Tag Archives: literature

Blog Tour: Great Minds

sleep-tight_826049Greetings, Dreamers!

Mark Meier, a fellow writer, asked me to join a blog tour last week.  I am very grateful to be recognized by my colleagues and be asked to join in the fun!

Before I answer the questions for the tour, I’d like to introduce another blogger/writer with amazing insight and ability, Victoria Craven.  Victoria runs the blog, The Autodidact in the Attic, which focuses on the macabre, horror and a wide variety of intellectual stimulus.  Here is her bio:

V.L. Craven lives with her husband and pets. She writes fiction—both short and long—and reviews of books, films & art, as well as essays, articles and interviews with all sorts of interesting people.

She’s always appreciated the darker side of life, which is the focus of her blog The Autodidact in the Attic, (see also its Facebook page). TAitA has reviews of books, films, art, apps and games (and interviews with creators of those things) that will appeal to people with an interest in the macabre or gothic.

Other Ways to Interact with Her:
On Twitter: @vlcraven
On Tumblr: vlcraven.tumblr.com
On Goodreads: V. L. Craven

She will be posting her answers to the blog tour questions next Monday, so do yourself a favor and check out her amazing site.

Now on to my answers:

1) What am I working on?

I am always working on a variety of projects simultaneously,  that’s just how my brain works.  Right now,  I am doing a serial short story on this blog, writing Book II in the Waking Dream Series — The Unkindness — and I am involved in a collaborative series with two other authors (details to come later this year).  My Waking Dream Series is the primary focus and I am always doing research as the it covers alternate history, philosophy, and science.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write novels and short stories.  My short stories tend to be very dark.  My favorite short stories are the ones I write in Lovecraftian style.  I am no Lovecraft, mind you, however I have enormous respect for his creations and imagination.

The Waking Dream series is really a mixture of many genres, so it is very hard to put it in any one box — I am not a fan of being pigeonholed.  The Waking Dream Series is an attempt to blur the lines between fantasy and reality.  Much of the subject matter is based on years of research.  I have always been fascinated with the paranormal and the supernatural — specifically the potential of the human mind.  The Waking Dream is my attempt to present a plausible framework for readers to suspend their disbelief and explore their own lives.  Life is a dream, if you really think about it.  We always have control over how our lives go, no matter the situation.  And once you believe that, you can do anything.

The Waking Dream series has elements of horror, paranormal, supernatural, romance, dystopia, apocalyptic events and fantasy.  It is very dark.  One of my fans put it, “It’s the Matrix meets The Stand”.  The first book is my Fellowship of the Ring. It is the twilight before the sun sets on our world. The subsequent books will descend further into the darkness of reality and the human mind.

One final note, there are many things hidden within the stories and novels, tying them together as well as giving avid readers something to discover within the text.  Everything in the Waking Dream Series is carefully calculated.  What have you found hidden within the story?

3) Why do I write what I do?

I love to create worlds.  The Waking Dream is, as I mentioned, an attempt to impart all I’ve learned about the human condition and get the reader to explore and create their own dream.  The world seems to be at an impasse, and we are not moving forward as we should from a philosophical sense.  While the Waking Dream is fiction, there are elements of truth in ever sentence I write — the things I believe to be true.

I write the Lovecraftian stories because I want his legacy to continue, as well as many other authors.  Being able to create a story that emulates the master gives me a sense of humility.  Many writers have walked in his footsteps, but his personal commitment to his craft is something to be admired, respected and remembered for all time.

4) How does my writing process work?

I don’t have a specific process for writing.  When I feel like writing, I write.  And because I have a wide variety of projects I am working on at any given time, I choose the project to work on that most suits my particular mood.  I believe that an author needs to be prolific to be successful.  Very few authors become successful with one book, or even their first book.  The more work you have out, you have a better chance of being discovered by new readers.  It is a snowball effect.

One thing I do tend to stick to in any project is that I usually begin with an illustration.  Next to writing, illustrating is one of my favorite hobbies.  I have over 50 illustrations for the Waking Dream,  as well as maps.  I want the Waking Dream to be similar to the Cthulhu Mythos so that other authors can contribute their own stories to the ever-growing Waking Dream Universe.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this little excursion into my writing career.  Perhaps you’ll be interested in reading my work, which is listed on the right side bar.  Please be sure to check out Victoria Craven’s answers next Monday on her blog.

Happy Monday!

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The Fate of the Waking Dream

cold-heartGreetings, Dreamers!

I apologize for my recent, extended absence.  Most of you know that I am a very prolific blogger, and the last few months I’ve been rather crestfallen and that does not make for good inspiration.

I know many of you are wondering what’s going on with Book II for the series, as well as my other writing endeavors.  I have had little inspiration lately as a result of some events that have been transpiring over the past few months and they have snowballed into a full on winter of the brain.  But I am back to Book II, which is half way done, and I have other stories coming as well.  Soon you will find out the fate of our world– the Waking Dream.

