No prisoner who enters the gates of HopeWell ever leaves. But from the moment Oriel sets foot inside Anatroshka’s most formidable prison camp, she unsettles both commandant and prisoner alike with eyes that see beyond the surface and music that trails her everywhere.
Petite and delicate though she appears, Oriel bows before neither threat nor punishment. Moreover, she makes no attempt to hide her intention: Oriel plans to escape the inescapable HopeWell.
But when facades are stripped away and myth becomes clothed in flesh, what begins as a prison break becomes a mission to stop the invasion of evil itself.
Yes, I know how completely clichéd that sounds, but that’s the truth. I happened to dream vividly, and when my creative brain has had insufficient exercise, those dreams often take a story bent with lots of action and conflict. And since dreams don’t have to be particularly logical, my mind enjoys experimenting with some unique—and often bizarre—combinations.
This is what happened with Vault. I had a wild dream that intrigued my story brain, enough that I logged it into my idea notebook the next morning:
#317: HopeWell—A Dystopian Novella Collection about a prison camp jokingly called HopeWell, for it is the most hopeless place on earth. Each story about finding/acting with hope, even in the midst of hopeless situations—about hoping well, drawing deeply from the well of hope.
First novella about a girl imprisoned unjustly. No one escapes camp; she’ll never be free. An odd comment, meant sarcastically by a hardened prisoner, sparks hope, and she attempts to escape…
The entry continues on from there, outlining the basic plot of the four novellas my brain had conjured up.
Now obviously many things would change from this original idea. Vault is a fantasy, not dystopian, for example, and it is one continuous story, not a novella collection. But the seeds were there, buried deep within my mind, and within a few short months, they sprouted, ultimately growing into the book known today as The Vault Between Spaces.
About the Author
Chawna Schroeder is a Carol Award finalist who loves stretching both imagination and faith through story. When she isn’t reading or writing, she may be found practicing piano, reading biblical Greek or Hebrews, teaching on discernment, or working on one of her handwork projects while enjoying a movie.