By: SJ Lomas
Publication Date: June 30th, 2017
Christine would never have considered herself new recruit material for a secret U.S. agency. Until recently, she’s just been an ordinary girl graduating from high school and wondering if a friendship with Gabriel, a mysterious coworker, would grow into something romantic. When Christine’s fascination with Gabriel leads to her discovery of dreamworlds, she learns that she’s anything but ordinary. In this thrilling conclusion to Dream Girl, Christine and Gabriel must choose their allegiances and face corruption, conspiracy, and the complexities of love in order to save themselves and everyone who matters to them – or die trying.
- What is on your desk or where you write? What do you need to write? Do you have a writer’s survival kit?
I have a small house so my writing space is wherever I can sit down with my laptop. I often sit on the couch with my lapdesk, laptop, and a notebook and pen. I like to keep handwritten notes on all my books. It helps me work through plot problems or keep things straight in my notebook. Other than that, the only thing I need is music. I spend a lot of time putting together the perfect writing soundtrack for each book. Characters get their own theme songs. Scenes get a certain song. Listening to those particular tracks on repeat help me stay in the right emotional state while I’m writing. Depending on the weather, a glass of water or a cup of hot tea and some chocolate are nice to have around too.
- What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a pantser? Which came first: the novel or the title? Which do you prefer: drafting or revising?
Historically, I’ve been a pantser but I’m working toward becoming a plotter. It took me 10 years to write Dream Girl. That was complete pantser. I did a lot more plotting for Dream Frequency and it took me 3 years. I’ve done extensive plotting for the book I’m working on now. I hope I can get that all done in 1 year. We’ll see! Usually the title comes to me very early on but it took a while to hone the title for Dream Frequency. I prefer revising. Both drafting and revising are painful in their own ways, but in revising, I know I’m almost there.
- What is your number one writing tip?
Do what works for you. I hear advice all the time that if you’re a writer, you MUST write every day. That’s nice, in theory, but it just doesn’t work for my life. I work part time as a librarian, I do book reviews, I have two children. Things happen. And that’s totally ok. There’s no “right” way to do this. If you can only carve out an hour a week to write, then take it. If that hour gets filled with something unexpectedly this week, it’s not the end of the world. Try again next week.
- Describe your book in 5 words or less
Love, loss, dreamworld, conspiracy, adventure.
- A book goes through a lot of different versions and rounds of editing before it’s complete. What are some “fun facts” or behind the scenes info you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?
I had a lot of false starts opening this novel. One of them involved a lot more of Christine’s new high school experiences, including Leo becoming her surprise prom date. Unfortunately, it didn’t work with the overall pacing, so the prom scene had to go.
Near the end of the book, there’s a scene that takes place in a cave. That was a direct result of taking a family vacation to Mammoth Cave just before I finished writing the first draft.
Without giving anything away, there’s also a kiss scene that came to me in a dream. I wish I could have written the imagery as vividly as it was in the dream, but I hope it translated well for my readers.
- Do you have a special story behind your inspiration for the book?
The original inspiration was a strange dream that I had years ago. I woke up and wrote it down because I just knew it would somehow make a good story someday. It wasn’t until a couple years later when I read A Crack in the Line by Michael Lawrence that I realized that the dream would work as a young adult novel. The dream plus that book started the whole thing.
- Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble?
I really enjoyed writing Gabriel. His voice came to me very strong one day and it was fun to get into his in-the-moment way of thinking. Christine gave me more trouble. She thinks things over more and is cautious about everything. I often had to remind myself to slow down with her and stay true to her nature.
- If you could ask a character of your choice from DREAM FREQUENCY one question what would it be?
I’d ask Brett if he would do it all again, knowing what he knows.
- What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)?
That’s a surprisingly difficult question! I guess I would have to say that I was talking to my proofreader after she read through everything and she got kind of emotional about the kiss scene toward the end of the book. I really wanted that to be a powerful scene and her reaction made me think that I’d achieved at least a fraction of what I’d set out to do. That was a really great feeling.
- Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to “power through” to finish the book? Or a scene that made you very emotional?
The cave scene is the convergence of everything from both books. It was exhausting to write and I felt like every time I had to make revisions, I was going through that scene word by word again. It was grueling and I definitely powered through.
- What was the best, the worst, and the hardest thing about writing a sequel?
The best was that I got to get back into the minds of my characters again. The worst was realizing that there were things I’d set up in the first book that I wished I hadn’t. I’d changed my mind about a couple things but I had to work with it because it was already out there. So the hardest part was working with the parameters I’d set for myself even if I no longer agreed with them.
- What are the top five things we should know as a reader before starting DREAM FREQUENCY (about the main character, their love interest, the antagonist, their world/home town, their situation, etc)
Christine met Gabriel at the public library where they worked together and they had strong chemistry.
Leo and Christine have kept in touch for the past year while Gabriel’s been in training at a top secret government agency. They’ve become close friends.
The government can monitor and influence dreams.
Brett Lawrence tried to kill Gabriel last year.
Gabriel’s biological father was the greatest agent the secret agency has ever known.
- What is next for you? What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a new YA novel. This one is contemporary realistic fiction, so it’s a bit of a departure from the Dream Girl/Frequency world. It deals with family trouble, true friendship, and love…in that respect, it isn’t so different.
S.J. is a cheerful Michigan girl who writes strange and somewhat dark stories for young adults and those who love to read YA literature.Find the author:
Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. The author info, image, giveaway, and more were provided by YA Bound Book Tours.