I apologize to all of you who think I may be ignoring you, or have found others more interesting to chat with, that is not the case.  I appreciate all of my blog, Facebook and Twitter friends.  And I promise, now that the weather is warming, I will be in a much more verbose mood.

The first book of the series is still available, and slowly gaining traction.  It’s very hard to get the word out for your book, especially being a new author.  My other self-published books are steadily selling, and that’s a good thing.  I will not be publishing my future books with my current publisher, but rather moving forward on my own.  I have learned a great deal about this industry, more than I wanted to know, and I feel wholeheartedly that the best course for any new writer is to begin with self-publishing.  I have seen many professional organizations for authors starting to change their view of the self-published author.  And in general, the only person who can really sell your book is YOU.  It comes from your heart, soul and mind.  No one will ever be able to do justice to your story but you.

When you are long gone, people will read your work and try to understand what you were trying to convey — debate it, degrade it or deify it.  This one point is the sole reason I adopted autodidactism as my personal educational journey.  I have learned that I cannot follow the herd in a classroom, because I cannot be taught in a linear, structured fashion.  And, this  realization occurred in the fall of 1991 in my American Literature class.  I majored in English, of course, and one particular day will stick in my mind forever.

We were dissecting “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Poe.  The professor had made an assertion, which he wanted to impress on the students, that the narrator was the one who was insane, and not Madeline and Roderick.  This is not to say that it may or may not be true, however, the professor was asserting that it as fact.  I am a huge fan of Poe, and of course, I had to weigh in this debate.  It became very heated, and I finally asked him, “Did you meet Poe and get the answer from him?”

As a result, I was asked to leave the class.   This was both a victory and an epic fail because, unfortunately, I had the same professor for my next class.  I left college shortly there after, realizing that I was trapped in a box.  The man in a box.

Now that I am an author, I have had many people tell me their take on my story, and I love to talk about it with them, because its more than a story, it’s an exploration of our universe, and my/your inner-self.  Make the dream, own the dream and live the dream.  I write because I enjoy it, but it also carries the sum of all I have learned about our weird existence.

I thank you all for your steadfast support.  And I have decide I will publish a new short story, inspired by my favorite novel, The Great Gatsby — with a Waking Dream twist of course.  That’s assuming I get the permissions to use the name

I hope everyone is slowly thawing out from this brutal winter.

Happy thoughts!

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The Lovecraft Effect

HP LovecraftGreetings, Dreamers!

Kat over at “The Gore Splattered Corner” blog asked me to write a guest post on how H.P. Lovecraft influenced my writing and my writing style.

Lovecraft and his style have always fascinated me.  I have been a fan since I was very young, and it wasn’t until recently one of my reviewers pointed out the similarity in style and writing.  Creating a mythos for Waking Dream was my goal from the beginning, but not expanding upon the Lovecraftian Mythos.  Since then I’ve tried my hand at a couple Lovecraft inspired stories, and have begun a minor expansion of the Mythos. This article explains how I got where I am as a writer.

You can head over to The Gore Splattered Corner and read my little trip down memory lane.

Thanks Kat for letting me ramble on your page!

Thank You!

Waking DreamGreetings, Dreamers!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you all for downloading my free eBooks The Case Study and The House of the Dead Timbers!

It was really quite a success!  The Case Study made it to #5 on the best-selling free short story list and stayed there for 3 days!

The House of the Dead Timbers made it to #8 and stayed there for 2 days!

Waking Dream: The Unkindness Book II is basically writing itself.  I am still on schedule for a February release, because I know you’re all dying to find out what happens next!

In the mean time, you can read Lost Haven, a Waking Dream Interlude, which happens between Book I and Book II.

I am very thankful to you all who have been supportive of my work, and have helped me improve my craft with your thoughtful comments, tweets and reviews.

Happy New Year to you all!

Welcome to Devlin

DevlinGreetings, Dreamers!

With the release of my book, Devlin, I wanted to tell you a little more about it to give you an idea of what you are in for.

If you happen to be traveling in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, north of Charlottesville, you may be strangely dawn to a tiny, hidden town, nestled far away from the bustle of the modern world.  Its cobbled streets are lined with an eclectic collection of homes and buildings, adding to the uniqueness of the town itself.  From the quaint shops that line Rowe Street, to the Gothic Church of St. Michael, to the Autumn House Bed and Breakfast, Devlin is picturesque, peaceful and pastoral.

It has been hidden away from the world for over two centuries, and when I say hidden, I mean that only certain people can find it, and only if the town wants to be found.  Life has continued this way for the people of Devlin since the late 1700s, living self-sufficiently in peace and harmony, but that is about to change.

