When I began Dream a Little Dream
I had no idea that it was going to be so fascinating.
We use the word ‘dream’ to describe either sleeping dreams or our desires, and both drive my book.
Dreams can be affected by moods, which is why we get anxiety dreams, the kind where you find yourself half dressed on a train, and comfort dreams, when we dream our loved ones have come back from heaven to tell us they’re having a great time.
And we have nightmares, when we’re running without getting away or we jolt awake just as a groping hand fastens around our throats— ! And some dreams are … oohhhhh, yeahhhhh … those kind. (If you’ve never had one of ‘those kind’ of dreams then I suggest you have a strong word with your unconscious mind and demand some.)
Dominic Christy has the rare sleep disorder narcolepsy, so his dreams are exceptionally vivid – good and bad – about aircraft, about his ex and about Liza (which is where the oohhhhh yeahhhhh dreams come in). They’re weird and sometimes wonderful and he has to learn to recognise them for what they are – unreality.
Sleeping dreams aren’t completely understood. They may be random. They may be trying to make sense of things for us. Or they may be a big treat for our sleeping selves, our brains disengaging from logic and cartwheeling around yelling, ‘Whooooo!’ Or maybe all three.
Researching narcolepsy was a challenge and I was lucky to find a real life Dominic through the message board of Narcolepsy UK. I posted an appeal for help, saying that my character was called Dominic, was in his thirties and had narcolepsy. And I got a reply: ‘My name’s Dominic, I’m in my thirties and I have narcolepsy …’ Incredible! I’d already written more than half the book so Dominic Christy was clear in my mind and I’ve never mixed the two Dominics up, but the real Dominic was able to tell me all the things I didn’t yet know about Dominic Christy – which was a dream come true for me. (After I’d bugged the life out of him for a year or so he would have had every reason to view me as a nightmare, but he’s been kind and polite enough to say he’s actually enjoyed it.)
Easier to understand than sleeping dreams are the ‘desires’ kind of dreams, and Dominic Christy needs a new one.
He’s had to leave his dream job as an air traffic controller because it’s off his radar (ouch, feeble joke alert) once narcolepsy hits him. His onset of narcolepsy was sudden, which is rare but does happen, and it forces other changes in his life. And that’s where we join his story – no job, the girlfriend has become ex and he’s living with his cousin Miranda. Yes, definitely, he needs a new dream. And in walks Liza …
Anybody who’s read All That Mullarkey will already know Liza as Cleo’s naughty little sister. She was way too much fun to leave forever in secondary characterland and readers asked me more about her, so that’s how she got her own book. I left her safely loved up with Adam but being in a relationship didn’t suit her and by the time Dream a Little Dream begins she’s suffered a couple of catastrophes. These leave her prickly and ungracious but she’s also hot and funny and Dominic— well, he thinks she’s a walking dream.
But Liza’s not in the market for a new guy and she’s too busy fighting for her own dream – to take over the holistic centre where she works as a reflexologist – which would be easier if she had more money and less opposition.
So, how far will she go to realise her dream? What’s Dominic’s dream and what will he sacrifice to get it? Will it be worth it? Because they wake up to the realisation that if Dominic gets his dream then Liza doesn’t get hers and if Liza does, Dominic doesn’t.
And what about you? Did you dream a dream that came true? Or have you been caught in a nightmare? Let me know ... Two lucky readers who comment on my blog will be randomly selected to win an ebook copy of All That Mullarkey. Good luck!