To answer a few of your questions about DREAMFALL:
Give me 5 reasons I should read DREAMFALL.
- Because it’s about people who have worse insomnia than you! Compared to the seven teens in the book, your sleepless nights are child’s play.
- Because if your brain is going to force you to do an all-nighter, you might as well spend it in a fictional world that will suck you in and not let you go until the last page.
- Because who wants to stay up all night worrying about your own life when you can stay up all night freaking out about someone else’s?
- Because complications with tomorrow’s exam…your job…your boy/girlfriend seem minor when compared to spending the rest of your (probably short) life stuck in someone else’s killer nightmares.
- Because your nightmare about going to school in your underwear seems less traumatic next to a nightmare about being buried alive with three corpses. (Everything’s relative.)
Why did you want to write horror?
I actually tried to write a horror novel as my very first attempt at fiction. But I got halfway into it, and then didn’t know what happened next. So I put it aside and wrote the DIE FOR ME and AFTER THE END series. Once I was ready for my next challenge, I thought I would try horror once again. And this time, the story stuck.
In the DIE FOR ME series, I discovered that I enjoyed much preferred writing the fight scenes as much as I did the kissing scenes. Chopping someone’s head off with a sword was just as exhilarating as writing a steamy makeout scene. So with DREAMFALL, I decided to embrace my morbid side and go with it. And, boy, did I have fun. At one point, my editor asked if one scene wasn’t TOO gruesome. I begged for it to stay, my argument being, “This is horror – it’s SUPPOSED to be gruesome!” I mean, if you’re writing horror, you might as well go all the way. So it stayed, much to my twisted delight. Funnily enough, the concept for the novel came from an idea I had for a children’s picture book. I’m still scratching my head as to why my agent was horrified when she read the pitch. (Hmm…)
How much research did you have to do for DREAMFALL?
DIE FOR ME was about things I knew: Paris, history, art, love and loss. AFTER THE END also contained things I knew…but on a more personal basis: I grew up in a type of cult-like environment where, like the main character Juneau, brainwashing was an aspect of my childhood. The research for this book was mainly with the locations. For example, once I had written the first draft, I flew to Seattle to do a road trip to Arizona so that I could describe the landscapes.
But DREAMFALL required major research. As the idea for the story evolved, it included more and more science. I was determined to get the facts right so that the fiction I added would be more believable. I read an entire book on the little-known disease called FFI (Fatal Familial Insomnia). I studied sleep cycles, read about sleep research, interviewed two people with narcolepsy, and one person who had gone through electroconvulsive therapy, and asked a doctor friend to read through all the medical sections, so I could be sure those were right.
But, like with my previous two series, there were some aspects of DREAMFALL that I didn’t need to read up on because they came straight from my own life. I know insomnia well. Whenever something horrible happens (like my mother’s death), my brain responds by giving me a good dose of insomnia. It was easy for me to channel the feeling of not being able to sleep.
Which character do you feel closest to in DREAMFALL?
There is no character in my books that I have felt closer to than Cata, one of DREAMFALL’s main characters. When I started the book, I hadn’t planned to model her back story on my own past. But as her personality formed, I found myself dipping into my memory for anecdotes. It made sense: we both suffered PTSD from abusive childhoods.
Cata’s first nightmare in the book comes straight from my 16-year-old brain. I lived in the crazy run-down antebellum mansion she lived in. And my father was the same type of monster hers was. As her story progressed, I let myself pepper it with actual words and events from my childhood.
However, in DREAMFALL, I let Cata escape. She told someone what was happening to her, and was removed from her family by Child Protective Services. In real life, I stayed and bore the brunt of my father’s mental problems.
In the end, Cata provided a sort of redemption for me. In writing her story, I was able to allow my adolescent self to speak up for the first time.
I wonder if you’ll see an aspect of yourself in any of the characters. Over the course of this duology, I have come to love them. Because they are not who they seem to be. Just like a nightmare…you only truly understand it after it’s over. Although the truth is there, right before your eyes, you have to wake up to realize what was really going on.
You can check DREAMFALL out for yourself here:
I have some news for you.
It’s big news.
Amy Plum’s Dreamfall Novel Optioned for TV Series
Amy Plum’s thriller Dreamfall has been optioned by DiGa for a TV series
YA writer Amy Plum‘s novel “Dreamfall” has been optioned by DiGa Studios to be made into a TV series, according to Deadline. The novel has yet to be published, though it’s expected to be released on May 2, 2017 by HarperTeen. It’s the first book of her newest YA horror duology. The sequel “Neverwake” will be released in May 2018. The story is about an experiment to cure chronic insomnia that goes terribly wrong. The teenage subjects of the experiment fall into a joint coma, and, like the urban myth, if you die in your dream, you die in real life.
Here is the Amazon description for “Dreamfall”: “Seven teenagers who suffer from debilitating insomnia agree to take part in an experimental new procedure to cure it because they think it can’t get any worse. But they couldn’t be more wrong. When the lab equipment malfunctions, the patients are plunged into a terrifying dreamworld where their worst nightmares have come to life—and they have no memory of how they got there. Hunted by monsters from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, these seven strangers will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.”
