Interviews with Writers

YA Fantasy | Dream of Darkness | H M Gooden

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I’m delighted to be hosting H M Gooden in my hot seat today chatting about Dream of Darkness, book 1 in the Rise of the Light trilogy.

Find out about her inspiration, her writing processes and much more. Enjoy!


Cat’s used to moving, to never quite fitting in. But when her family moves to Valleyview, she’s not expecting what happens next. A serious accident, a coma, then the real strangeness began.
Cat is faced with an entirely new set of powers as well as an ancient evil packaged as the high school hero. And as if that wasn’t enough, she’ll also discover that her family is far more than what she’s been told. Grade 10 just got a lot more challenging.

Book cover Dream of Darkness by H M Gooden

Dream of Darkness by H M Gooden is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.

Interview

Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.

Please summarise Dream of Darkness in 20 words or less.

When Cat wakes from her coma, she discovers nothing is what it seems to be.

Now it’s up to her to fight against the dark, or lose herself trying.

What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?

The idea actually came from a recurring dream/nightmare I’ve had since grade ten.

Did you do any research for your book?  What resources did you use?

I’ve loved myths and legends since I was a child and at one point devoured everything in my local library. I drew on a lot of my memories and googled the rest haha!

Do you have a most creative time of day?

Mornings for me, absolutely. I can lose myself writing for 3-4 hours if ever given the opportunity. Then I’m ready to go for a walk or do something physical. My ideal (if the day job and kids weren’t clamouring lol) would be wake up around 5, write, exercise, eat, write some more, then run errands and hang out in the evening. I find after about 6 hours my brain shuts off and wants to play, so I think for me setting things up to be productive earlier in the day works best.

Favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?

I love coffee shops- people watching can add depth to the characters unintentionally, and I like being part of humanity and apart at the same time.

Panster or plotter?

Panster!! I like to have a general outline, but I may veer off into uncharted waters more than absolutely safe. When I pants entirely, things end up in a very strange neighbourhood so I’ve learned to start with a one page summary, and at least I can swing back home if I get too far afield while writing now.

Which authors have influenced your writing?

Too many to name! Of course Rowling, King, Lackey, Norton, Kress, Roberts, but there are so many more. Some of my fondest memories are reading my grandfather’s Louis Lamour books so you could say I’m an omnivore when it comes to books

Do you think movie adaptations do books justice? 

Hardly ever. Books have a depth and breadth I just don’t see in the movies. On the other hand, books that are super slow and full of descriptions are often tough to get through and a movie can make it so much more enjoyable.

Do you have a favourite?

I admit Jane Austen is a favorite, but it’s a lot easier to watch pride and prejudice than read it. Same thing with Shakespeare- masters of the craft centuries later, but much ado about nothing with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson is far more entertaining to me.

What are you reading now? Opinion?

I just finished Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism And was absolutely blown away. I had no idea we spent so much time with our phones or that we are basically playing a slot machine with inconsistent rewards. I’m planning a digital declutter in the next week- we’ll see how it goes!!

Have you done any creative writing courses?

I took a few courses at university and have done a few sessions on narrative writing. I love having someone lead when it comes to exercises because they allow me to take a prompt and do something I otherwise wouldn’t try- whether it’s a haiku, a short, etc. I think if you are interested in writing finding a day class can give you a perspective shift and may be a great way to ease into writing your own stuff.

What has been the hardest part of your writing journey so far?

Probably trying to carve out the time. Once I get going, I want to spend all my time doing things and it’s hard finding the balance between my passion and not getting burnt out. I’m working on it!

… and the best part?

The best part is achieving a Dream I’ve lived with my whole life. Reading has been my passion from day one and writing down my own stories was always something I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I found nanowrimo and had kids did I sit down and actually give it a shot. Once I started of course, I haven’t wanted to stop!!

Finally, are there any tips you could share with new writers that have worked well for you?

My tips and tricks would come down to time management. Dictation has been a lifesaver for getting a first draft out, and early mornings. Even if you aren’t a morning person, carving out a dedicated chunk of time every day when you can have alone time is essential to a successful writing habit. I have 4 kids and a full time emotionally rewarding and draining career so this early morning time has really helped me process my life and added the creative part I was missing. I don’t feel right without it now!

Thank you for being my guest today. Wishing you success with all your writing projects.


I’m a full time worker bee, mother, and writer by the wee hours of the day. I would write all the time if I had my way, but alas, life and family come first!

Somewhere in the last few years I’ve managed to carve out just enough time to write the trilogy that has spawned it all, based on a recurring dream I’ve had since my teens.

Author photo H M Gooden

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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