Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Dream Waters Series VBT

Blurb for Dream Waters:
All his life, Charlie Oliver has watched the people around him morph into creatures that no one else sees.  Unlike the rest of the world, Charlie remembers the Waters that transport him to the Dream World each night.  And he sees glimpses of people’s Dream forms in the waking world.  Condemned to spend his waking hours in a psychiatric facility because of his Dream Sight, Charlie doesn’t expect anything to change.  But everything starts changing the day Emma Talbot walks through the door in the middle of a group therapy session.

Haunted by memories of the events that led to her admission, Emma plans to end her life the first chance she gets.  But something about Charlie stops her.  From the moment they shake hands, his friendship feels safe and familiar.  As Emma begins to let down her guard, Charlie catches a glimpse of the fiery-eyed dragon that lurks behind her Dream form.  Each night, as Emma dreams of the man who’s been banned from visiting, Charlie searches the Dream World for the monster that shadows her.  But when Emma’s suppressed memories begin to surface, Charlie finds more monsters than he bargained for.

Dream Waters Excerpt:
By the time Benjamin reached us, I half expected the dragon to bolt across the yard and devour us but it turned and followed Emma into the building.

“So, I’ll catch up with you later. Bye.” I elbowed Nellie and nudged my head toward the door hoping she’d take the hint and go inside. I didn’t know what Benjamin wanted but I doubted he’d come over to make small talk. Nellie stayed frozen next to me and her head tilted up to look at Benjamin, the fact that he was standing while we were sitting seemed to magnify his menacing aura. And it didn’t need any magnifying.

Benjamin glared at old Nellie. “Walk away woman, I have no business with you.”

Scurrying from the bench without standing fully upright, Nellie dashed for the door without saying a word.

Benjamin towered over me, peering down and the longer I looked up at him, the larger he seemed to be. “What are your intentions toward Mrs. Talbot?”

Okay. I wasn’t prepared for that question. “Um. My intention is to be her friend and watch out for her,” I muttered, relieved my voice sounded much more confident than I felt.

Brow furrowed, Benjamin sat down next to me. “You don’t desire to become more than friends?”

Well sure, I’ve got desires. But I wasn’t about to admit it to this guy. “No, of course not.”

His eyes narrowed. “Why do I find that hard to believe?”

Because she’s the hottest woman I’ve ever seen. “I don’t know Sir. My intentions are pure. I swear.”

Benjamin let out a lingering sigh and coming from him, even that sounded menacing. “I’m not eager to be the messenger that tells Emma’s husband about your friendship but let me warn you, you don’t want to make an enemy of Mr. Talbot. He treasures his wife above everything else. You think I’m frightening?”

I nodded, before realizing it was a rhetorical question, so much for coming across as confident.

Benjamin continued as if he hadn’t noticed. Probably, because it was no great surprise. “He is what frightens me.”

Character Creation

The world is chock-full of characters.  Personally, I’ve always been drawn to the quirky folks, the misfits, the people who march to the beat of their own drummer and don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.  Those people make life interesting.  What fun would it be if everybody followed the latest trends, dressed like the magazines told them to and behaved the way they were expected to?  Characters with quirks make a story interesting.  The good news is, you can find characters everywhere. 

None of my characters are modeled after real people.  That’s frowned upon…in fact, I think it can get you sued.  That said, a few of my characters are loosely based on people I’ve come across in my lifetime.  The two that jump to mind are Bob and Nellie in my debut novel, Dream Waters.  When I first created them, they were one-dimensional.  Charlie and Emma couldn’t be the only patients in the psychiatric facility, so I created Bob, Nellie and Frank to interact with them.  Over the course of the story, Bob and Nellie did what respectable characters always do.  They developed minds of their own and demanded that their stories become part of the narrative.  Little did I know—when I created the crotchety senile old man who swears like a sailor and the shriveled old woman who’s constantly crooning squeaky-voiced lullabies to a child that isn’t there—those two characters would become the favorites of many of my readers.

