Susan M. Obijiski – Dreams of the Many

Can you tell us a little bit about your book?

Dreams of the Many

It is a fictional story about a boy who is diagnosed as autistic. In fact, his symptoms come from a very different source. Casey pulls a group of strangers into his dream and that dream forces each of them to face their fears. Brody is the leader of this hapless group. He is a New York stage actor who is forced to lead the dreamers through the mine field – or more aptly, through the mind field. The book is about about shared goals, and about friendship, perseverance and hope. I hope my readers will enjoy the journey!

Tell us about your background. Have you always been a writer?

I have a rather eclectic background. I have worked in medicine, theater, music, the corporate world, software development, consulting, holistic bodywork and other fields. Writing is, and always will be, my one constant! It is my passion. I try to take what I see every day and create parables for life. I write about situations where ordinary people find themselves in extraordinary situations.

How old were you when you decided you wanted to be a writer?

I started when I was about twelve, writing in a journal – not a diary!. My journal consisted of poetry, haiku and ramblings inspired by John Hartford, and Peter McWilliams, Edgar Allen Poe and others. As you can see, my inspiration came from an eclectic group of writers. Writing was a means of expression for a shy girl who thought she had something to say.

Is there a reason you decided to write this particular book?

The book came out of a life challenge. My life has changed a lot in the past five years. I moved across the country, and left a life I had known for 20 odd years. It made me question who I was and whether I could overcome the obstacles I created. No matter how different we think we are, in fact, we are all the same at our core and I think this story is something that every reader can relate to on some level.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Getting it done! I am really busy with other projects so, for me, it is all about capitalizing on time. If I am ‘in the zone’, I can write for hours and it will feel like minutes. But, if I have too many other distractions, I am likely to write one or two pages and call it a day. If you can’t crawl into the world within the book and truly inhabit it, the writing isn’t going to sing.

The title is interesting. Why did you name the book, ‘Dreams of the Many’?

The reader will understand the reference to the storyline within the first 50 pages, but there is a deeper meaning to the title, as well. If we look at our shared humanity, our individual dreams really are ‘the dreams of the many’. Whether we are hoping for world peace or a stable economy, we are all dreaming about hope, prosperity and happiness!

Some writers like to include special references to people, or places in their novels. Are there are secrets you’d like to share?

People who know me will recognize locations and references and probably even some people. For example, I grew up outside Pontiac, Michigan and there is a throw away reference to Pontiac in the book. Like most authors, I tend to write about people and places I know and I sometimes combine one or two people into one character. Some have suggested that Brody is based on a specific actor, but that isn’t a question I am willing to answer. We all have to have our little secrets, don’t we?

Do you write for a specific type or kind of reader?

I would say that the ideal reader would be someone who loves to dream and escape the mundane world around them; one who believes that, with enough hard work and dedication, a dream can be fully realized. I don’t write about history or clinical dissection of a subject. My readers are everyday people who have big dreams and a healthy dose of hope. Everyone likes to believe in those things.

What are you reading these days? Any favorite authors or books?

I love Stephen King and Peter Straub. Ayn Rand, and J.R.R. Tolkien were first loves. I devoured ‘The Lovely Bones’, ‘The Color Purple’, and Alex Haley’s work. I am drawn to authors, playwrights and screen writers who turn the world on its ear and create their own reality. But, I am also a fan of the classics. I’m NOT a fan of romance novels – but I am always willing to be convinced, so if any romance author wants to send me a copy of their book, I would be happy to reconsider!

Is there another book in the works?

Thank you for asking. I am working on the second book in this series. I won’t give you any spoilers. Let’s just say that Casey and Brody still have some surprises up their sleeves.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Three things: First, write EVERY DAY. You don’t get better if you don’t write. Second, write about your passion and about what you know. Unless you can pay for research or travel to the ends of the earth to experience life, you should focus first on things you understand. Your words will ring true if you can see and feel what you write. Third, NEVER expect to have a major publisher look at an unsolicited manuscript. Self-publishing is an option but be sure you find the most reputable company and one with complementary services to help you edit, market and sell. Family and friends will always buy your book but if you want to be a marketable author, you have to get the book into the mainstream.

If our readers want to find out more about your book, where can they get the details?

The book is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other retail sites, and you can order it through your local bookstore with this information: DREAMS OF THE MANY (ISBN: 978-1-61204-099-8). or order it directly from the publisher at http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/DreamsOfTheMany.html