Genre: Historical

Monday, October 13, 2014

Interview with Cat Winters, author of The Cure for Dreaming + Giveaway!

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I read The Cure for Dreaming a few weeks ago and I absolutely loved it – see my review here! – so I’m stoked to have Cat Winters on the blog  today for an interview, and then you can enter to win something pretty sweet! And in case you haven’t stumbled upon this little gem, yet, here’s a bit about the book:

Interview with Cat Winters, author of The Cure for Dreaming + Giveaway!The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters
on October 14th 2014
Genres: Historical, YA
Source: Amulet Books
Buy on Amazon

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

Interview with Cat Winters

The One About VooDoo

Hi Cat! Thanks so much for dropping by my little space on the web! I loved the Shadow of Blackbirds and am very excited to read this one!

Thank you so much for hosting me, Giselle! I’m thrilled you enjoyed In the Shadow of Blackbirds! Blogger support of that novel truly helped the book gain a following, and I’m grateful to all of you who spread the word about it.

Let’s start with giving us a brief description of The Cure for Dreaming using only 2 sentences.

In 1900 America, a father hires a young hypnotist to cure his daughter of her dreams to vote, attend college, and speak her mind. The cure doesn’t go quite as planned.

What was the most interesting part of your research for this novel? Is there something surprising or fascinating that you stumbled on?

I loved so much about all of the research, whether I was digging up information on the fight for women’s suffrage in 1900 Oregon, the glamour of Victorian stage hypnotism, or the horrors of nineteenth-century dentistry (my protagonist’s father is a dentist). I found startling and fascinating bits of historical trivia about all three of these major aspects of the book. For example, I learned that dentists used leeches inside patients’ mouths to suck blood out of inflamed gums, and the practice continued until the World War I time period. I also discovered that millionaires’ wives were often the strongest voices in the anti-suffragist movement in the U.S. It really shocked me to find out how many females were taking a stand against their own independence. They didn’t want to shake things up and veer outside of the normal “sphere” for women.

Imagine you had a past life in 1900, describe what you think you (and/or your life) were like.

I think my past life in 1900 would be very much like the life of my The Cure for Dreaming protagonist, Olivia. I’d probably be frustrated by the limitations placed upon women. The world was dramatically changing; technology advanced by leaps and bounds. And yet women were still considered second-class citizens. Even if I had a loving family and a husband, as I do in the modern world, I would have likely helped to fight for women’s suffrage and the right for females to obtain a higher education. Like Olivia, I think I also would have wanted to be a pianist or organist, because I thoroughly enjoy turn-of-the-twentieth-century ragtime music.

What do you think you would do with it if you had an ability to see people’s true natures like Olivia (in the present)?

I don’t know if I’d be able to handle that ability all that well, to be honest. While it would be nice to cut through all the false barriers people frequently place in front of themselves, I think more often than not it would be terrifying and heartbreaking to see people’s true natures. The optimist in me would like to believe I’d mostly see goodness and well-adjusted souls, but the realist in me knows that wouldn’t necessarily be the case.

Do you have any favorite quotes or a favorite passage in the book you want to share?

Here’s one of my favorite passages. It’s from Chapter Eighteen and involves a point in which my characters are just being themselves and enjoying life.

Overhead, the moon peeked between the clouds, washing the road before us in swaths of silver. “Beautiful Dreamer” waltzed through my mind, especially the line “Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee,” which seemed particularly lovely in the lamp-lit splendor of the nighttime streets of Portland.

And here’s a quote from Chapter Ten that early readers seem to be enjoying:
“I love that books allow us to experience other lives without us ever having to change where we live or who we are.”


About the Author

Cat Winters’s critically acclaimed debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, was named a 2014 Morris Award Finalist, a 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, a 2013 Bram Stoker Award Nominee, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013. Her upcoming novels include The Cure for Dreaming (Amulet Books/Oct. 2014) and The Uninvited (William Morrow/2015), and she’s a contributor to the 2015 YA horror anthology Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Visit her online at

This post is part of The Cure for Dreaming blog tour.
Click on the banner for the full tour schedule!




What’s up for grabs: 1 winner will receive a brand-new paperback edition of IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS, a signed THE CURE FOR DREAMING poster, a copy of the CD containing the music that inspired THE CURE FOR DREAMING (Kristen Lawrence’s ARACHNITECT), and swag!

