Thursday 9 November 2017

Blog Tour Guest Post - Actuality by D.K. Smith

Author: D.K. Smith
Release Date: July 2017
Keywords: Suspense, Drama, Mystery, Science Fiction, REM, Sleep, Dreams
Categories: Science Fiction / Adventure
Pages: 245
ISBN: 978-1548842604
Imprint: Howling Wolf

One Liner:
Science reasons that during REM sleep the mind disconnects from sensory input from the world around it.

Book Description:
Science reasons that during REM sleep the mind disconnects from sensory input from the world around it. Professor Victor Melburn has worked for years to disprove that notion. His argument is that the mind of a sleeping person, and thus the person themselves, can connect to and even interact with the world around them… through memories. What if the professor is correct? If a sleeping person consciously interacts with the world around them, are they really asleep? If the connection and interaction is made through memories, would the person be interacting with the past or the present? The chance for the research to finally reach new heights is within reach, but the window of opportunity is rapidly fading. With an assembled team of student researchers professor Melburn makes one last push to accomplish his goal. All of the theories are prematurely tested by the deep-seated desires of one student researcher. The results far surpass all expectations… for better and for worse.

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The best stories come from real life incidents. I look for things that by themselves wouldn’t make a good story, but with some creativity and a cast of compelling characters can be built into something exciting. For example, I ran into a good friend in a Barnes & Noble one day. He was reading a book on lucid dreaming. He was fascinated by the topic and we exchanged thoughts on the subject. After our conversation ended and he walked away, he left the book in his seat. I picked it up and glanced through and from that brief exposure to the topic of lucid dreaming, my curiosity grew into a created theory about the human mind being able to interact with the past through memories once reaching REM sleep.

The same for the characters. I watch people. I see how people respond to situations and listen to the things they do and say. Some traits are interesting and just fit with a particular story. I take one or two basic traits and from there I let the character evolve. Some characters are created or evolve based on the progression of the story. It’s weird, I just try to keep the characters authentic without being too structured in how I create them.

My writing process is totally unconventional. I don’t do character sheets, I don’t do tons of research in advance. I just write. As the story calls for research, I do it. But rules tend to kill my creativity. Once I get an Idea in my head I start writing and let the story lead me. I have a few character traits in my head and as I write a story I let the character dictate the action based on what I know about them. I asked myself ‘do we know what’s going to happen when we wake up each morning? Do we know today what our experiences will be tomorrow?’ Obviously, the answer was/is no. So, my approach to writing is based on that premise. If as people we don’t know how life will turn out in advance and we live based on responses to what we encounter, then I want my characters to live that same organic experience.

For me, writing in this way allows for much more freedom and allows for the story to playout like it would in real life. The single most exciting part of the process to me is actually watching the story evolve. Like I said earlier, I let the story lead me, so it’s an adventure. While I’m writing I live in the characters world and it’s like watching a movie for me.

With Actuality the possibilities were so wide open because we’re dealing with a subject that is outside the realm of possibility. What I wanted to do was to as much as possible create a sci-fi story that could at times feel completely within the realm of possibility. We’ve all had dreams that felt real, so real in fact that when our eyes opened we wondered, if only for a brief moment, if what played out in our heads actually happened. Imagine having that experience, but then realizing that while you were dreaming, you were wide awake and that everything you did in your dream had a definite impact not just in your head, but in the real world around you. Imagine having that experience over and over. Think about what that would do to your head. One of my favorite parts of Actuality is when the lead character, Jacob, falls asleep, interacts with his past and while he is within that interaction he falls asleep. So imagine yourself dreaming and then within your dream you actually fall asleep and wake up, while still dreaming. The experience blurs the lines of reality for Jacob over time. In short that’s what actuality is, when the line between thought and reality gets crossed.

About the Author
A native of Los Angeles, D.K. Smith began his writing career after getting news that he would soon become an uncle. Wanting to create stories and characters for his expected niece, he created the children’s book series “Sock n Boots Adventures.” The two characters (three year old Sock and five year old Boots) began to make names for themselves, generating downloads in countries around the world. From there, the love of storytelling blossomed into novels across multiple genres.

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