REM: A Dreamer’s Gift by Cheryl Abbott – Interview & Giveaway

Welcome to Author Cheryl Abbott

I’m a Hoosier native from Marion, Indiana. After high school, I moved to Florida, trading farm lands for sandy shores. I’m still a mid-westerner at heart, but at the core…I’m a beach-loving, sandal-wearing, ocean air-breathing addict.

In all honesty, I never thought I’d be a writer. And I’m embarrassed to admit that I never really started reading novels until well out of high school. Maybe that’s why I love young adult. I’m making up for all that lost time. Somewhere along the road of my public relations career, I decided to stop writing news releases, magazine articles and a few too many press kits and instead began focusing on what I really enjoyed…creative writing. Creativity is what attracts me in so many areas of life. I am constantly amazed by what people envision and create.

I feel truly blessed that life has taken me in directions I never imagined, leading me to what I never knew I always wanted.

I have an incredibly supportive husband and two amazing, hilarious little boys. I am convinced that my five-year-old son is the best negotiator with a vocabulary well beyond his grade level. And I love it! Maybe one day he’ll be one of my new favorite authors. In the meantime, I’m thrilled both boys share a passion for books.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

Well after writing REM, I definitely don’t think I’d want to be able to see other people’s dreams. I’ve always been a huge fan of Superman. And since I come from a big family of pilots (my dad, grandpa, grandma, uncle, and probably more that I’m forgetting) I think I’d have to choose flying. How cool would it be to hang out in the clouds? Or better yet, travel without the hassle of airports.

Pet Peeves?

My husband thinks this is the most ridiculous pet peeve, but I’ve always hated the sound of kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans. There really isn’t even a great story behind it. They just annoy me. My husband turns them on all around the house; probably just to see how long it takes me turn them off. Yes. It’s a cruel form of playful torture. 

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Because as much as I love a great vampire/troll/angel/magical/fairy fantasy or paranormal novel, REM is a fairly new concept…and variety is an awesome thing.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?

Yes! I’m working with Derrek Sullivan, of Sullivan Films, on REM’sbook trailer. It will be released soon and I’m so excited about it. Derrek does such amazing work. And Comatose, the follow up to REM is slated for a Summer 2013 release.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

Well, my background is in public relations, which included a lot of writing. When we decided to start a family, I knew I wanted to stay home with my kids. But I also knew I needed something of my own—a creative outlet. One morning my husband and I were staring at our beautiful baby sleeping and we played with the idea of what he might possibly be dreaming. Within an hour, the basis of REMcame to me and I knew it was something I wanted to capture. So in a way, I guess I could say my children inspired me.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?

I don’t think I could pick just one song as the theme for this entire book. But I can say, that anytime a scene came up where Alexander was sitting at the piano pouring himself into the notes, River Flows In You by Yiruma would instantly come to mind.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

I think as a writer, I pull from personal experiences. So it’s inevitable a few characteristics might stem from somewhere within. However, part of the draw for me in creating a character is having them be their own person and do things I wouldn’t have ever done. I’m living my life, so it’s kind of fun to escape into theirs for a while. It wouldn’t be as exciting if it was more of the same. With that being said, there are a few heavily influenced similarities. Like Brady, I lost my father to cancer. And on a happier note, my family shares the same Christmas tradition of singing a holiday song as soon as the angel is placed on top of the tree.

What is your favorite Quote?

There are so many good ones out there. But I have to say that recently a quote from Katie Kacvinsky’s novel Awaken has become one of my favorites.

            “Some people try to tell you the things you want in life are out of your grasp, while others lift you up on their shoulders and help you reach them. I may not know a lot, but I prefer to fill my life with people who let me climb on top of their shoulders, not people who try to keep me planted on the ground.”

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

The first memory isn’t so much what I wanted to be, but instead what I knew I didn’t want. I sat on the maroon (yes maroon) carpet of our living room and said point blankly, “Whatever I do, I want to wear jeans and a flannel. I don’t want to carry a briefcase and I don’t want to work in an office.” I’m pretty sure it scared my parents. But it’s pretty much what happened, apart from the flannel (thank goodness for that).

What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Try. Don’t be afraid to try. You’ll never know what you’re capable of if you never give it an honest try.

Thanks, dad.

How do you react to a bad review?

Luckily so far, all of the reviews for REM have been positive and supportive. I am truly grateful. However, when that day comes—as it has for even the most popular books—I would like to think I’d be able to take the criticism as an opportunity to grow, but also remember that everyone has their personal taste and it’s near impossible to please everyone.

You have won one million dollars what is the first thing that you would buy?

College tuition for my boys. So that hopefully they’ll be able to follow their dreams. Now…if that dream ends up being a racecar driver (that’s what it seems to be this month) then we’ll support them all the same…and take that money to travel!

What’s your favorite season/weather?

Fall. When I lived up north in Indiana, I used to love watching the trees change colors as the cooler air made an appearance. The entire landscape would change as farmers managed harvest. In Florida, my favorite season is still fall. Although there really aren’t any trees changing. But the weather becomes bearable, finally dropping in the mid 70s, and very little humidity. I can breathe! It’s a perfect time for the beach.

Favorite places to travel?

I’m very fortunate to have traveled as much as I have. Switzerland is beautiful. London was fun. Australia…wow. But one of my favorite trips has been to Alaska. I don’t think I could live there with all of the cold and crazy sun patterns. But I will definitely visit again. And hopefully again, and again.

Print or Ebook?

            I’m still a sucker for paperbacks. I like turning the page and seeing my progress from the side view. But I’m packing for a trip to New York right now and I have to admit ebooks are sounding a lot less heavy.

What is your favorite way to spend a rainy day?

            So when I was a kid (growing up on a piece of land surrounded by corn fields), my mom use to let us girls dance naked in the rain on the back patio. To this day, I love being out in the misting rain. Not so much naked anymore. But I’m always up for a little dancing or a relaxing walk…fully clothed.

REM: A Dreamer’s Gift

(rem) n.

abbreviation for

rapid eye movement

The rapid, periodic, jerky movement of the eyes during certain stages of the sleep cycle when dreaming takes place.

Seventeen-year-old Bradalynn Collier is used to enduring night after night of unbearable restlessness. In the quiet darkness while everyone else sleeps, dreams that are not only hers take possession of her mind. Brady thinks her gift for entering the subconscious minds of others is a curse—until she meets the mysterious Alexander Connelly on her first day of her junior year in high school.

Alexander is a new transfer student whose mesmerizing green eyes seem to stare straight through Brady. Against the advice of her best friend, Doug Rothen, Brady decides to venture into the dark nights of Alexander’s slumber. As she suffers through his relentless nightmares, becoming emotionally attached along the way, Brady finds reason to finally gain control of her unique ability. But just as an unexpected relationship emerges and blurs the line in her friendship with Doug, a devastating accident forces Brady to make an unthinkable decision.

In this compelling tale, Brady must betray the trust of others and make a choice that has the potential to tear her away from the only dream she now desires—a life with Alexander Connelly.

Giveaway Details
1 copy of REM
Paperback open to US only, Ebook Internationally
Ends 12/5/12

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