Monday, August 29, 2011

Romancing Your Dark Side featuring Jaz Primo and Amber Scott

Today on Book Reader Addicts, authors Amber Scott and Jaz Primo are presenting a discussion on how dreams, flashbacks, and latent memories impact primary characters from each of our novels. In Amber's novel, Fierce Dawn, the inclusion of topics such as mental illness and psychological trauma intertwine to add depth to the characters and storyline. In Jaz's novel, Sunrise at Sunset, a primary character (Caleb Taylor) has traumatic childhood memories that have been blocked, and those memories attempt to manifest themselves when a forgotten individual from his past (the vampire Katrina Rawlings) reenters his life.

Jaz: So, Amber, I'm intrigued by how your character, Sadie, is plagued by dreams and other seemingly mental illness-related manifestations as part of her journey. How difficult was it to convey to the reader what her experiences were while also advancing the core storyline in a cohesive fashion? What were some of the challenges that you were faced with, and how did you overcome them?

Amber: My biggest challenge was illustrating her diagnosis while simultaneously respecting mental illness in general. I didn’t want anyone to think I was marginalizing something that affects millions. The dream sequence helped me foreshadow that her misdiagnosis was the tip of the iceberg in her becoming a changeling.

Jaz: Amber, what types of research did you do into the area of dream research and analysis techniques? Did your discoveries serve as positive revelations for further development of your characters and assist with the refinement of your storyline, or did the information that you discovered create complications for the structure and flow of your story?

Amber: I’ve long been fascinated by dream analysis and really love the Jung approach where you remove the objects or elements of a dream and replace their wording with what the element represents to you. For Sadie, she dreams of Elijah who is begging her to see, to help, to change. If she were to replace Elijah with what he represents—love, infatuation, normalcy, the unattainable—then her subconscious is revealed even more.

Jaz: As part of your research into dreams and mental illness, did it help, or perhaps challenge, your development of vampires in Fierce Dawn?

Amber: Oh, great question! I’d long ago made the connection between vampirism and addiction. If you think about it in terms of drug use, a lot of vampire lore falls into the addiction realm. The inability to see oneself in the mirror, aversion to healthy foods (garlic), a feeling of invincibility, even sensitivity to sunlight, to me sound like a junkie. So in thinking of mental illness as a sign of the human body trying to evolve, this blood as a drug falls into a denial and self-medicating arena.

Amber: So, Jaz, how is your treatment of dreams different from this in Sunrise at Sunset? What is the link to the paranormal elements for you? (PS: I adore that title!)

Jaz: In Sunrise at Sunset, the male protagonist, Caleb, has had his memories from a traumatic day during his youth blocked by the female vampire protagonist, Katrina. It is through dreams and feelings of déjà vu that his latent memories attempt to resurface during his adulthood. The link to paranormal elements is correlated to Katrina using a vampire's hypnotic abilities to block Caleb's memories during childhood.

Amber: What is it about Katrina that digs up these buried memories and dreams for Caleb?

Jaz: Following that single day during his childhood, Caleb doesn't encounter Katrina again until roughly twenty years later as an adult when she turns up as a student in his college history class. Although he doesn't recognize her, latent elements of familiarity stir in his subconscious and attempt to manifest and reassert themselves.

Amber: What is it about the human psyche that speaks paranormal to you?

Jaz: The human brain is comprised of vast, untapped areas that science has yet to unlock. It's conceivable to me that paranormal abilities could manifest themselves through the brain's inaccessible regions if only humans had a method to access them.

Amber: I totally agree! So, have you ever had recurring nightmares? Any prophetic insights from your own dreams?

Jaz: Well, I've never suffered from chronic recurring nightmares, thankfully. However, I have experienced vivid, realistic dreams (or visitations) in which departed loved ones have visited me. I swear that, upon waking, the dreams felt so tangibly real. My conversations and interactions with those individuals felt genuine and sentient. I have two distinct prophetic insights from my own dreams. First, there is something else beyond the physical plane of existence that we fleetingly dwell in here on Earth. And second, that you can occasionally experience both redemption and a sense of peaceful closure via your dreams...and those who visit you within them.

Amber: I know exactly what you mean and I just got chills!

Thank you Amber and Jaz for stopping by! I feel so much closer to your books now. :) Amber and Jaz have been very kind enough to giveaway 2 E-books each of Sunrise at Sunset and Fierce Dawn. So 4 winners! Great right?

How do you get entries?
1. Comment on the Guest Blog post telling us if you ever had reoccurring dreams and if so what were they. . If you have a question for either of these wonderful authors leave it here and if they have time they will stop by and answer.

For extra entries:
1. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, or on your blog. Leave a link where I can find it. You will get an extra entry for every place you post it.

The giveaway will end Sunday, September 4th and the winner will be announced Monday, September 5th.

 Snarling teeth, glowing eyes. Someone--something--is after her.

The man who haunts her dreams enters her reality, claiming she's transforming into a changeling--not quite immortal but no longer human.

Battlelines are drawn and blood spills as the two fight not only for her life, but for mankind's as well.

 We vampires are focused and tend to shape our own realities. My name is Katrina Rawlings, and I am a vampire. I declare that with neither pride nor ego. I am simply nature's most dangerous predator. On occasion, it's a very valuable quality. It helped me protect Caleb Taylor one day when he was very young. But that single, traumatic day is behind him now; wiped from his memory, or so I hope. Caleb has finally matured into a rather striking young man, and believe me, I like what I see. I'll readily admit that there are issues for us to confront and overcome, though a sense of mutual commitment isn't one of them. I'm feeling hopeful for our future together, in fact. But an adversary from my past has returned to haunt me, and she's trying to get back at me through Caleb. That was her first...and last...mistake. I'll protect my Caleb at all costs, and I'll make her regret the day she was born. So, I suppose that I'm not just a vampire. I'm about to become someone's worst nightmare!


  1. I have many recurring dreams. Most are scary for some reason. One that I have is where I am in a giant room. I don't "Know" I'm in one room, there are no walls but I feel like it is one room. It is filled with coffins. Each one I open is someone I love. As I've gotten older the people in them change, well, not change, but is added to. I wake up crying, feeling so alone. Ugh. I hate that dream. Thanks for the blog, it was great!

  2. Okay I absolutely LOVED this post today! You guys are amazing! Great job and well done! WOOHOO!


  3. This post was great. I found it very interesting. I have one dream or nightmare I should say I have had since I was 5. I'm 37 now. It is strange how the mind works smetimes. Thank you both for this post.

  4. I used to have this reoccurring nightmare about a battle...I can't really call it a nightmare even though many people died, it was never anyone that was familiar. This post was very different. I enjoyed it!

  5. Not really any recurring dreams... I may have dreams that may have been a bit similar in that I was getting chased and would always wake up before it ends...

    Thanks for the giveaway! I already have Amber's Fierce Dawn (read and loved it!), so I would love to be entered for Jaz's Sunrise at Sunset.