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In Which I Am Earnest About the Barns

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Here is a confession about the Barns:

No, let me back up.

I started writing The Dream Thieves back when I was 19 — I know I told everyone I began writing The Raven Boys when I was 19, but really, it was it was DT, Ronan’s story. It was only later that I realized I needed to begin with The Raven Boys. Like Ronan, I had (have) recurring dreams and visceral nightmares, but unlike Ronan, I found out that if I wrote them down, I wouldn’t have them again.

I used to go to the Barns in my dreams — nearly every night — and it was precisely as it appears in The Dream Thieves and the later books in the series. Everything Ronan feels about the Barns is how I felt about it.

When it came time to give the Lynch family a kingdom of their own, I knew I was going to give them the Barns, but I also knew that to write it down was to exorcise it from my dreams. Nightmares and dreams really work the same way — the only difference is that you’re afraid of one.

And I was right. I’ve not been back to the Barns since I first wrote it down. Well, not when I’m sleeping, anyway. I guess what I’m trying to say is that every time a reader is pleased to visit the Barns, it makes me feel better about my decision to give it away. So thanks for that.

Here is the music I listen to while writing the Barns:

She Is Like the Swallow” – Lucia Micarelli

Through Your Bones” – Lost Lander

Da Pacem Domine” – Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

Exile” – Enya

Taimse Im’ Chodladh” – Planxty

If anyone has any other suggestions for the OP, please let me/ them know!

Anyway, here is my confession about the Barns: I miss it, even though there were almost always monsters in the shadows.


(here is the link to my Tumblr).

  • Kessie Carroll

    Oh, and here I loved the Barns. So, how meta is that? The Barns coming from your dreams, I mean. If I can say that much without giving it away. 🙂

  • Meyrnah Khodr

    well I’m glad for your nightmares then, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to daydream about Ronan and his tattoos…

  • My favorite thing about your writing is the atmospheres you’re able to create. They are so tangible, I want to eat them. They are dream-like, now I know why.

  • Zairra DC

    Hey Maggie I love your style and your books especially The Raven Boys! I saw that you loved to draw so I was wondering if you could maybe draw a little blue print or map of Gansey’s apartment, Blue’s house or how the corpse road looks like 9the forest-y one with cabeswater)? I created my own plan/interior, though I was curious as to how they look in your point of view and maybe they would somehow better with the description. Thanks much!

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Maggie Stiefvater
Hi, I'm Maggie Stiefvater

Professional novelist by day and artist by night. I live an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with my charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, and neurotic dogs. I’m the author of the Books of Faerie (LAMENT and BALLAD); the bestselling SHIVER trilogy (SHIVER, LINGER, FOREVER), and THE SCORPIO RACES.

How I Write

Maggie Stiefvater Novels

Copyright 2012