Monday, November 2, 2015

Interview with J.J. DiBenedetto, author of 'The Dream' series

J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve university, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.

He currently lives in
Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he's not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.

The "Dreams" series is James' first published work.
For More Information

Title: The Dream Series
Author: J.J. Dibenedetto
Publisher: Writing Dreams
Pages: 280 (each book)
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Sara Barnes thought her life was perfectly ordinary – until the night she began stepping into other people’s dreams.

Follow Sara as she learns to cope with this extraordinary gift (or curse) in the Dream Series:

 It’s bad enough that, thanks to her supernatural talent, Sara is learning more than she ever needed to know about her friends and classmates, watching their most secret fantasies whether she wants to or not.  Much worse are the other dreams, the ones she sees nearly every night, featuring a strange, terrifying man who commits unspeakable crimes.  Now Sara wonders if she’s the only witness to a serial killer – and the only one who knows when and where he’s going to strike next.

Medical school and life as a newlywed would be enough by themselves for anybody to handle.  But Sara’s got another problem – her dreams have started up again.  Almost everyone at the medical school is dreaming about the death of the school’s least popular teacher, Dr. Morris, and once again, Sara finds herself in the role of unwilling witness to a murder before it happens.  But this time, there are too many suspects to count, and it doesn’t help matters that she hates Dr. Morris every bit as much as any of his would-be murderers do.

Sara thought she had made peace with her dreaming talent, but she’s got a surprise coming: her four-year-old daughter has inherited it, too.

Unraveling a mystery with lives on the line is difficult enough under the best of circumstances.  But when Sara has to view all the evidence through the eyes – and dreams - of a toddler, it may be an impossible task.

For More Information

  • The Dream Series is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I ‘m a big science fiction geek, so a lot of movies & TV.  I like to cook.  I’m an opera fanatic.  And I’m a huge New York Giants fan, too.

When did you start writing?

Back in high school.  I finished the first draft of what eventually became DREAM STUDENT after college, 15 years ago.  But I let it sit on my computer for years, until a friend published her first novel about 3 years ago, and I asked myself, “Why not me, too?”  So I dusted it off, rewrote it from page one, and now I’ve got ten books out!

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When I sent the final draft of DREAM STUDENT out for an evaluation and I got back positive feedback.  Up until that point, I didn’t know if I really had a book anybody would want to read.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Paris.  Just because I loved it on my one visit there, and I’d take any excuse to go back there.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Sleep, probably.  I know that sounds boring, but the cat had me up at 4:45 AM this morning, so some extra sleep would be a good thing!

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I’ve got an outline in my head for a big, sprawling, epic science fiction story.  I just need to figure out how to actually make my ideas make sense on paper.

Back to your present book, DREAM  STUDENT, how did you publish it?

It’s self-published.  I decided from the start I was going to go that route, and I got a lot of help from friends and fellow authors I met on Facebook, Kboards and elsewhere to guide me along.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

No, but the college Sara attends in the book is a (very thinly) veiled version of the college I actually went to, so I think that counts for research.

Why was writing DREAM STUDENT so important to you?

Mainly just because I needed to prove to myself I could do it.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

They come from pretty much anywhere – movies or shows I’ve seen, things that happen to friends or family, and then maybe a little twist to turn them into something that will fit into the books.  And sometimes it’s just asking the question of “what happens next” after I finish a book, and seeing whether the answer is something I can turn into another story.

Any final words?

Thanks for having me here today!

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