I was born the fourth child in a family of five and raised on a small lake in the middle of Michigan. Like most children, I had bad dreams and was afraid of the dark. As I got older, the dreams or nightmares, as most were by then, got worse and I began to sleep walk. At night, I was terrified to go to sleep; afraid that I would wake up somewhere other than my bed or that the vivid dreams I had would actually kill me. I died in my dreams quite frequently. Most times by being stabbed, drowned, or falling from high places. I actually hit the ground several times and felt all my bones break. As a child, I was haunted by what my mind created for me in my sleep.
My parents didn’t understand what I was telling them. They just thought I was like every other young child and that I would learn to accept the fact that the images in my head were only dreams and couldn’t hurt me. That was when I began paying attention to the dreams and soon it became apparent that they were actually stories coming to me in bits and pieces.
As I began writing them down, I realized more than one story was taking place and I started making charts of the characters. I wrote down how they looked, their eye color, height, weight, family members, houses they lived in, tattoos, and what pets they had. I wrote down anything that made the characters who and what they were. Soon full novels were coming to me in the form of dreams and I found myself excited to go to sleep. Though I continued to sleep walk, I began to want to sleep just so I could find out what was going to happen next in the stories I had begun to write.
This had taken my talent to a new level and I started to research what was happening to me. I read everything I could get my hands on about sleep walking and even looked into a sleep clinic. I researched other authors to see if other people did what I could do. I was desperate to understand what was happening to me while I slept. I soon realized that no one could explain it. I even went to a psychic who told me I had a muse that helped me write. If that is the case, my muse never lets me know it’s there.
Frustrated, I began to run six to eight miles a day and found that during my run if I focused my mind I could get the dreams to play and I could actually dream the stories along as if I were asleep. It took getting used to and soon I had written three novels and started seven others. I found that if I read science fiction then I worked in science fiction. If I watched romance movies, then I wrote romance novels.
It was after the birth of my daughters, that I had honed my talent into the ability that I still use today. The several dreams I have at night I no longer need to write down right away. They will be there when I sit in front of the computer to actually write the novels. As long as I’ve dreamed the stories, the books can be produced. If I haven’t dreamed the books yet, the story abruptly stops and I am forced to switch to another story that I have dreamed about and work that one until I run out of information.
Most of the time, I’m just an observer in the stories I write. Watching the scene like an innocent bystander, but other times I am the characters themselves; their faces, their feelings, their lives. It was terrifying as a child to look into a mirror in your dream and see someone else’s face and hair where your reflection should have been. Now, I find it fascinating and realize that I grew up in an unusual way but am pleased that the ability has inspired the novels that so many of you enjoy today.
I hope you enjoy what my mind creates and understand a bit of what it takes for me to write these novels. So enjoy the dreams and I wish you all the best!