Interview with Susan Obijiski

Tell us about your book. How did you come up with the titles for the books?
Dreams of the Many and Dreams of the Few are the first two books in the Legacy of Dreams three-book series. The genre is what I would call 'metaphysical fiction'. The title for Dreams of the Many relates to the ten strangers Casey calls to his dream world to help him complete a very important journey. Each dreamer is challenged to face their fears and, as the story unfolds, we discover that, although Casey has been labeled as damaged by society, the adults he has chosen to help him are, in their own way, more damaged and disabled. The title for the second book, Dreams of the Few refers to the smaller group of dreamers who venture off on the second journey.
Did you self-publish, or go the traditional route, and why?
As you know, publishers no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts and it is difficult to get the attention of a literary agent. I did a lot of research before selecting a self-publishing house and settled on a very dependable, reputable self-publishing house. I also published the novel for Kindle and Nook readers.
Who is your favorite character in the Legacy of Dreams book series, and why?
That's a tough question to answer. I love all of the characters for different reasons. If I had to choose one, I would say that I am most attached to the main protagonist; our begrudging hero, actor Brody Murphy. He is colorful and, I think, he is an interesting character simply because he is a flawed human being with many problems and challenges in his life and he is trying very hard to overcome his fears and demons and to live a better life. He doesn't always make the right decisions, and he has certainly made some bad choices in his life, but he is trying and we can all relate to his struggles. In the process of writing the second book. I found myself falling in love with all the characters again and discovering new things about them as the book progressed. Brody continues to be a favorite but I think that is because he figures so heavily in the second book. I had to spend a lot of time with him. As I outlined more of his back story and the travails of his childhood, I found myself gaining a renewed respect for this character and his steadfast commitment to his familiy and friends.
Where can readers find your novel in print?
Dreams of the Many and Dreams of the Few are both available on Barnes and Noble and Amazon in paperback, as well as on independent book sties and on the SBPRA (publisher) site where I have an author page. They are also available in eBook form on many sites, including Kindle and NOOK and in the iBooks Apple store.
Do you have a blog to which readers can subscribe?
Yes, you can find it at http://dreamsofthemanysusanobijiski.blogspot.com/. My blog is designed to help other writers with the writing process and has articles on creating characters, writing an outline and other facets of the writing process. I also throw in other topics that are related to my novel and to those who love reading and writing. Readers can also get information about the 'Legacy of Dreams' series, book signings and topics on my web site www.susanobijiski.com, and follow links to 'Like' us and follow us on FaceBook or on Twitter.
Tell us a little bit about the new book, Dreams of the Few
Dreams of the Few is the second book in the Legacy of Dreams, three-book series. I loved revisiting the characters and discovering where they were on their personal and collective journeys. It was like visiting with old friends! When we join the dreamers in the second book, Casey is quite a bit older. This novel provides more insight into Brody's demons and, in some respects, it was difficult to writel. But, it gives us a better understanding of who he is. I hope my readers will find the journey rewarding.
Can you share any secrets about the third book of the series?
I'd like to, but I think I have to hold off on that. For those readers who were perplexed by the ending of the second book, I will just say that there is a lot more ground to cover...so don't give up!
Are your books available in eBook formats?
Yes, my readers can find nearly every popular format of Dreams of the Many and Dreams of the Few on the Smashwords site.
Do you remember the first book you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It wasn't the first book I ever read, but it was the book that had the biggest influence on me as a young person. When I started to read The Hobbit, I was carried into another world and I had my first experience of getting lost in an environment with characters created by a great author. J.R.R. Tolkien definitely influenced me as a young person and I read his books numerous times.
How do you approach cover design?
I was very fortunate to be paired with a great cover designer for my first book and he captured the look and feel of the world I created in Dreams of the Many and the exact image and look of the little boy, Casey, who draws all the other characters into his dream. For my second book, Dreams of the Few, I went with a close-up of a 'rainbow tree' which figures prominently in the story. I chose a dreamy blue color to match the cover of Dreams of the Many, so that the book series would have the same look and feel.
What do you read for pleasure?
Oh, that's an easy one! Stephen King is definitely a favorite. I love the way he takes the world and stands it on his head and stretches his characters to take an ordinary person and illustrate how extraordinary circumstances can change them or bring out different qualities. I also love his ability to capture and use pop culture, music and other familiar references in the pages of his books. That approach allows the story to 'live in reality' and makes the situations and characters seem like they might be happening in your own home town.
