Thursday, August 6, 2015

Readers Meet Author J.J. (James) DiBenedetto & Discover his Dream Series

It’s strange to be writing the last book of a series.  After three years and ten books, I feel like I’m moving away from childhood friends to a new town where I don’t know anyone.  The characters of the Dream Series, especially my heroine, Sara, really do feel like friends, or even family.  I know them better than I know a lot of the people I’m acquainted with in real life, and sometimes I think I know them better than I know myself.

Dream Student
It’s actually been a lot longer than three years.  The first draft of what eventually became Dream Student was written in 1997 or so.  I had the original idea - someone who could step into other people’s dreams – and Sara sprang to life immediately.  She didn’t change much from the first draft to the final edition of the book you can download from Amazon today (although she’s certainly been through a lot in the nine subsequent books!).  She was always shy, reserved, smart, big-hearted and always the last one in the room to get a joke.  But she – and I – discovered that she was also brave, impulsive, passionate, and very human. 

Honestly, when I write her story, I sometimes feel as though I’m reporting events from her life rather than creating them.  I’ve watched her graduate college and medical school, get married, have children, nearly get herself killed on multiple occasions and a lot more besides.  I hope I’ve done her justice.  I like to think that if Sara could read the books, she’d be pleased with the job I’ve done.

Dream Child
I’m nearly finished with the tenth and final book, Dream Wedding.  I knew from the third book on where and when the series would end.  Dream Student takes place in 1989-90, when Sara is a junior in college (not at all coincidentally, I was a junior in college then, too), and each book has jumped ahead in time.  Dream Student ends with Sara applying to medical school, and about to become engaged to her boyfriend.  When her daughter showed up in book three, Dream Child, I knew that I had to end the series by bringing it up to the present (or close, at least); and I knew it would come full circle, with Sara’s daughter, Lizzie, getting married, too (or at least, planning to – as of chapter 13, there’s some tension between Lizzie and her fiancé).

I like the place I’ve chosen to end the series.  There are plenty of stories left to tell about Sara and her family, and I can always go back.  But I want to leave them at a good place in their lives, and I think it’s going to work out that way. 

The Dream Series books are all available on Amazon (And Audible Audiobooks, too!), and more information about them is available at my website as well.

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  1. Thanks for featuring me today!

  2. Always a pleasure to highlight your series - it's so riveting!