Please join me in welcoming Lauren Mansy, author of The Memory Thief, to the blog today to chat about the price of memories!
THE MEMORY THIEF
GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2019
In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.
Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.
To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.
the price of memories
by Lauren Mansy, author of The Memory Thief
When I reflect on my journey to becoming a writer, I’m struck by two things: how my most difficult memories sparked a desire to write fiction and how my most cherished memories led me to write The Memory Thief.
Growing up, I never dreamed of becoming an author. I’d always loved reading and storytelling, but the thought of writing my own work wasn’t something of interest to me. Then in college, I took a course in children’s literature, and I fell in love with the idea of working in publishing. I began working toward that goal, but my senior year, something very unexpected happened: I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of lymphatic cancer. Throughout my chemotherapy and radiation treatments, I began to journal as a way to process my emotions. I filled many pages with my deepest thoughts, worries, and fears, and I also wrote about the amazing people who supported me throughout my battle with cancer and how much I valued (and still do value!) those relationships. I’m so thankful to say that when I completed my treatments, my scans showed no active cancer, and I’ll forever cherish the memory of hearing that news!
Though I was cancer-free when I graduated college, I wasn’t healthy enough to look for a job, so my parents suggested I do something creative to help in my healing process. For some reason, all I could think about was writing a book. Similar to journaling, writing fiction helped me express myself in ways that I’d never done before and helped me process some of my most difficult memories. Once I started writing, I found that I never wanted to stop!
By the end of that fall, I’d completed one work of fiction, but there was another story idea bouncing around in my head, one that would keep me awake at night and wake me up in the morning, and it was based off of a memory that I share with my mom.
When I was a teenager, my mom was diagnosed with a heart condition, which led to an unexpected open-heart surgery. Before she was rushed into the operating room, my mom’s heart stopped six times. The doctors warned my family that due to the trauma she’d experienced, there was a possibility that my mom wouldn’t remember us, when or even if she woke up. So we waited to see if the same joyful woman who’d gone into surgery would be the same woman who survived it.
I was sitting at her bedside when she first began to stir after her surgery. She slipped in and out of consciousness and couldn’t speak because of her breathing tube. But as I touched her hand, she wrapped hers around mine and squeezed it three times, our signal which meant I love you. It was a moment I’ll never forget! In that tiny gesture, she’d spoken the words she couldn’t yet say.
Ever since that, I was struck by how our memories form our identity and influence our relationships with others. It terrified me that my mom wouldn’t remember me, but I’m so thankful to say that she made a full-recovery. It was a long and painful process, but she never gave up hope that things would get better, and when I was diagnosed with cancer three years later, those memories of my mom encouraged me to be brave. So for my next book, I decided to write about the two of us together. I wanted to share our story, and that’s how The Memory Thief was born.
It’s a book all about memories. It’s about buying them, selling them, trading them, and stealing them. It’s also about what happens when we lose them. My memories, both the good and the bad, are things I’d never want to give up. I love that our memories make us all wonderfully unique and give each one of us a story worth telling.
One of the biggest lessons that being a writer has taught me is the importance of the “story behind the story”. Though the publication journey has been filled with many wonderful moments, the journey of getting here has changed me for forever. Writing fiction gave me a voice when I was still struggling to find mine, and through telling Etta’s story, I now better understand my own. And I’ll be forever grateful that even as the last page of The Memory Thief ends, I’ll remember what it took to get here, and for me, those memories are priceless. 🙂
I love that so much, Lauren! Thank you for sharing your story with us!
Lauren lives in the Chicago area, where she’s spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren’s own journey with her mother, is her first novel.
TOUR WIDE GIVEAWAY – 1 finished copy of The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy + a poster and signed bookplate (USA only)
This giveaway is hosted by FFBC, not RimSP
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What about you? What interests you most about Lauren Mansy’s post and/or The Memory Thief?