Welcome to Day #8 of the Keep of Ages Blog Tour!
To celebrate the release of The Keep of Ages (Vault of Dreamers #3) by Caragh M. O'brien (8/29/17), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Caragh and 10 chances to win a complete set of The Vault of Dreamers Trilogy!
How Teaching High School English Prepared Me for Writing YA
It’s no secret that I taught high school English for six years before I became a young adult writer, but few people fully grasp the debt I owe my students. They were often, of course, brave, insightful, funny, honest, and smart. Some were difficult. I had students who recommended books to me from their independent reading, showing me what real young adults voluntarily chose to read. I had others who offered profound comments about the books we studied in class. These instances were clearly preparing me to be a YA writer before I even tried, and simply interacting with hundreds of teenagers helped with my preparation, too. Yet, internally, teaching changed who I was in complex and sometimes conflicting ways. I was compelled to become more confident, with a louder voice and more decisive manner. I also became a team player, respecting my colleagues and the system’s rules, which made me less likely to rebel or stand up to injustice within my work place. Too often, I let my teaching work consume my family time, which left me exhausted and emotionally torn. I also laughed genuinely and long every day in school. I loved the work I did, but I didn’t love what it did to the rest of my life, and when I wrote in class with my students, I kept glimpsing another, beckoning, parallel side of me. Even as teaching consumed me, it opened me up to other lives and other possibilities. I watched my students’ fledgling romances and wrote their college recommendations. I was touched and troubled by the issues they faced: pregnancy, suicide, mental illness, car accidents, divorce, incarceration, and death. I had the deepest respect for who they were, and in the end, when I had to choose between writing full-time and keeping my teaching position, I wanted to live up to my students’ integrity. I did what I thought was the bravest thing I could do. I left teaching to write.
Blog Tour Schedule:
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In the fast-paced, high-stakes conclusion to Caragh M. O'Brien's Vault of Dreamers trilogy, Rosie travels to a derelict theme park to shut down dream mining once and for all. Driven by fear when Dean Berg kidnaps her family, Rosie Sinclair strikes out across the country to rescue them. When an elusive trail leads her to Grisly Valley, the contaminated ruin of a horror theme park, Rosie has to consider that Berg may once again be manipulating her every move to make her fearful, priming her for a final, lethal dream mining procedure. As Rosie struggles to outmaneuver Berg, she unearths the ultimate vault of dreamers and the hint of a consciousness more powerful and dangerous than any she's imagined before. Faced with unspeakable suffering and otherworldly beauty, Rosie must discover how to trust her mind, her friends, and reality itself. Propulsive and deeply speculative, The Keep of Ages concludes the Vault of Dreamers trilogy with stirring possibilities for what it means to be alive.
About the Author:
Caragh M. O’Brien is the author of the BIRTHMARKED trilogy and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS series, both from Macmillan/Roaring Brook Press. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Ms. O’Brien was educated at Williams College and earned her MA in the Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University. Her young adult science fiction has been honored by the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, the Amelia Bloomer Award, the Junior Library Guild, and numerous state reading lists. A former high school English teacher, she now writes young adult novels full time from her home in rural Connecticut.
By: Caragh M. O’Brien
Release Date: August 29, 2017
One winner will receive a complete set of The Vault of Dreamers Trilogy (Vault of Dreamers, Rule of Mirrors, and Keep of Ages)