Hello friends of This Catholic Family!
I hope that this blog post finds you all well. Navigating the waters of 2020 hasn’t been easy. We are so happy to share that Felicity was able to receive her First Communion in a private family Mass in May, and our church has been open and we’ve been able to attend again on a regular basis. It was very challenging to be away from in-person Mass for so long, and we’re thankful to be back.
Which brings us to the next major event of the Savaryn year, which is… that I have a book coming out in just over a week! On one hand, it feels like it’s been a long time coming. On the other hand, it feels like it’s sneaking up on me super fast.
I received a 2 book deal from Penguin Random House, and my first book is called THE CIRCUS OF STOLEN DREAMS releases on September 1. It’s for middle grade readers aged 10+, and anyone who loves a good magical, hopeful tale.
I’ve worked really, really hard on this story for such a long time, and I’d love to give a brief synopsis and share how my Catholic faith informs my writing for the mainstream market.
A dream world turns haunting nightmare in this spellbinding debut novel, perfect for fans of Circus Mirandus and The Night Gardener.
After Andrea’s brother, Francis, disappeared, everything changed. Her world turned upside down, and there was nothing she could do to right it. So when she discovers a magical dream world called Reverie in the woods near her home, Andrea jumps at the chance to escape her pain and go inside. But the cost of admission is high: Andrea must give up a memory in order to enter. And she knows exactly which memory she’d like to give up.
Once inside, Andrea discovers tent after tent of dreams come alive; she can fly on a gust of wind, brave swashbuckling pirates and search for buried treasure, reach for–and wish on–a tangible star, and much, much more. But Andrea soon realizes that not all of Reverie’s dreams are meant to delight, and the Sandman behind the circus tents seems to have plans of his own. When Andrea finds a tent in which her brother’s darkest nightmare has been brought to life, she realizes the dark truth: Reverie is not an escape; it’s a trap.
Will Andrea and her new friend Penny have what it takes to find Francis, figure out what’s really going on in Reverie, and break free from this nightmarish dream world?
A wonderfully inventive, deliciously creepy debut novel that is sure to linger in readers’ minds long after the last thrilling page has been turned.
Praise for The Circus of Stolen Dreams:
* “Savaryn’s unconventional story makes for a bewitching debut, filled with dazzling descriptions and real surprises.” —Booklist, *STARRED REVIEW*
How My Faith Impacts My Writing
I write stories for kids for the mainstream market, but as a Catholic, my faith is part of who I am, and it plays a role in my life as an author in so many ways.
Above my mantel, I have a large piece of wall art with a quote by well-known Catholic GK Chesterton that reads: “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
When I think about the kinds of stories I want to write for kids, it always comes back to that underlying pulse of hope.
I want to write stories that show that good, and beauty, and truth can win the day, even when things feel very, very hard, or even scary. My book is a bit scary at times, but life is sometimes scary, even for children, and I think its important for kids to see themselves in books, from the safety of a story, where characters wrestle with and then overcome really difficult things.
I want my stories to show how beautiful and good things can come out of suffering. That you can learn to be brave. That love is stronger than anything that comes against it. All of that and so much more stems from my Catholic faith.
There are so many wonderful Catholic authors that have come before me, and who have written books outside the official genre of Catholic literature, but who have contributed wonderful, timeless stories to the world. Tolkein is the first and, perhaps, loudest that comes to mind. Flannery O’Connor, Victor Hugo, Mary Higgins Clark continue the long list. I’m in super good company, and I can only hope to tell stories that end up beloved and on shelves for a long time to come.
I feel thankful every day for the ability to tell stories for my work. It would be an absolute honor if you would consider buying a copy for your family.
Signed copies are available through The Book Stall here (just request on order notes that you’d like it signed and who it should be made out to)
General order link through Penguin is here.
My book is also being released as a Kindle edition and as an audiobook, available through the above link as well.
And I’d be delighted if you’d join us for my virtual launch party at 6:30pm CST on Sept 1, hosted by The Book Stall. Registration is free, but you do need to reserve a spot to attend. Register here.