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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blog Tour- THE CURE FOR DREAMING by Cat Winters and a Giveaway!

Hey y'all I stoked to have Cat Winters here today talking about the photos in her book THE CURE FOR DREAMING! If you read her debut novel IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS you'll know that there are historical photos throughout the novel and it's the same for THE CURE FOR DREAMING! I love that there are, it adds a bit extra to the reading experience for me. And I loved THE CURE FOR DREAMING it's the perfect blend of historical fiction with a bit of magic or mesmerism, whatever you want to call it, mixed in! Oh and make sure to stick around and enter the giveaway! 

Haven't heard of THE CURE FOR DREAMING? Check it out!

Author: Cat Winters
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Amulet Books
ISBN: 978-1442465985
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

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.

Now on to the post!

The Photographs of The Cure for Dreaming

By Cat Winters

If you’re familiar with my debut novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, you already know I included historical photographs, illustrations, and WWI propaganda posters throughout the book. Photography—especially early-twentieth-century spirit photography—plays a major role in that novel, and as I prepared the manuscript for submission, I realized it would be fun to include actual photographs from the time period.

When I set out to write a second YA novel, I didn’t necessarily think archival photographs would be involved. My publisher didn’t specifically say, “Please send us another manuscript that contains historical images,” and at first the idea didn’t even cross my mind.

Then I found a 1900 photograph of a young hypnotized woman, laid out across two chairs, with her legs tied up with ropes. She’s in the “human plank” position, or “catalepsy,” as other stage hypnotists called it. Hypnotists would put volunteers into a trance, stretch them out between two chairs, and stand on their bodies, to show how rigid they’d become under hypnosis. The photograph intrigued and inspired me so much that I decided to have my fictional hypnotist, Henri Reverie, lay my protagonist, Olivia Mead, across two chairs on a stage and stand on top of her in the very first chapter of The Cure for Dreaming.  

That 1900 photograph absolutely had to go into the book. The image spoke volumes about both Victorian stage hypnotism and the restrictions placed upon women in the time period.

Inserting one historical image into the pages of my story inspired me to include others. Fearful that my “photo novels” would feel like a gimmick or a cheap imitation of Ransom Riggs’s books, I turned to other types of historical images—not just spooky and surreal ones, but ones that would bring my time period vividly to life: an illustration of a Victorian dental chair, a photograph of an anti-suffragist organization, photos of Victorian girls in a “domestic science” class, a poster of a scandalous play from the year 1900, and so forth. I also decided to include quotes from turn-of-the-twentieth-century literature and politics with the images. When you’re seeing an anti-suffragist photograph, you’re also viewing words spoken by an actual anti-suffragist from the late 1800s. Mark Twain’s descriptions of his experiences with an unnerving Victorian dentist accompanies one of the dentistry illustrations.  

My job as a historical novelist is to place my readers into a literary time machine. I want to strap people into their seats and blast them completely into the past by surrounding them with sights and sounds and smells from a time long gone. I believe archival photographs help to lend an authentic feel to my works of fiction, proving that the past I’m recreating in my books—pasts that often seem unbelievable—genuinely existed. Plus the images are highly entertaining!

If you want to also experience sounds from The Cure for Dreaming, I have just the thing for you: head to http://www.pinterest.com/catwinters/the-music-of-the-cure-for-dreaming/, and you’ll hear samples of all the songs mentioned in the novel, accompanied by short excerpts from the book.

Will my future novels also include historical photographs? Yes! At least, the ones currently under contract will. My debut adult fiction novel, The Uninvited, releases Summer 2015 from William Morrow, and I managed to squeeze a 1918 photo into one of the bonus sections at the back of the book. I’m currently hunting down 1920s images for my third YA novel, The Steep and Thorny Way, a Hamlet-inspired tale coming Spring 2016 from Amulet Books.

Over the summer, a TV series called Oregon Art Beat filmed me perusing a research library for images I could use in The Steep and Thorny Way. The episode, which also includes clips of me walking around historical sites mentioned in The Cure for Dreaming, will air October 30, 2014, on OPB in Oregon. My segment will eventually be available online at http://www.opb.org/television/programs/artbeat/, and you can watch for yourself how we historical novelists love to play detective—and how exhilarating it is for me to peek into past through these photographic windows.   

Thanks Cat for the awesome post! I love all the pics!

And make sure to stop by Cat's Pinterest for all of her photo inspiration for her current and upcoming books!

About Cat:
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 www.catwinters.com.

Photo by Tara Kelly

Find Cat Online:

Check out the book trailer!

Giveaway Details: 

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. US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the Tour Schedule for more awesome posts!

Week One:
10/6/2014- Word Spelunking- Interview
10/7/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
10/8/2014- Me, My Shelf and IReview
10/9/2014- Falling For YA- Interview
10/10/2014- Crossroad ReviewsReview

Week Two:
10/13/2014- Xpresso Reads- Interview
10/14/2014- Candace's Book BlogReview
10/15/2014- I Heart YA FictionReview
10/16/2014- Rainy Day RamblingsReview and Guest Post
10/17/2014- Bad Bird Reads- Guest Post


  1. Simple book trailer, but very powerful. What an interesting premise for a book!

  2. I have this book for review and can't wait to get to it. Hopefully by the end of this week. Love the cover too!

  3. I love this cover!! Congrats to Cat on the new release and thanks for sharing!

  4. The story sounds really good and I love the cover! Congratulations on your new release & thank you for this giveaway!

  5. Thanks for hosting a giveaway! This book looks amazing!

  6. You're welcome! Thanks so much for visiting today's tour stop, and thanks to the incredible Jaime Arnold for hosting the blog tour!

  7. The book sounds fantastic. I haven't ever read anything set in the time period and it has me very intrigued.

  8. I loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds!! I cannot wait to read The Cure for Dreaming!!!!

  9. I love the cover of your new book!

  10. Mary DeBorde
    ((waves Hi)) Kat, kudos on your terrific books! They both sound & look really neat, and I love what you said about a *literary time machine* - awesome analogy <3

  11. I love the premise of this book! I can't wait to read it!

  12. I absolutely loved this post!! The cover is so intriguing! I can't wait to read it and I'm sure I'm going to love it! Thank you so much for the giveaway! :)

  13. That is crazy about the hypnotists from that time laying a woman on two chairs and actually standing on her. Geez, glad I wasn't alive back then. Anyways, this sounds like a really unique and interesting book and I'm excited to read it. And I still need to read In the Shadow of Blackbirds too! Thanks for a great blog tour stop and the amazing giveaway :)

  14. This book sounds incredible! And friends who've read it have absolutely loved it, so I cannot wait to read it myself! I am so intrigued by the hypnosis, and really, the time period in general. Thanks so much for the giveaway!


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