J.W. Baccaro’s book Blood Dreams deals with mental health. The fantasy details humanity at its worse while fighting demons at its core. Every page depicts how easily we can drown in the choices we make. I invited Jason as a guest author to answer some questions and do a sort of author interview with me. Below is the result of that invitation.
A dream catcher hangs over head. Two strangers hold hands and jump into their dreams. They discover ugly truths about humanity. They run from the monsters created by the mind. They run from themselves and a past that is closing in.
The story also deals with radical beliefs, hypocrisy, the question of Consciousness, and mental illness. Addiction… J.W. Baccaro
suf·fo·cate /ˈsəfəˌkāt/ verb
die or cause to die from lack of air or inability to breathe.
“they suffocated in their sleep”
Hi Jason! It’s been awhile so what is happening in your life?
Hi Cynthia! It has been awhile! I spend my days working, writing and being with my family. I have a new German Shepherd. The day we met the litter of pups, only one of them kept following my wife and I around. Wherever we went, this little guy followed. He chose us, so it seemed. He was all Zen-like, relaxed, just totally chilling. During the ride home we were thinking of names. While driving over a bridge my wife looked down at the slow, moving water. “River” came to mind. That’s what we named him… Well, once we got home, and River warmed up to everybody…we realized his “Zen” was a disguise, because holy crap! Talk about rambunctious! He knocks everything over, including my son (playfully), chases the cats and his own tail and just goes and goes. You’d think he was doing a marathon! So…“River” was a great name, but more like a RAGING river. To this day, whenever I let him out of his pen everybody in the house—including the cats clear the path. I often say, “Release the River!”
River is so cute! And, hello kitty on your shoulder! It is great having you as guest author on my blog. I totally enjoyed reading your Guardian series. Your latest book, Blood Dreams is extremely different than your other books. Even Tree of Damnation resembled the first books as in characters, flow and story plot. While reading your other books I could easily identify being in a fantasy. Even though Blood Dreams is horrific, it is much closer to real life in my opinion. With all of that said lol what was your inspiration for such a dark tale?
Well, it all started from a vivid dream I had two years ago. It was so crazy…so vivid, as soon as I woke, I wrote it all down. So, the book was originally inspired by that, and I added to it, of course. The story also deals with radical beliefs, hypocrisy, the question of Consciousness, and mental illness. Addiction is also something I touch on, briefly. The example in Chapter Eight with the character Felix. One can see addiction is not just alcohol or nicotine, but anything that releases dopamine, bringing us pleasure. If not balanced, it can and will destroy you. Look where Felix’s addicting habit led him! That’s how powerful addiction can be. Scary stuff… Even Yolanda sees this in a certain character (whom I will not mention to keep away from spoilers) and calls him “the embodiment of addiction.”
Yes, without spoilers and without giving the story away, there is mention of OCD and it does play a pretty big role in the plot. It definitely has an impact. As it unfolds, OCD intensifies the gravity of the entire tale. How did you come up with this concept and what was your main objective?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a really dark place to be in, mentally. It’s a NIGHTMARE! I know this well, from personal experience. If not combated it will cripple your mind. And of course, that will affect loved ones too. But there is hope, and I wanted to show that hope. Everything that takes place in the second to last chapter is the real deal when it comes to facing one’s OCD. And as you can see throughout the story, Yolanda is the way she is because of that “monster” that dwells deep inside of her. “Blood Dreams” is a deep, trippy story. I knew that. So, I had to balance it out with the humor between Detective Caleb and Yolanda (Ms. Yo-Yo). 😊 I think it worked, because everyone who’s read it so far seems to absolutely love the humor and chemistry between the two characters.
Your characters are your babies. How do you see them and how were they born? I know that is a pretty loaded question and you may want to keep some of the characters secret until the reader gets there. You can pick your favorite to talk about or just an over all sense of how this grouping was developed. You have created some pretty freaky beings!
A little bit of myself is almost always involved in my characters. And of course, my past battles with OCD was a big inspiration. As for Ms. Yo-Yo? Well…she’s my ideal woman. Not only because she’s blonde and has a killer body, but her sass. I love sass or “fire” in a woman. (I wonder if my wifey is going to read this? Love you, Honey!) I’m teasing. But I do adore Yo-Yo’s sassy attitude. I love it when she studies Caleb with her eyes, admiring his biceps, but thinks his stomach looks like a deflated clown balloon! And yet underneath…she’s a sweetheart. She only wants to be loved and won’t turn a guy down just because he’s not a knockout like her. Ha!
The end is spectacular and in a very strong sense leaves a door open. Without giving anything away or creating spoilers do you have a second book in mind?
I’m not sure. I thought about it. Perhaps exploring the dream catcher a little deeper, getting into its origin that is. Though “Blood Dreams” works as a standalone novel, I did leave it open. Just in case…
Besides a possible second book or complete series based on Blood Dreams, are there any other stories you want to tell?
Oh yes. Currently I’m working on the Ultimate Edition of my original fantasy story. I’m really excited about it! This time around there will be a character and creature list, and even a map of Seventh-Realm Earth. I’m also tweaking it a bit. Obviously, nothing major, but I feel it will read and flow so much better this time around. This story…Darshun’s story has always been my baby!
Afterward I plan on writing Talvenya’s story, how she became the Dark Queen of Asgoth (already have the first chapter written. It probably will not go the way readers predict. As always, I like doing something different with each novel). There is also Mirabel’s story—how he came to be known as “Mirabel the Great.” And I plan on writing a Nasharin origin story. Finally, if I’m still alive, lol, I’d like to do one final book with Darshun. Already have an idea in mind and thinking of calling it “Worlds Apart.” It’s…fermenting. 😊
Thank you for the lovely questions, Cynthia. It’s always a pleasure being on your blog site.
Also, if anyone reading this suffers from OCD, I recommend you seek help. Please don’t fight it alone like I did. I had to hit rock bottom before admitting I needed some help. And the thing is, somebody who suffers from Pure O (mental compulsions and rituals instead of physical), like I did, people around you don’t even know it because they can’t see it. My main place of employment, nobody knew about the hellish, mental anguish I was going through…every…single…day! On the outside you appear normal, healthy. But within the mind a terrible war is raging. Staying within that war, or HELL is no way to live. It hurts… But There IS help out there. Just be sure your therapist’s specialty IS OCD
A great podcast to listen to on youtube is “The OCD Stories.” https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfdYcA62Vip6EFKKLUij-4g/featured
Ali Greymond is another fantastic person for inspiration and help. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1qeEI9khAj7YpYXUDuADIw
Okay, I don’t want to turn this book blog site into a therapy session so I will cease my words here. Ha!
Thanks again, Cynthia!!