Dreaming in the Pages

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Najeev Raj Nadarajah and all things "Dream Caster" @NRNadarajah #Fantasy #MustRead

  • 1.     What gave you the idea for Dream Caster?
My idea for Dream Caster was spawned by a bad dream. Rather cliché, right? But it’s the truth.
A single funneled cloud swooped down upon the CN Tower. People stood and watched, confused. Was it a tornado? No one knew for sure. And then the funnel touched down. Thunder without sound rippled through the world, toppling buildings and upturning large plates of land. There was chaos everywhere. Screams of horror. Then utter blackness. That is all I will tell you of that dream.
A week later, I began working at the University of Toronto and was struck by a series of déjà-vu. With that, Dream Caster began to write itself.
  1. How long did it take you to write Dream Caster?
It all started with a challenge. A challenge that produced results that was so unthinkable that at the time, I did exactly that. I refused to think about it.
It’d taken me three months to plan out the four books and figure out all the necessary background work. Three months in which my fingers slaved for long hours, fueled by excitement for what I felt could someday become a series that would find its way into peoples’ hearts.
And then I ran into the inevitable. I hit a mental block.
A month went by and then two. Until one day, my cousin decided to drop by and pay me a visit at Robarts Library where I work. Somewhere between her unwrapping the wax paper from her sub and me draining my coffee, the conversation had found its way to the series I’d been working on, or should have been working on.
At that point, she challenged me. I’d been handed a deadline: July 3rd, 2012. I had four months to write, read, edit, reread, reedit and complete a 90,000 word novel.
Perhaps she knew my weakness, perhaps she didn’t. But the fact was she had presented to me a test that I simply could not back down from.
The challenge was accepted and that very same day I wrote my first chapter.
So how long did it take me to write the manuscript for Dream Caster?
Let’s just say that I don’t lose so easily ;)
  1. How and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always enjoyed telling stories and as far back as my memory goes, I’ve always wanted to write. However, if I was to choose one event, one book, one writer, or one awakening that set me on the right path, it would have to be during my first year of middle school.
I was eleven-years-old when I first came across a book called ‘Hatchet’. It was a survival story about a boy who gets lost in the wilderness following a plane wreck in northern Canada. I’ve always had a love for nature, for animals, and the wilderness itself. So as a result, the story drew me in at once and plunged me into a world which I thought could not possibly exist in something small enough to rest within the palms of my hands.  Having ploughed through Hatchet, I began a year in which I consumed novel after novel until I’d read nearly a dozen of Gary Paulsen’s works. And then one summer day, I picked up a pen and a notepad, and began writing. I began writing about a boy and his dog that survive the Canadian wilderness through bitter cold, utter starvation, and overcome insurmountable odds. Alas, that story did not make it past its first few pages. It was an awful start, but a start nonetheless. Besides, what more could one expect from an eleven-year-old?
A year later, while browsing through a rack filled with books, my fingers stumbled upon a tattered old spine. Overcome with curiosity, I plucked it off the shelf and read the title: The Hobbit… and that's how it began.
  1. When did you begin writing?
My love for Middle Earth grew and grew until I was positively sure that I wouldn’t rest until I too had become an author. I was nineteen-years-old when I first put pen to paper—figuratively speaking, of course, and began writing an epic fantasy novel that took up nearly five years of my time. In the end, that book was buried away and hasn’t seen the light of day since. It was not until a couple of years after that I was struck with an idea that soon blossomed into, what is now, the Dream Cycle. And here we are now, with two of the four books completed, and the third one currently being written.
  1. Did you use any real life experiences (besides the dreams themselves) within the series?
I didn’t use any real life experiences, but at the same time, I used a ton of real life elements. What I mean by that is I wanted to keep my personal experiences out of the story. Mainly because I live in a world that’s entirely different to that of Weaver’s, so there is no way that I, or anyone else for that matter, will ever be able to truly relate to his experiences. However, I did use the city of Toronto, as well as the downtown University of Toronto campus, along with a few other choice locations that I’m fond of and am familiar with as the backdrop for the story. Perhaps, in a sense, I did use some of my experiences, but not to a great degree. I also touch upon our current world in certain places, mostly to open my readers’ eyes to the world about them.
  1. Is there a message in the book Dream Caster that you want readers to understand? 
There was one underlying message I wanted my readers to grasp, and it’s that we’re taking our world for granted. We’re taking everything around us for granted.
  1. How would you describe your writing style?
Until reviews for Dream Caster began trickling in, I always believed that I didn’t have much of a style. Then people began to point out how much they enjoyed the vividness of my imagery and the unique writing style I brought to the genre. There, however, were a few who didn’t quite like my style of dialogue, seeing as I chose to have my characters speak in a slightly archaic, fantasy-esque style of English. Then again, there were those who absolutely loved the style as well. You can’t please everyone, right?
  1. Is there any advice you can give to debut authors trying to market their first book.
The hardest part about being a new author is gaining exposure. Whether you’re self published or published through a large publishing house, it can take anywhere from a few weeks, upwards of months (and sometimes, never) to do this. This is why, in order to be successful, one must a) practise patience, because success doesn’t always come overnight; b) be persistent. Set goals and stick to achieving them, and c) be prepared to relentlessly pursue their goal for as long as it takes.
Haunted by memories of his massacred settlement, sixteen-year-old Weaver seeks cover in a hidden refuge among the remains of a ruined city. In the midst of building a new life, Weaver discovers that he has the amazing power to cast his dreams into reality. Convinced it’s just an anomaly, Weaver ignores it. That is until he learns of a mysterious man who shares the ability, and uses his power to bring nightmares into existence and wage war on the world. The peaceful life Weaver hoped for begins to unravel as waves of chaos begin to break loose about him. In a race against time, Weaver must learn to accept his role as a dream caster and master his new power, before his new home is destroyed and humanity is pushed to the brink of extinction.
Buy @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
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