Beginning this Autumn, the people of Devlin uncover the truth behind the establishment of their town and discover an ancient plot that has spanned centuries, threatening the very existence of their town and the rest of the world. And as the town performs their yearly Halloween ritual, the world will never be the same.

Devlin is much more than dark fantasy.  It has elements of horror, paranormal, supernatural, and metaphysical.  Devlin has something for everyone.  I am an avid gamer; console, PC and role-play. The Waking Dream is nothing more than an exploration of our reality as a cosmic game. You can read more about the Waking Dream Universe in the following posts.

  1. The Story of Creation
  2. The Story of Immortality
  3. Of Sleepers and Dreamers
  4. The Way of the Weird
  5. The Three Realms

Devlin is on sale on Amazon and on all eBook readers.

Why the Waking Dream?

DevlinI get asked on many occasions why I’ve spent so much time working on this series before I wrote the book.  Part of it was procrastination, but the biggest reason was the allegory behind the Waking Dream.

When I was a kid, I was very much enamored by H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos.  The idea of a writer creating a framework for other writers to contribute to was fascinating to me.  And since the story “The Call of Cthulhu” was released in 1926, scores of renowned authors have taken their turn to try to rouse the Ancient Ones from their slumber.

I initially came up with the idea for the Waking Dream in 1995 as a Dungeons and Dragons style role-playing game.  It was first premiered on Internet Relay Chat, where I had over 100 people playing at any given time.  But as I began to write these elaborate story lines for others to interact with, it occurred to me that it would be more useful to write stories and novels, rather than a bunch of rules and dice play.  The Waking Dream began to evolve.

I stepped away from the online role-play world and began to do serious research on how to make the Waking Dream a framework.  But along the way, it started to become something much more than that.  It started to become a philosophical debate on the nature of existence – a subject that has haunted me my entire adult life.  I have for a long time stopped reading fiction, and jumped headlong into physics, cosmology, religion, philosophy, mathematics and metaphysics.  And along the way, I created an entire universe populated by Dreamers, Sleepers and Immortals and solved — in my mind — the answers to our universe.

It does not matter really what comprises the universe, how it came to be, or where it will go from here.  What does matter is the voyage and exploration of the self and understanding that we are all connected at a fundamental level, and the universe is our playground.  We have gone about our search for the answer in the wrong way.  Rather than trying to understand our consciousness and our spirit, we’ve leaped into the abyss, searching for answers in the stars — but the answer is in each and every one of us.

The Waking Dream books and stories and framework are to give us a way to be children again, when we looked at everything with wonder. Magic and Monsters are everywhere, we’ve just chosen not to see them in the same way we once did.  We’ve allowed what we call the “common reality” — what the majority believes to be true — to make us blind to the true nature of the universe and thus, ourselves.

For me, the Waking Dream is not about making money, it’s about throwing a new idea out on the table for everyone to see.  And in turn, I expect others to take up the mantle and submit their own stories about the Waking Dream.  Because, in the Waking Dream anything is possible.  And if we all take a moment to realize the Dream as something wonderful, it will be wonderful.  But at the moment, we are creating a nightmare.

Waking Dream: Devlin is just the first of many novels to come.  If you are looking to escape for just a little while, and you believe in any of the things I have said, I believe you will enjoy walking with me in the Waking Dream.

Waking Dream: Devlin

DevlinGreetings Dreamers!

The day has finally come!  Waking Dream: Devlin is now available for order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!  Ordering today ensures that you will have your copy by Monday and you can start to explore the Waking Dream Universe! There are already six 5 star reviews for the book.

For more information about the Waking Dream Universe visit http://WakingDreamOnline.Com

Here are the product links and prices in US Dollars, but the book is available globally in English:

Read it, review it, critique it.  Waking Dream: The Unkindness Book II will be molded by your feedback.

Unkind Update

Greetings, Dreamers!

The re-release of Waking Dream: Devlin Book I is on time and will be out on September 22nd! You can pre-order a signed copy today by visiting this link.

Immortal Memories: Volume I has been sent to the editor and includes 2 brand new stories, the expanded version of Place of the Sisters and Vacant Eyes on the Eternal Sea!

Now that all the editing is behind me, I am full force on Waking Dream: The Unkindness Book II. A dark plot will be revealed, and many new characters introduced. This will be a face paced, action-filled book with elements of horror, the paranormal and the supernatural.

I am tentatively expecting to release in the first quarter of 2014! And then I will be working on Waking Dream: The Black Heart Book III, ending the Transformation Series.

Also, mark your calendars for the week of Halloween when I will be interviewed on the Nationally Syndicated radio show The Book Report with Elaine Charles. It will be on air and available through iTunes Podcasts.

Thank you all for your continued support.

First Review for Devlin

DevlinEarly copies of Waking Dream: Devlin Book I were sent out last week. Thérèse Wood of Grimnian Promotions submitted this review and posted it on Amazon.

