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The view inside my noggin is chock-full of variety. It contains scenery never before seen, colors not yet named, smells not catalogued, tastes so complex they defy description. Everything, from the lushest of palaces to the most barren of deserts, swirls together in a kind of mental whirlwind: wild, chaotic, and free.
I’m not gonna lie: it overwhelms me. It also challenges me. I imagine my job as an artist, albeit a verbal one, is to take this rich, saturated landscape and use the medium of words to render it understandable to everyone else.
Sometimes I’m frustrated with the limitation of words, sometimes overwhelmed by the vastness of vocabulary and grammar. Always, though, I’m exhilarated by the challenge of using words to paint my inner landscape, to sing my interior song.
I recently moved from Los Angeles to a small city in South Dakota. On the rare occasion that I look beyond the keyboard and the (inevitable) cat squishing itself between it and my monitor, it’s to glance outside the window directly to the left of my work station. Outside lies something that looks a lot like my childhood. I wasn’t born in South Dakota, but this state looks and feels an awful lot like Idaho, where I spent the first twenty-seven years of my life. It has the same small-yet-wide-open feel, the same pine trees, the same conservative political signs and jacked-up pickup trucks.
Not incidentally, I also spy with my little eye the sky. Angelenos, you might be surprised to learn the sky is blue everywhere, not just at the apex of the bowl of gray-brown that cups the horizon.
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Reed Jayvyn is an ex-Army vet, penniless and living in his truck. After saving a young man from attackers, he finds himself embroiled in a superhuman drama between the Broschi and the Clan, two groups engaged in a centuries-long war. Worse, he finds he is one of them—a Broschi, a psychic vampire that feeds off the pain of humans. But Reed’s greatest surprise comes each night, when he finds himself dreaming of a fierce, nameless woman.
She is dreaming. So says the handsome man who uses his heretofore latent psychic ability to flicker in and out of her dreamscape. With Reed’s help, she slowly learns more about who she is, why she is here, what trauma in her past keeps her locked inside her mind. Meanwhile, Reed explores his own heritage, discovering enemies and allies in unexpected places.
But most important to Reed is freeing this woman caught in an endless loop of nightmares, someone he considers in every way to be the woman of his dreams.