What is Something To Dream On about?
Something To Dream On is about two characters, Jensen and Lizetta, who struggle to improve their lives. In the prologue, we see that Lizetta has body image issues that were brought on by bullying and that Jensen has substance abuse issues. Jensen is pretty much a jerk, yet there is something there that lets us know that his soul is beautiful. The two meet and fall in love, but what appears to be a sweet love story takes us down the path of their life’s challenges. Something To Dream On is about giving yourself, and others, a second chance.
It is also about accepting yourself as you are. Just because someone has bullied you does not mean that you need to let their words harm you. Also, being hurt by someone is never an excuse to hurt someone else in turn. Bullying does not need to be a cycle. Revenge and bitterness are useless, but compassion can help you improve the world. We are all interconnected beings. We should celebrate that.
What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main characters?
The story is about hope, redemption, and giving yourself and others a second chance. Thus, I needed the characters to have the traits of those who have been through their own personal hell and back. One of the main characters, along with a supporting character, has substance abuse issues. One is triumphing while the other is struggling. For the sake of the story, the one who is struggling needs to be unlikeable, yet you need to feel for her. Giving a character qualities that will make readers sympathetic while hating her is tricky.
What was the deciding factor for your book title? Did it just come to you or did you try different ones?
I was pretty clueless on that for a while. Then one day I checked out a jellyfish exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I was surrounded by room after room of jellyfish that were illuminated under black light. The whole thing was so surreal that it was like living in an alien, psychedelic light show. At the very end of the exhibit was a quote by Jimi Hendrix, “You have to give people something to dream on.” Dreams were already a part of the book, and seeing that felt like the universe was telling me to delve in deeper. At that moment, the book was named. I’ve never considered naming it something else.