I’ve said before that I remember a lot of my dreams, and they’ve sometimes been inspirational in my writing. The concept for the Night Huntress series came from a dream, as did the idea for the Broken Destiny series, and I’ve come up with more than a couple subplots from dreams. While I admit to mining my dreams to see if my subconscious produces anything I can use, not everything ends up in a book. Not even most of it. Example: years ago, while revising One Foot In The Grave, I had a dream where I suddenly knew the perfect solution to jazzing up the book’s ending: add dragons! Lots of dragons! Yet readers of this book know that, in fact, no dragons appear in One Foot, although I did have a character turn into a dragon in One Grave at a Time, so maybe that dream tidbit wasn’t wasted after all :).
But it’s not all dragons, vampires, half-vampires, demons, or other creatures that populate my dreams. Sometimes, stress from the publishing business can make an appearance, too. I detailed one of those stress-related dreams here, where in it, my books were responsible for visiting aliens committing mass suicide (seriously!) In another one, I dreamed that my editor came to my house brandishing a bat and demanding that I give her my manuscript right now or else. Although my editor, Erika Tsang, is a lovely person, on a subconscious level, I must fear her ;).
Case in point – and I can admit to this now because Into The Fire, the final Night Prince novel, is done, edited, and ready to print – a few months ago, as I was stressed over trying to finish it, I had a flying dream. Now, flying dreams are nothing new for me; they’re probably one of my most-recurring dreams. I usually love them because in them, I somehow know that if I fall forward, I won’t hit the ground. Instead, I’ll float upward as high as I want to go and be able to “steer” myself by moving my hands, which is an incredibly freeing feeling. However, in this dream, I had an ulterior motive behind flying, as you’ll see.
First, remember that dreams automatically come with suspension of disbelief. So, even when they unfold in a loose, nonsensical format, you still believe them while they’re happening, right? That’s why, in my dream, I didn’t question how I ended up with my editor, Erika, and a couple of my friends on a rocky moor overlooking a cliff. All I knew was that I was I brought my editor out there to finally let her in on my biggest secret: my ability to fly.
First, I tell her, “Hey, Erika, guess what? I can fly!”
Her response is to immediately question my sanity in saying such a thing (sometimes, dreams can be very realistic ;)). I then say something like, “Well, watch this” and do my fall-forward-only-to-float-upward trick.
Erika is shocked as I then direct myself to fly all around her. My friends just watch in boredom because they’ll seen all this before (apparently, I was a show off to them with my flying skills, heh.) Then, Erika finally says “Jeaniene, this is amazing! How long have you been able to do this?”
“Oh, for years,” I reply. “I’ve been really careful about keeping it a secret.”
“Then why are you revealing this to me now?” she asks.
My response, plucked right from my obviously-stressed subconscious? “Because you can use it as a really cool marketing gimmick later to promote Into The Fire, so now, you can’t be mad at me anymore for being so late turning it in!”
*grins* There you go, people. Now you know that if I ever get the ability to fly, I won’t use it for the greater good of humanity. Apparently, I’ll only use it as a “get out of being late on deadline free” card ;).