Guest post: The dream that sparked the book

Once upon a dream novel, by Dawn Colclasure 

Can dreams inspire a writer to write a novel? Mine did – and they still do.

When I was 16 years old, I started having dreams about a man named Jonathan. These dreams happened almost every night and lasted for many years. Two years after the dreams started, I dreamt that all of the dreams combined were turned into a novel titled, ‘November’s Child.’ I even saw the title of the novel in this one dream!

I was 19 years old when I finally completed that novel. During this time, I had to work out how to make the dream ‘story’ work as a believable story. After all, I had no idea what kind of connection Jonathan had to me, the dreamer, so I had to think of what kind of connection he would have to my story’s main character, Malissa.

This name did not come from my dreams; I needed a name for a character that represented ‘me’ in the story, and I decided to use an alternative version of my sister, Melissa’s, name.

As to the connection dilemma, I discussed this with one of my other sisters, who happened to have just seen a movie about Druid characters. She suggested I turn Jonathan into a Druid. After researching Driudism and reading about their belief in the transmigration of souls, I decided that, yes, that could work. Voila! I had my story figured out.

My novel was published when I was 20 years old. Shortly afterward, my publisher went bankrupt and the book went out of print. I rewrote the book and gave it a new title: ‘Shadow of Samhain.’ This new version of my ‘dream novel’ will soon be published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing.

10 thoughts on “Guest post: The dream that sparked the book”

  1. Thank you, Abi. I love this post too – my guests all have such fascinating stories to tell, and about such a wide range of writing adventures. Also, Dawn, I love the new cover – it’s really dramatic.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this on your blog, Jenny! 🙂 I have Gypsy Shadow’s talented book cover designer, Charlotte Holley, to thank for that amazing cover. It is so interesting how our dreams can inspire us to write.

  3. Yes – but you have to be able and willing to listen to them, and then sensitive in the way you work with them, Dawn. Great skills, and thank you for this inspiring story.

  4. Yes – it sounds like a happy mix of dream inspiration, research and creative work – I’m going to blog some ideas about how to dream material in writing soon.

  5. Wow! This is a really fascinating story (the blog not the book as I’ve yet to read it!) How amazing to consistently have a dream about a named person. I love the differences in people and reading about their dreams is fascinating. I’m so glad this blog exists Jenny – thank you for dreaming it up!

  6. What a lovely comment Pat – thank you so much 🙂 I’m absolutely loving my guest posts here, because as you say, each person’s process from the dream to the creative work is quite unique.

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