Guest J.J. DiBenedetto
Author of the Dream series
Contrary to what some (non-writers) think, being an author isn’t all fun and games, leisurely tapping out prose and then lounging around waiting for the sales to roll in. It would be great if it really were like that, but, alas, ‘tis not.
With that in mind, here are ten things I wish I’d known about being an author before I started:
- 90,000 words is A LOT to write. Seriously. As a reader, if I’m really into a book, I can plow through it in just one or two sittings. But – best case – it takes me at least three months to write that much. And that’s just for the first draft.
- You really don’t know what readers will think. No matter how carefully you plot, or how clear you think you’ve made something, readers can and will see it completely differently than you intended…
- …and you can’t argue with them. As the saying goes, the customer is always right.
- You’ll find yourself refreshing your Amazon sales report often. Maybe every hour. No matter you often you tell yourself to stop, that refresh button is RIGHT THERE, and maybe there was another sale since the last time you checked.
- Marketing is hard. Really hard. And confusing. Your job doesn’t end when the book is finished; it’s just started…
- …and it never, ever ends...
- …but there are a lot of people – people you’ve never met – who are doing the same thing you are, and for the most part they’re incredibly generous and willing to help you...
- …and you need to help them, too.
- There’s nothing better than seeing that finished book for sale, or holding the first printed copy in your hot little hands…
- Actually, there’s one thing better: finding out that there really are readers out there who like (or maybe even love) what you’ve written; that it moved them or made them think; and that they want more. From you. For real.
J.J. DiBenedetto is the author of the Dream series, and regularly blogs at www.writingdreams.net. His books can be found at www.amazon.com/author/jjdibenedetto.
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.
About J.J.'s Books
Sara Barnes (later Sara Alderson, when she’s married) starts out in book 1 as an ordinary college student, until she learns she can see into other people’s dreams. That’s the basic premise of the series. The characters who appear in previous books, who also are important in book 4, are:
Brian Alderson – Sara’s husband
Betty & Howard Barnes – Sara’s parents
Helen and Ben Alderson – Brian’s parents
Lizzie Alderson – Sara’s oldest child, age 5 ½
Steffy and Ben Alderson – Sara’s twins, age 2
Laurie Kensington – Sara’s medical partner, previously her supervisor during Sara’s residency
Grace Sorrentino – a patient of Sara’s during her residency, age 8
Paul Sorrentino – Grace’s father. Also a powerful mob boss, who Sara faced down at the end of the third book
Beth Rosewell – Sara’s best friend, dating back to college
Kat Wells – Sara’s godmother, Betty’s best friend
Rebecca Brownell – now 21 years old, she was the teenaged girl who Sara rescued from a killer at the end of the first book
Joseph Harkness – Sara’s friend from medical school, godfather to Lizzie
Mary Harkness – Joseph’s wife
What would you do if you could see other people’s dreams? If you could watch their hidden fantasies and uncover their deepest, darkest secrets…without them ever knowing?
Sara Barnes is about to find out. She thought that all she had to worry about was final exams, Christmas shopping and deciding whether she likes the cute freshman in the next dorm who’s got a crush on her.
But when she starts seeing dreams that aren’t hers, she learns more than she ever wanted to know about her friends, her classmates…and a strange, terrifying man whose dreams could get Sara killed.
“Dream Student” is the thrilling first installment of the Dreams series.
“I didn’t expect to be woken up by someone I don’t know dreaming about killing somebody. I thought I was done with that once and for all…”
But Sara’s not done with it. As if adjusting to life as a newlywed and starting medical school weren’t difficult enough, she’s started seeing the dreams of everyone around her, again. Before everything is said and done, those dreams might destroy Sara’s hopes of becoming a doctor, wreck her marriage and even end her life…
“Dream Doctor” is the thrilling second novel in the Dreams series.
"I would give anything to take this away from her. I would gladly go back to having the nightmares myself – the very worst ones, the ones that had me waking up screaming in a pool of my own vomit – rather than see Lizzie go through this..."
As a resident at Children's Hospital, Sara can handle ninety hour workweeks, fighting to save her young patients from deadly childhood diseases. But she's about to be faced with a challenge that all her training and experience haven't prepared her for: her four-year-old daughter has inherited her ability to see other people's dreams...
"Dream Child" is the suspenseful third novel in the "Dreams" series.
"Why is this so hard for me? Why am I having so much trouble? Why do I feel so helpless, so hopeless? What the hell is wrong with me?"
After tangling with murders and mobsters, not to mention medical school and three years of residency, Sara thought she could handle anything. And then the police show up without warning at her new office and arrest her for a crime she can't possibly have committed. Sara's confidence, and her grip on reality, is shattered during one terrifying night in jail.
Now, the very dreams that have endangered her life and driven her to the edge of madness may be the only thing that can help Sara find herself again...
"Dream Family" is the powerful fourth novel in the "Dreams" series.