DiGa Studios, known for MTV’s Teen Wolf and Scream, is currently in production on the feature film Eat Brains Love, which is also based on a novel. “Amy Plum’s ‘Dreamfall’ is a riveting, nightmarish thriller with great characters and a fantastic premise that immediately captured our imagination and drew us in,” DiSanto, CEO of DiGaa Studios told the site. “The book’s vision and voice is a perfect fit for DIGA’s creative sensibility, and we are thrilled to bring this to the screen.”
Plum is most well known for her “Die For Me” series, which was an international best-seller. She’s also known for the “After the End” series. Have you guys read “Dreamfall?” Are you interested in the film? Who would you like to see cast? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @ComingSoonnet
I am so excited about this, I can’t even tell you.
To all of you…THANK YOU!!! You have all brought me and my books this far. I can’t wait to see how much further we can go!
You can check DREAMFALL out for yourself here:
If you order DREAMFALL through them (in either paperback or hardback), you will receive a blue vital signs lapel pin…which fits nicely with the green one you will receive if you pre-order NEVERWAKE!
Just order using Brier Books’ order form here: https://www.brierbooks.com/amy-plum
(Do not despair – if you already own DREAMFALL or pre-ordered NEVERWAKE prior to today, July 19, you can still get the pin. Just send your proof of purchase, or, in the case of DREAMFALL, if you no longer have it, a photo of you with the book to firstname.lastname@example.org as well as your name and snail mail address.)
This is one of the most exciting promotions I’ve done with any of my 10 books!!!
8 teenage writers have agreed to play the characters from the DREAMFALL series on social media.
From July 7 – August 7, they are posting about their experiences and are ready to answer questions from you about DREAMFALL or their backstories.
From August 7, after NEVERWAKE releases, they are ready to answer any of your questions about NEVERWAKE…or after! (I have given them exclusive information about their futures long after the series ends. To find out how Cata, Fergus, Ant, Remi, BethAnn, Sylvain, George, and Jaime end up, all you have to do is ask!)
And to get the questions rolling in, I am giving away prizes! Each week I will give 1 prize to a question sent to each character. So if you ask each character a question, you will have 8 chances at a prize…per week! Check their Twitter and Instagram accounts for info on the week’s giveaway.
Here are the profiles and links to their accounts. In the meta-universe of their social media accounts, they just underwent a radical experiment to cure their chronic insomnia, and are able to answer all of your questions to the end of Dreamfall.
Georgina (George) is 15 and is from Princeton. Sinclair describes her as a “band chick” (black straight shoulder-length hair, straight bangs, cat eyeliner, yin-yang tattoo). She has bone-dry humor, is confident, tough enough to be a little scary, and a clear leader. For some reason, she is the only one who shows up in the nightmares dressed differently each time. (*Hint* this is important) And there is a very good reason I can’t tell you more about her. *cough cough*
BethAnn Lindstrom (19) BethAnn was 16 when her developmentally disabled younger sister drowned while under her supervision. At 19, she has spent the last three years racked with guilt and severe depression, and the anti-depressants she needs keep her from sleeping. Anorexic and seemingly physically and emotionally fragile, BethAnn is much stronger than she appears.
Remi Amadi, 15, is the survivor of an African genocide, where he witnessed the slaughter of his family. He escaped from the soldiers by playing dead, and was found pinned under the dead body of his older brother by an international rescue organization. He relocated to a refugee cap until his aunt came for him and brought him to Minnesota. He suffers post-traumatic stress disorder, which manifests in night terrors, insomnia, and hyperrealistic flashbacks. He has survivor’s syndrome and crippling guilt for not being able to save his family. In the dreams, his only goal is escape.
Antonia Gates is a 13-year-old with a uniquely analytical way of seeing the world. Her penchant for boys’ clothes, a chullo hat, and fingerless gloves makes most people assume she’s a boy. She’s obsessive compulsive and is on the autism spectrum (high functioning, with an IQ of 160) and uses tapping, her accessories, and writing in her notebook to self soothe.
The teen playing Ant on Instagram and Twitter is uniquely qualified: she is on the spectrum herself and was my sensitivity reader for the DREAMFALL series!
Jaime Salvator (20) is a pre-med student at Yale who is observing the experiment to fulfill a 6-hour field experience requirement. Jaime grew up in a bad neighborhood of Detroit and dreams of opening a free medical clinic in the neighborhood. We see the world outside the Dreamfall (in the lab) from Jaime’s POV. Jaime is torn between helping the subjects who Jaime believes to be dreaming and respecting the authority of the doctors in charge, who believe them to be comatose. Jaime’s gender is never revealed. (Dad Hispanic & mom African-American)
Sinclair Hartford (17) seems the typical spoiled rich kid from New York’s Upper East Side. But underneath his movie star looks (generated by his subconscious mind…yes, he really thinks he looks like Nicholas Hoult) lurks a dangerous psychopath who cares only about his own survival.
Cata Cordova 16. Grew up in Georgia with a violent father who grew even more abusive after her mother died. She finally broke her silence, told a school counselor, and Child Protective Services removed her from her home. She lives now in Tennessee with her late mother’s friend, Barbara, but her PTSD and guilt from leaving her brother and sister with their dad has given her chronic insomnia.
Fergus Willson. At 18, all he wants to do is leave home, where he is subjected to endless ridicule and criticism over the narcolepsy his father thinks is all in his mind. He has tried to desensitize himself against the emotions that trigger his cataplectic attacks by binge-watching horror movies and tattooing his forearm with a reminder to “DFF”—Don’t fucking feel.