I’m delighted to be hosting Heather Gooden in my hot seat today chatting about YA novel, Dream of Darkness.
Find out the scene she found the hardest to write, tips for new writers and more.
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.
Dream of Darkness by H M Gooden is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats.
Hi Heather, welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise Dream of Darkness in 20 words or less.
When Cat starts at a new high school, she didn’t expect fitting in to be the easy part.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
When I was in high school, I had a recurring dream during times of stress where there was a darkness creeping over my town, stealing souls and generally making everything awful. That dream never faded from my mind and when I finally decided to write my first book, it was a natural to explore the “what if” that dream began.
How do your characters come into existence? Do they have a bio Heather?
Honestly, they spring into life fully formed. I’ve attempted to write a certain kind of character in the past and it has never worked. Basically, my story unfolds as I go and more often than not, the character tells me who they are.
What scene was the hardest to write?
I found it really hard to write the heartbreak one of my characters in a later novel has lived through. Her strength inspires me and the heartbreak was amazing because despite of it, she has the largest capacity for love. I think learning how to do that is something only the most brave among us can do.
Did you do any research for your book? What resources did you use?
Yes and no. I have extensive background knowledge of mythology and prior to having children, I travelled whenever I could. Many of my books involve places I’ve been and stories that have fascinated me. But while writing I will sometimes fact check or look things up as well, either in books or online.
Does your book tackle a social barrier?
My books are as inclusive as I can make them. When I mentioned my characters kind of do their own thing, that includes deciding who and what they are. They come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, genders, and include LGBTQIA themes. Just like in life, part of growing is discovering sometimes unexpected aspects of yourself, whether that is magic, family secrets, or who you love. I want people to be able to see themselves in literature, or at least identify with something my characters will go through.
If your book is part of a series, what is in the future?
Dream of Darkness is book 1 of the Rise of the Light series. Technically it was supposed to be a trilogy, but it kind of did its own thing and turned into an ongoing series. There is another two books which will be released in the next 1-2 years, at which point I may relaunch them under the different characters in the series with the overarching Rise of the Light heading but separate series.
Finally, are there any tips you could share with new writers that have worked well for you or was there something difficult you overcame?
I struggle to find time to write in between all my other commitments, but I’ve found waking up an hour or two early for editing and dictation while commuting have been invaluable at allowing me to bring my ideas to life.
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.