Are you dreaming right now?

If not, how do you really know for sure? What if we’re all dreaming together, and have yet to awaken? What if our dreams connected our minds like a river?

It’s fun to ask these questions, but the answers escape all of us, because we’re human. We are not supposed to know these things. Or are we?

My novel takes a leap down the proverbial rabbit hole to seek answers and play with these concepts.

So what is this whole thing about?

Intended as the first part of a series of novels, this book follows a narcoleptic man by the name of Jacob Mason who tries to make sense of a seemingly unending chain of mind-bending dreams, most of which are unpleasant. While these dreams may seem like a curse, they begin to get twisted with reality, and lead him to unexpected places that will help him deal with a tragedy that has been plaguing him for years. In his journey for redemption, he learns of a larger underlying scheme that changes his perception of the world.

This story deals with the pain of loss, the joy of redemption, the sadness of isolation, the intrigue of the unknown, and the complicated pursuit of love (and believe me, it gets complicated!).

There is no gimmicky pitch here. Just a story that I think is worth writing and sharing.

Where did this concept come from?

My writing comes from a place of natural curiosity regarding the unknown: dreams, the afterlife, paranormal phenomena, and anything that lies beneath the surface of what we consider normal. In a modern world where mystery is harder to come by, I like the idea of unanswered questions that still lurk around dark corners. It’s enjoyable for me to find something extraordinary out of the mundane.

I also love exploring the human mind, but I suppose with any fiction writer, that’s a given. I am very intrigued with psychology and mental illness, which is very near and dear to my heart. This is why I took on the challenge of portraying a hero with narcolepsy, which is something I’ve never personally experienced.

I hope to capture some of my curiosity of these concepts between the pages, and hopefully weave a thrilling tale that sticks with the reader after the last page is turned.

In terms of where I find my inspiration to write, I honestly pull a lot of it from music and movies. Certain lyrics or scenes will set my imagination in motion.

When it comes to modern TV and film, people like Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams, and Vince Gilligan inspire me to write. They embody the art of leaving a lot to mystery and putting faith in the audience to follow their lead, regardless of how outright insane it might be.

It was Nolan’s Inception that convinced me that my idea of a story revolving around dreams could be done. I like to think my novel rolls the idea of a dream-centric plot like Inception with the idea of a cerebral love story like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, topped with a light dollop of Twin Peaks (the show, not the restaurant chain). Oh yeah, and if you noticed some Donnie Darko in there, it’s no coincidence.

If there is a song that sums up my inspiration and encompasses the spirit of the book, it would be "Unthought Known" by Pearl Jam. Listen to the lyrics, and you can basically hear the backbone of this entire novel.

Hopefully my passion for creating something comparable to what they’ve inspired in me will become evident as you read further.

Who is behind all this?

I’m from Omaha, Nebraska, although I was born in the Quad Cities. I grew up with a large imagination, always scribbling down thoughts in the form of words or drawings.

I used to write mini-books when I was extremely young, stapling together pages of hand-drawn cartoon characters acting out a story that only made sense when I narrated the pages to family members.

As I got older, the writing bug burrowed out of sight for various reasons, and I carried it with me for many years. Now, at 34 years of age, I’m trying to spill everything out of my mind onto pages that needs to get out.

I would love to keep exploring that creativity, and it would absolutely thrill me to do it for a living. I’m lucky to have such a supportive wife, amazing family, and well-meaning cat to encourage this hobby.