I had no ordinary nightmare. It was scary, as all nightmares are, but in the aftermath, I found it hilarious and telling and not entirely surprising, given that I had just sent off my manuscript for my third novel—historical fiction—to an editor.
Writing a novel is only half the battle. The other half is the stress of figuring out how best to market your book, and this is true for both indie and traditional authors. The latter have some help. The notable ones, like Stephen King and Margaret Atwood, have publicity machines behind them so they don’t have to do a lot to get any attention.
The Bones of My Nightmare
My nightmare revealed clearly that it was all about my third novel. In my dream, I was in the Hall of the West Vancouver library—which I frequent—ready to talk about my new book. I was disappointed to see there were only four people in the audience, but as we approached the hour, the hall suddenly filled and there must’ve been well over a hundred.
I was standing up front facing the group and I looked over to see if the librarian was ready to introduce me but she seemed to be busy talking to someone. After what seemed like an interminable amount of time, she advanced to the lectern and began her introductions. The problem was I couldn’t make out what she was saying. Then she proceeded to read softly and I had to strain to hear, but recognized the passages as ones from my first novel, as the character name, Alex, jumped out at me. (Alex is Catherine’s daughter in A Cry From The Deep).
It Was Not To Be
After reading a page or so, she began to read—to my horror—a few pages from someone else’s book. I still couldn’t make out every word she was reading and was sure others were having the same problem. Because of this, the hall began to empty. Frustrated, I waved my hands and said loudly, “Enough.” By the time I got to the lectern, there were only five or so people left in the audience.
For some reason, we went outside, where I tried to engage the few who were standing, but a young man was playing a boom box and I had to yell at him to turn it off. Next thing I knew, he was behind me and was about to kick my backside. It was then I woke up.
I need a good shrink to unravel the above, but having been a therapist years back and having interpreted dreams myself, I had little trouble identifying my nightmare as stemming from the anxiety I was feeling about my upcoming book.
Will it resonate with my readers? Are there problems I haven’t noticed? If there are, I hope my editor will find them. And ya da ya da ya da. The doubts never stop.
Birthing A Book
I know all this anxiety is natural. It’s like giving birth. You hope that what you are about to bring into the world will be fully developed and without error and that your baby will get a good reception.
I’d love to hear if others have wild and wonderful dreams, in which our unconscious exposes our fears.
Writers and readers, I look forward to hearing about your wooly night-time adventures.