Author Chat with MacKenzie Cadenhead (Sleeper)
Today we're excited to chat with MacKenzie Cadenhead, author of Sleeper. Read on for more about MacKenzie and her book, plus an interview!
Meet MacKenzie Cadenhead!
A new suspense-ridden thriller that’s Heathers meets Inception.
As if surviving high school wasn’t hard enough, Sarah Reyes suffers from REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, a parasomnia that causes her to physically act out her dreams. When she almost snaps her friend’s neck at a sleepover, Sarah and her nocturnal habits are thrust into the spotlight and she becomes a social pariah, complete with public humiliation.
When an experimental drug comes onto the market that promises nighttime normalcy, Sarah agrees to participate in the trial. At first, she seems to be cured. Then the side effects kick in. Why does a guy from her nightmare show up at school? Are the eerily similar dreams she’s sharing with her classmates’ coincidence or of her making? Is she losing her mind or does this drug offer way more than sleep?
A Chat with MacKenzie Cadenhead:
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
In 2003 I read an article in the New York Times magazine about sleep disorders that I found haunting. The most shocking parasomnia was R.E.M. Sleep Behavior Disorder – where people enact their dreams while they sleep. The thought of having to deal with real-life consequences for actions you were honestly unable to control terrified and fascinated me. That scenario became the what if? starting point for my story.
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
I love Sarah – flaws, poor dating judgement, and all. Whether spiraling out of control or trying to own her mistakes, Sarah was always real and relatable to me. Plus she finds humor in some dark places, which is always a must.
3. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Get it on the page now and fix it later. It’s a lesson I keep re-learning and probably always will.
4. What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The waves look like a Rorschach test! I just love that.
5. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?
Diana Harmon Asher’s SIDETRACKED and Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka’s run on Marvel’s RUNAWAYS. Diana and I are in a writer’s group together and I’ve loved her book from the first chapter. I was also an editor on the original RUNAWAYS, so I can’t wait to see what Rowell and Anka do with these characters I love so much.
6. What was your favorite book in 2016?
Tana French’s THE TRESPASSER. She is one of my favorite writers and this book did not disappoint.
7. What’s up next for you?
I’ve co-written a series of early reader chapter books for Marvel Press called Marvel’s Super Hero Adventures. The first one, Deck the Malls!, is out September 5th. They're a super fun introduction to the Marvel Universe for new readers, and my co-writer Sean Ryan and I are having a ridiculous amount of fun writing them.
8. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Revising, without a doubt.
9.) What would you say is your superpower?
Being able to summon the Christmas Spirit at any time of year.
9.) Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
The March of Dimes. I just gave birth to my youngest son and he was quite a bit early. The support that the March of Dimes offers families with children in the NICU, as well as the research they invest in, is priceless.