Describe your desk
My desk is in my bedroom and I don't have much room to dedicate to a home office or writing space so I have to be organized and neat in my approach to my work. One of the greatest benefits I have is that I can look out my window as I write and see the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. That is the source of great inspiration for me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind the Legacy of Dreams triology has many components. The dream environment where Brody and his friends spend most of their time was inspired by the high desert of Arizona (where I now live). Brody's background and life were inspired by a number of friends and acquaintances who suffered significant challenges and abuse as children and, in spite of those challenges, became wonderful human beings who are committed to friends and family and to doing the right thing. Casey's childhood autism diagnosis was inspired by numerous acquaintances who had or have children who are diagnosed somewhere along the autism spectrum. I wanted to paint a picture of this child that reminds people that children (and adults) who face these types of challenges are individuals who have wonderful gifts and talents to share and they should not be labeled.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating an environment that inspires others to find and use their individual gifts and a place where readers can get lost. I love to create images in the minds of my readers and immerse them in the world I created so they can get lost and find themselves - all at the same time!
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! When someone invests the time to read a book I have written, it is a signifiant commitment. I truly appreciate that investment and love that they are willing to take this journey with me.
What are you working on next?
I have a few projects in various stages of completion. One will likely take quite a while to come to fruition. The other is the story of a young woman's life (told at the end of her journey by the woman herself) and the trials and tribulations of living with a neglectful, self-centered mother.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My husband and I own and manage a retail store in Sedona, AZ selling unique jewelry, fossils and mineral specimens. That keeps us busy. We also love to hike and enjoy reading (of course) and movies.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I always wrote essays, short stories and poetry. The first time I started to write and keep these was when I was about twelve years old.
What is your writing process?
Sometimes I start with an outline and sometimes I start with just an idea. It varies and depends on how the inspiration strikes me. I write when I can but try to stay on a schedule to make progress.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can remember reading J.R.R. Tolkien and falling in love with his imagery, his detail and his characters and stories.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Michigan, surrounded by rivers, lakes and streams. I think my writing style and the values that inform my characters are definitely linked to an idyllic childhood in a small community and beautiful natural landscape.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It is nearly impossible to get the attention of a major publishing house or literary agent in today's competitive publishing market. While independent publishing is costly, it can provide access to readers and allow would-be authors to become published authors.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I live in a paradise called Sedona, Arizona. If I can make it to my bedroom window, I can fill the tank with enough inspiration to get me through the day, the week, the month and the year!
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, Harper Lee
What are your five favorite books, and why?
To Kill a Mockingbird - profound, moving with great characters, a striking picture of a world gone by (but not so long ago)
The Stand - a stark picture of post-apocalyptic society written before the more recent alien and disaster stories. Scary as all get out!
The Lord of the Rings - epic, fantastic, broad and detailed with great characters I love.
The Gold Finch - gritty, grounded with fun inside peeks into the art world.
The Hobbit - the book that started the obsessive fan world, complete with elvin language, middle earth maps and heroic characters who are, as is so often the case, nothing but normal people in extraordinary circumstances.
Published 2016-03-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Crackle & Wheeze
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 17,510. Language: American English. Published: July 31, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Themes & motifs » Family sagas
Crackle & Wheeze tells the story of Agitta Marie and her younger sister, Bedehlia. It is a story of life on the road in the mid-1900s, and a mother who sells her children into prostitution. Agitta writes of her life, her struggle to rise above, her efforts to protect her young sister and her decline into hopelessness. It is a tale of poverty, betrayal and survival.
Dreams of the Exile, Legacy of Dreams Book III
Series: Legacy of Dreams. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 121,620. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Actor Brody Murphy is once again embroiled in a dream created by his protégé, Casey Wheeler. While the world mourns his absence, Brody faces the destruction of his virtual world. In the dream, Brody faces the manifestation of his dead father and discovers that if he is to return to the real world, he must come to grips with his family’s past. The race to save Brody is on, but can he be saved?
Dreams of the Few - Legacy of Dreams, Book II
Series: Legacy of Dreams. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 212,140. Language: American English. Published: June 10, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
Dreams of the Few is the second in the three book Legacy of Dreams series. Once again, renowned New York stage actor Brody Murphy must put aside his life and career, and step into a dream world to rescue Casey Wheeler. After seven years of sobriety, and a new life with his wife and son, Brody is faced with the prospect of returning to the nightmare world he once escaped.
Dreams of the Many
Series: Legacy of Dreams. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 146,660. Language: English. Published: February 20, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Inspirational
This metaphysical odyssey blurs the lines between reality and fantasy. When his dream first started actor Brody Murphy didn’t know they would change his life and test his sanity. A young autistic boy named Casey controls Brody’s dream, and the outcome will determine Casey’s future. This far-reaching novel is about shared humanity, and our capacity to overcome fear, and be what we were meant to be.