Around the world humans are hallucinating after sleepless nights.
In a sterile, underground institute the forecasters keep reporting the same events.
And in the backwoods of Texas, a sixteen-year-old girl is about to be caught up in a fierce, ethereal battle.
Meet Roya Stark. She drowns every night in her dreams, spends her hours reading classic literature to avoid her family’s ridicule, and is prone to premonitions—which are becoming more frequent. And now her dreams are filled with strangers offering to reveal what she has always wanted to know: Who is she? That’s the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. But will Roya live to regret learning the truth?
Targeted Age Group:: 13-55+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’ve always loved dreams. To me they were a vehicle that needed to be used to create a story. And I knew I needed to write a book. It was keeping me up at night. This need to write a book. And then I’d fall into this dream filled sleep. When I awoke each day the idea was clearly there, but I had to create the product.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Some of the characters are parts of myself. But honestly, most of them are conglomerations of other people. They are high school friends and bullies, teachers, neighbors, parents, etc. And then there are other characters like Ren who I can’t explain their origins
Excerpt from Awoken:
“I cannot grant you any more time,” Shuman says. “I need your answer.”
I scan the surface of the water, looking for nothing in particular. She can wait for my answer. She will.
I push my fingers into my eyes and inhale deeply. This duel is inevitable. Zhuang and his challenger’s futures are intertwined. Any attempt to evade the other person will only bring the two together. And somehow I was elected by people I don’t know, for a danger I only recently knew existed. Still none of this makes sense, which is why I know I have to rely on instinct. It’s all I have left. “Fine,” I say a bit pathetically. “I’ll do it.”
A smile would be nice, or maybe a “good for you.” Instead Shuman, who appears to be all business, all the time, begins spouting instructions. “Your next step is to find the Lucidite Institute. Since you are relatively new to dream traveling there are many risks you face.”
No big surprises there.
Shuman continues, “You must dream travel to the Institute while fully submerged in water.”
Um, what? “Are you serious? I’ll drown.”
“There is that risk, yes, but the only way to enter the Institute is through water. To travel there you must return to your body and then immerse yourself in water. I advise you to know you are one with it. It is through this knowledge that you overcome the fear of drowning and focus on the higher task of dream traveling. If you remain calm and focus properly then you will travel and arrive at the Institute. If you are unsuccessful, then yes, you will drown.”
“Oh, is that all? Sounds like a piece of cake.” I’m wondering now if I made the right decision.
Shuman narrows her eyes, but doesn’t respond otherwise.
I rub my temples as an overwhelming pressure erupts behind my eyes. “This is all so strange, it sounds like a recurring dream I’ve been…” My words fall away as the inevitable truth dawns on me. “You put those dreams in my head, didn’t you?” I accuse, staring at her rigid persona.
“The Lucidites are responsible, yes,” she says, her tone matter-of-fact.
“What! That’s insane! That’s awful. Night after night I dreamed I was drowning myself. Do you know how horrifying that is?”
“You should be grateful. We have prepared you for the journey you are about to take. Your subconscious mind has already practiced much of what you are going to do.”
“Grateful!?” I shake my head in disbelief. “I thought I was losing my mind. I didn’t sleep well for weeks. No. I’m not the least bit grateful. You invaded my subconscious,” I spew, more frustrated now than frightened.
Shuman takes a long inhale and says, “Everything that has been done was to protect you and the future.”
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