Bob, my potty-mouthed television-obsessed senior citizen, was loosely based on a patient at a nursing home that my Girl Scout troop visited during the holiday season many moons ago.  We went there to put on a talent show for the patients.  Another girl scout and I both took ballet lessons (this was back when I was too young to realize that I wasn’t graceful, but that’s another story), so we choreographed a little dance routine.  We showed up dressed in tutus borrowed from the ballet studio and the nursing home staff unplugged the television in the lounge to plug in our music.  Let me just say, I’m a bit of an introvert.  Performing in public has never been my thing.  Imagine my horror when we began our routine and one extremely vocal gentleman spent the entire time hollering, “Plug in the T.V.!  Plug in the T.V.!”  That brief comedic moment of childhood trauma stuck with me and became the inspiration for Bob, the television-obsessed elderly mental patient.  Bob then took on a life of his own because as any good character knows, real people are never one-dimensional.  I’m sure that gentleman at the home is long since deceased, but I’d still like to thank him for inspiring me to create one of my most beloved characters.  Bob doesn’t make an appearance in the second book of my series, but my readers loved him so much that I felt compelled to bring him back in Book Three.  I think my readers will be pleased with the direction his story ultimately takes.

Nellie, my frizzy-haired squeaky-voiced old woman who spends her time rocking and singing to a child that no one else sees, was loosely based on a patient in a long-term care facility where I did a clinical rotation during pharmacy school.  I never actually saw the woman because I was sitting in a backroom pouring over patient charts to make recommendations on their meds.  While I sat there in my white lab coat quietly doing my thing, this elderly woman would sit in the hallway and repeat the words, “I want my baby.  I want my baby…”  After several choruses of this, the nurses would hand her something.  I’m assuming it was a stuffed animal or a doll because I’m fairly confident they wouldn’t hand this woman an actual baby.  Shortly after they’d give her the “baby” she’d start in with, “Please take my baby.  Please take my baby…”  That also stuck with me enough to find its way into my first novel.  After I introduced her to the story, Nellie took matters into her own hands and ended up playing a pivotal role in the narrative.

Like I said, characters are everywhere.  As a writer, I appreciate them for the precious gems that they are, and I don’t mean that sarcastically.  No living breathing person is ever one-dimensional.  The humorous or terrifying quirks that initially define them are nothing but first impressions.  Every character, living or pen-and-ink, has a story to tell.  Every life matters, and I for one try never to forget that the grouchy customer at the pharmacy counter may have a sick child they were up all night with, or an elderly spouse who’s slowly slipping away before their eyes.  Our life experiences are what shape us into the characters that we become.  It’s a writer’s job to remember that and craft their characters accordingly.  Giving them past struggles and heartaches is the way to breathe life into them so that they step off the page and into the reader’s heart. 

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Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
Erin Jensen is a part-time pharmacist and a fulltime creator of imaginary worlds.  She lives in upstate NY with her incredibly supportive husband, two sons (who are both taller than her) and a Yorkshire terrier who thinks he’s the family bodyguard.  In the early days of her writing career, Erin vowed to get a dragon tattoo—once her books received a milestone number of reviews—but she won’t disclose that number any longer, for fear of actually reaching her goal and having to go through with it.

Website     |     Blog     |     Facebook

Buy Links:
Dream Waters: Book 1 (on sale for $0.99)
Amazon    |    Barnes and Noble    |    iBook    |    Kobo

Dream World: Book 2
Amazon    |    Barnes and Noble    |    iBook    |    Kobo


  1. This book sounds like something I'd really enjoy reading, thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Nikolina. I've really enjoyed writing the books in this series!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading, Victoria! It's been a pleasure connecting with readers and sharing a bit about myself during this tour.

  3. Thanks so much for hosting, Emily!

  4. Wow this looks intriguing... I'm looking forward for this and I'm surely buying and telling to my friends too... i have huge community of writers.. thanks for hosting. Check out my community on IG..

    1. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the post and appreciate you helping me spread the word about my books!!

  5. I really enjoy learning more about your writing process through these interviews.

    1. I'm glad you're enjoying the tour! Thanks for following!

  6. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  7. I really enjoyed your guest post.

    1. Thanks, Kim. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I had fun writing it!