny details in art, and I learned to take those details and put them into words.
What advice would you give someone who might be thinking of writing a book?
The first book is the hardest. It might take a year, two years, or even three years to write it. Whatever you do though, don’t give up. The feeling you’ll get after you write the last word makes every second of the hard work worth it.
Who are your favorite authors?
Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire, Katy Evans, and Amy Harmon are my current favorites. They are all inspirational in different ways. I especially love how they all connect with their readers.
Have you written any other books besides Schasm?
Schasm is my debut novel, but I’ve written the second and third book of the Schasm series as well. I have plans for my fourth book, which will be separate from the Schasm series.
What’s so special about your main character?
Chloe has an ability to take daydreaming to an extreme. Due to a condition that some might consider a disability, she learns that her capabilities are the key to her happiness. After living a sheltered life, she learns to live and grow on her own, but it’s only with the confines of her own mind.
Are you working on a book right now?
I’m editing the third book of the Schasm series. While I can’t give too many details away, I promise that it will tie up all remaining loose ends.
What genre are your books?
Young Adult Romance with a dark psychological twist
When did you decide to become a writer?
I promised myself at seven years old that I would someday write a book. I’m glad I fulfilled that promise to myself.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I’m a full-time mom and a full-time writer. I wish there were more hours in the day.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Trying not to contradict one scene with another.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Letting my creative juices flow.
How long did it take you to write Schasm?
Schasm took me just over a year, but my second book only took me four months.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
I get writer’s block a lot. I’ve found that walking away, taking a shower, or listening to music seems to help clear up my mind a bit.
Do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I prefer ebooks so I can read in the dark.
Do you have a trailer for Schasm?
I do have a trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsJNdx42-fc
Author Website: http://sharijryan.com/
Schasm Website: http://www.schasm.com/
MEET SHARI J. RYAN
March 5th, 2014 at 7:00PM
Barnes & Noble
1 Worcester Rd
Framingham, MA 01701