Open to US residents only; use the Rafflecopter below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Review: The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Posted by on 10/02/2014 • 20 Comments

Ooh what a wonderful, incredible, and perfectly cryptic story! It’s with no surprise that I absolutely adored this novel; having loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds a year back, I already knew the talents of Cat Winters’ storytelling, and I thoroughly expected to be transported into yet another fantastic tale – this time full of magic, mystery, with a dash of horror and romance.

The year is 1900, and Olivia is one of many women who’s currently fighting for the rights of women. But with a father who’s determined to shut her up, dreaming of a better life is not an easy feat. Olivia is a girl with a lot of opinions and strong views. She’s determined to have a future that is not controlled by men, to help…

Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

Posted by on 09/25/2014 • 16 Comments

The Fall was so very unique and the writing: wonderfully atmospheric. Having really enjoyed Bethany’s Masque of the Red Death (I have yet to read the sequel), I knew that I was in for a stunning read. Masque was very well written, gorgeous in its melancholy, really – and that’s what I love the most about these historically creepy novels: the way they enchant you into their eerie settings. The Fall was no exception. I felt transported into this ancient house which was truly a character in and of itself. I could see every crack and hear every faint footstep. You could say that I was sufficiently creeped out.

Madeline is living with a curse. A curse revolving around a house that feels alive and vengeful, a house they…

Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Review: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Posted by on 09/22/2014 • 9 Comments

There are some books you read for pure entertainment, and others, like Lies We Tell Ourselves, end up being much more than that. This novel tells an important story tied to our own history. One not too far in the past. One that is still a factor in our present, just with an altered face. It’s hard to read at times, but it’s also full of hope, strength and courage.

Not only is this an eye opening story, but it’s one narrated with the help of two wildly compelling teenage voices. The year is 1959, and Sarah is one of the first black students to attend a school that used to be all-white. This integration is not wanted by any of these white kids nor their parents, so you can…

Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe

Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe

Posted by on 07/01/2014 • 20 Comments

This is the second time I have been let down by a book with nearly the same premise. Sure Megan Abbott’s, The Fever, goes in a different direction and has it’s own unique spin on a mystery illness taking over a school as it begins to afflict girls rapidly, but it’s easy to determine that the idea behind Abbott’s latest work and Conversion come from the same news story.

The main difference that I came away with from the two books was that while The Fever managed to have a dark tone and keep me interested in what the outcome would be, Conversion failed to do that and instead bored me for most of it. From the title and blurb it’s quite apparent that what the afflicted girls are dealing…

Review: Dark Metropolis by Jaclyn Dolamore

Posted by on 06/10/2014 • 23 Comments

An enjoyable plot with a very unique zombie story, but it was missing… something. Many aspects about this world and its happenings were explained only briefly to make the plot move forward, which made it hard to invest myself fully. But it was fun, nonetheless!

We begin by following Thea, whose mother’s strange illness has left her in charge of supporting the family. This is where we begin to see the part that magic has in the story, when we learn of this magical connection between her mother and father that has caused the illness. I found this was really intriguing and a great start that compels you to read more. Especially when combined with the glamorous setting of a Telephone Club we’re lured into by its enchanting atmosphere and…

Review: Born of Deception by Teri Brown

Review: Born of Deception by Teri Brown

Posted by on 05/26/2014 • 14 Comments

*Spoiler free for the series*

Having really enjoyed the wonderfully atmospheric and captivating Born of Illusion last year, I was excited to get back into Anna’s world full of magic and mystery.

Born of Deception is just as mesmerizing in its storytelling, and even more-so with its historical London setting. Brown is gifted in bringing these settings to life; making us walk the busy streets alongside our protagonist, feel the vibrancy of the city and the excitement of the crowds. As far as the writing goes, I loved it all. I did find disappointment in the plot itself, however. While Born of Illusion was full of mystique and wonder, this second installment has a big focus on a new love triangle in addition to – and somewhat the cause…

Sekret Dream Cast + Giveaway!

Sekret Dream Cast + Giveaway!

Posted by on 04/04/2014 • 16 Comments

This week we’re celebrating the release of Sekret by Lindsay Smith, and today is my stop on the blog tour with a Dream Cast of Sekret along with a giveaway!

Sekret Dream Cast

Yulia, telemetrist and ration rat

Tatiana Maslany or Freya Tingley

Yulia, who can read the memories of objects and people through touch, is strong-willed, resourceful, and sometimes stubborn to a fault. I love Tatiana Maslany’s character(s) on Orphan Black, and how she convincingly slips into whatever role is required to get what she needs to survive. That definitely fits Yulia! But Freya Tingley (Hemlock Grove) also excels at just the right amount of attitude for Yulia — the one that lets you know she’ll obey your orders for now, but she won’t be broken…