by Jan Grape
The other night I had an awesome dream. Bill Crider was in it with me. Yes, the Dad of the three VBKs (very bad kittens) if you don't follow Bill, then why not? Anyway, this dream involved Bill and me and this blonde lady. So in the dream Bill and I were touring the US together with our Edgar-winning best-selling Books. (Okay, if you are going to dream, dream big, right?) In this dream we were going from East Coast to West Coast with stops in Houston TX at Murder By The Book and including The Poisoned Pen in Scotsdale AZ for book signing events.
This blonde would show up at every bookstore where we were signing. She bought Bill's book and mine, too in TX. Then she showed up in Austin when we signed at Book People. She wanted our signatures only; not personalized. The blonde wouldn't speak other than to say, "Signature only please." She wouldn't talk to either of us, although both Bill and I tried to engage her in conversation.
The blonde showed up in Dallas and in Scotsdale AZ and in LA and then San Francisco. She wouldn't get into our signing line but waited until we had signed books for the store's stock, she'd make her purchase. It began to get a bit creepy. Was she stalking Bill or me? What on earth did she want? Did she have murder on her mind and not the kind you read about but the kind a person actually did. We talked to police who called in the FBI. Our publisher even discussed hiring a body-guard. We did another couple of signings and she was there each time. But she'd leave before the FBI agent or our body-guard could talk to her. When we walked into the bookstore in Portland OR we gave a huge sigh of relief because we didn't see her. But that was short lived because she came out from one of the back corners of the store just as we were signing the last books for the store's stock.
Our body guard was right behind her. This time he had her by the arm. He spoke to her for about 10 minutes. After that she left. Bill and I finished signing and the guy came up with a silly smile on his face. "The blonde wasn't stalking you. She just wanted to by an autographed book in each store where you had personally appeared."
That's when I woke up. Okay it was a silly little dream but it did stay with me and I soon found myself thinking of different story lines and in what way could I built up suspense? What if I did this ? And what about this after that? Could I come up with enough of a plot to make a short story out of the dream? Doubtful.
Which gave me the idea to write this blog. Have any of you ever written a story or a book based on a dream? I don't think I have but I am sure that I have gone to bed thinking about a scene I was having a problen with and dreamed up a solution to the problem. Years ago I asked Joe Landsdale how he came up with one of his book's strange characters. He said, my wife makes some really greasy popcorn for me. I eat that, go to bed and dream strange
books. Works for Joe.
Have any of you done that? I really would like to read your comments.