“Are you awakened yet to your own ability? Are you a walking Sleeper?  Or a controlling disruptive entity?  Reading “Devlin” which is the first of Michael Hibbard’s Transformation Trilogy in the Waking Dream series, you identify with Jonathan Weir who intends to awaken others from the darkness, by encouraging their own weirdness to grow.

He warns and helps the other Dreamers and awakens the Sleepers to be more prepared for Gabryal’s nightmares to come.

If you like reading about the Paranormal then “Devlin” is a must read and you will deepen your knowledge of the power of weird itself.

Become a Dreamer, embrace your weirdness to break free from a world of sleepers & peer into the truth of your own Waking Dream as I have with this unique author, Michael Hibbard.

Join Jonathan now and Devlin town on their journey to solving the mystery.”

Thank you so much for taking the time to read the book, Thérèse!

Waking Dream (Part 1)

Waking DreamGreetings, Dreamers!

Today I start a new series of posts describing the philosophy behind my upcoming novel, Waking Dream: Devlin Book I. The book will be going on sale on September 22, 2013 — The first day of Autumn.  As an side note, all dates in the book and the actual release dates all play into the overall mystery of the series.

Let’s Begin!

At the basis of it all, the concept of the Waking Dream stems from my own personal studies in a variety of areas.  Its more than just a series of fiction novels, it is an interwoven collection of things I have come to understand to be plausible with reference to the nature of our universe, the formation of life, the human soul and consciousness.  I assert that our present scientific endeavors are looking for the wrong things and that some of the things presented as fact are indeed quite wrong.  There are far too many unknowns, and most of all, we cannot understand nor explain the most fundamental aspect of our universe, Gravity.  In addition, there is this lack of unifying the physics of the big things in our universe (stars, galaxies, planets, life) and the physics of the very small, quantum level (atoms, electrons, singularities).  Even though there has been significant effort in this area, we are still no closer to a true Theory of Everything — well, not an accepted theory that is.  At the end of this post I will list some of the books that have helped shape my understanding of the universe.

The Story of Creation

I began with the Unmoved Mover principle posited by Aristotle in his work Metaphysics. I had been struggling with my own agnosticism at the time, and had been reading the works of St. Thomas Aquinas as a part of my theology curriculum.  After much study in this area, I determined that I had become more of a Deist and that we are responsible for how our lives unfold.  The essence of Free Will.  If the Creator is intervening in our lives, then we do not truly have Free Will.  And I think this is personified even in the bible as “If a man will not work, he shall not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) [“God helps those who helps themselves” is an ancient Greek derivative of this, yet not found in the bible thusly quoted]

In the Waking Dream, the Creator set the parameters for the universe, then moved on to other places, perhaps checking in on us from time to time out of curiosity.  I have always found it quite paradoxical to think that an all supreme being would need us to worship him.  We have created a God to worship for a variety of reasons — mostly to explain the things we cannot explain.  But as time moves forward, we will require God less and less.  This is the fundamental aspect of my philosophy behind the Waking Dream.  Once we realize we are all One being, with each of us a facet of that one being, we will no longer need to rely on a God because we will realize that we are all God and One.

In the beginning, there was One — the first Immortal.  It is he who set into motion the creation of the stars, galaxies, planets.  And through this, other consciousnesses began to form in a place called The Spaces Between, the source of all the energy necessary for matter to exist.  Souls/Spirits coalesce much in the same way stars do, swirling thoughts that accreted from this primordial energy.

One is just the first, and not God.  And through him, the other Celestial Immortals were created through a predefined equation.  From his essence, the Magician and the High Priestess came into being.  They are the ones who created the parameters by which the incorporeal enter the physical realm of the Waking Dream. They also are the ones that defined the ability to affect the Waking Dream, known as Weirdness, my form of magic.

From the Magician and High Priestess, came the last of the Celestial Immortals, the Triad.  They are the Dexter who governs Order, the Sinister who governs Chaos, and the Charnel One who governs death and reincarnation.  And through the Triad the shells that our souls inhabit in the Waking Dream were created, the Sleepers.

All souls, or Dreamers and Immortals, must inhabit a body in the physical world to exist.  Once they have done so, they live out their lives and eventually Awaken to understand that the universe is a Waking Dream.  From this point, they are able to use the inherent Weirdness within all Dreamers to subtly affect the Waking Dream, making the world as it is today.  And when they die, they return to the Spaces Between to begin all over again.  A Dreamer does not consciously remember their former life, except through the phenomenon of Deja Vu.  But when they return to the Spaces Between they retain all of the knowledge of their multitude of lives.  This continues until they reach the state of Immortality, the goal of every Dreamer.

The next part in this series will explore Immortality and the differences between the Celestial Immortals and the Planet Bound Immortals.

List of References I’ve used to create the series: