Thursday, January 9, 2020

Colleen Oakley is a dream come true...plus a book giveaway

Photo by Sarah Dorio
We're pleased to have Colleen Oakley back at CLC today. She was first here five years ago to promote her debut, Before I Go. Her latest novel, You Were There Too, published this week and it's already receiving some great buzz. Check out Melissa A's review for even more accolades. In honor of her latest novel being about dreams, she's here to talk about the topic. She's encouraging readers to share strange dreams with her, as well. She even has a copy of You Were There Too for one lucky reader!

Colleen Oakley is the critically acclaimed author of Before I Go and Close Enough to Touch. Colleen’s novels have been long-listed for the Southern Book Prize twice and short-listed for the French Reader’s Prize. Her books have been translated into 18 languages, optioned for film and have received numerous accolades including:

*Indie Next List Pick Jan 2015 and March 2017

*People magazine Best New Book

*Library Journal Big Fiction Debut

*Publisher’s Lunch Buzz Books

*Pop Sugar’s Books We Can’t Wait to Read

*Real Simple’s Best Books List

*Bookbub’s 12 New Books to Read If You Love Jodi Picoult

A former magazine editor for Marie Claire and Women’s Health & Fitness, Colleen’s articles and essays have been featured in The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook, Parade, Woman’s Day, Marie Claire and Martha Stewart Weddings. A proud graduate of the University of Georgia’s school of journalism, Colleen currently lives in Atlanta with her husband, four kids and the world’s biggest lapdog, Bailey. (Bio adapted from Colleen's website.)

Visit Colleen online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram


Synopsis:
Mia Graydon's life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too—unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of it, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he's been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?
(Courtesy of Amazon.)


Only in My Dreams

I’ve always been a very vivid dreamer. I still remember dreams (and nightmares!) that I had when I was a young as 3 or 4. And I find them absolutely fascinating. Why do we dream? Why are they often so strange? Do they mean anything or are they simply a byproduct of neuronal activity (your brain processing information and creating new circuit connections) during the night, as some scientists theorize?

That’s why, when I was writing an article for WebMD a few years ago about sleep and I came across some research on dreams, it stopped me in my tracks. This study posited that there was enough anecdotal evidence to say that mutual dreaming—two people sharing a dream about each other on the same night—is a real phenomenon. I was flummoxed! I’d heard of it before—and of course I’d seen the movie Inception, but for the scientific community to support it, even though they had no idea why or how it happened—was incredible to me.

And as a novelist, it got my wheels turning. I, like a lot of people have nights when I dream of a specific person—usually someone I haven’t thought of in years. An ex-boyfriend, a crush, or even just a random acquaintance from high school. And I always wonder when I wake up from one of those—why did that person come into my mind just then? Does it mean something? And did that person dream about me, too? And I knew there was a really interesting story idea hiding here. While mutual dreaming usually happens to people who know each other really well—best friends, siblings, couples—I wondered, what would it mean if two strangers were dreaming about each other. And then ran into each other in real life?

What would that mean? Why would they be dreaming about each other? And to complicate things (because that’s what novelists do best), what if the woman was married to someone else when she ran into the man she’d been dreaming about? (Insert dramatic DUN-DUN-DUNNNNN! here.)

While I loved the story idea, I had one tiny problem—I had no idea what it could possibly mean! How would this end? So I dove headfirst into research where I learned all kinds of crazy things about dreams. Like, did you know Abraham Lincoln predicted his own death, by dreaming about it two weeks before he died? Or did you know that amazing ideas like Google and the double helix and the Beatles song yesterday were all first conceived in dreams? And don’t get me started on the Tumblr or Reddit threads were there are literally hundreds of stories of people who have dreamt of others and then met them in real life—whether at the bank or in a classroom or on the beach and swear it happened exactly the way that they dreamt it.

After a few weeks of reading books, interviewing experts and learning way more than I ever imagined I would about time theory and quantum physics, I finally knew exactly why my two characters were dreaming about each other and what it meant, and Mia, Harrison and Oliver began to come to life.

While the dreaming part of the novel was fun to explore, at its core, You Were There Too is a story about marriage after the bright and shiny has worn off it, and my attempt to answer the age-old question: Is true love a choice or fate? Because while dreams are fascinating—real life and real love are often way more complicated.

Feel free to come visit me on Facebook or Instagram and share your thoughts—and any weird dream stories of your own. Happy reading—and sweet dreams!

Thanks to Colleen for visiting with us and for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway ends January 14th at midnight EST.

31 comments:

Shannon S said...

I don't remember my dreams often but I have definitely experienced de javue! I can't wait to read Colleen's latest!

LoriF said...

Lately, tons of dreams with my Dad present in them and he passed away in 2015.

Nancy Payette said...

I don't usually remember my dreams but when I do it has to do with some drama going on in my life. Thanks for the chance.

Katie Lemons said...

I typically only remember dreams when they are super vivid and I think about them a lot upon waking up.

Rebecca W said...

My dreams are usually very vivid but I forget them soon after waking. Earlier this week, however, I dreamed that my best friend was swept away by a bad storm during a cruise. She recently received bad news about her husband's health so I woke up with my heart racing and was sure to check on her. No recurring dreams except the "I'm falling" feeling which then jerks me awake. Thanks for the chance to win!

Michelle L said...

I don't generally remember my dreams. I have, on occasion, experienced a sense of deja vue.

traveler said...

My dreams are vivid and usually disturbing about my life and my past with family and friends. I have had deja vue many times in my life.

Jeanne said...

I don’t usually remember dreams but had an extremely frightening nightmare that has stayed with me for years.

Tracy Wirick said...

I dream a lot about falling, and being chased or having to hide from something. I also experience Déjà vu quite often! I’ve read that that is a way for your memories in your brain to fix themselves because déjà vu is when a memory isn’t correct if that makes sense?

Carla S. said...

Many of my dreams involve traveling. I am trying to get somewhere and can't get to the plane or train or whatever.

Maribel Ramirez said...

I heard the demo in a bookclub, read the reviews and interviews about the book, even saw the fox from Liz and Lisa interview and I can't wait to read it honestly. Love the cover.

Maribel Ramirez said...

My weird dreams always have me naked in public places...awful. I heard the demo in a bookclub, read the reviews and interviews about the book, even saw fox 5 interview and I can wait to read it. Love the cover

Kelley B said...

Yes I have had deja vu.

rubynreba said...

I have recurring dreams that our house has secret rooms. They are really big rooms and I love when I dream about them!

rbooth43 said...

My husband comes back to see me in my dreams and this is so comforting to me. Sometimes it's good memories of the time we had together! Dream on!

Bonnie K. said...

My dreams generally involve doing things outside my comfort zone or things that I'm not physically able to do. I, also, have dreams involving people in my past or people that have died. I guess it's my way of seeing them again. There are also disturbing dreams where I usually forget the details after I wake up. I don't recall having deja vu although there have been times when things seem familiar.

diannekc said...

I very rarely remember my dreams. Sometimes when I wake up during a dream and think I'll remember it later, I can't remember what the dream was about.

Anonymous said...

I don't usually remember my dreams but if I do its about my mother and father who are deceased.
gloriawalsh3@Gmail.com

Susan Roberts said...

I am frequently being chased in my dreams -- by bad guys or zombies or who knows what!

Mary Preston said...

Places I have visited.

Nancy said...

I don't have repeated dreams. I dreamed once that in college I *somehow* forgot to go to class all semester and just showed up for the final without ever attending class. I guess that meant I also didn't read the textbooks either - LOL!

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

bn100 said...

can't remember

Linda Kish said...

I rarely remember my dreams. I used to dream about work a lot after I retired. No deja vu.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Peggy Russo said...

For as long as I can remember I have a recurring dream of falling down the stairs in an apartment building I lived in as a child. It happens a few times a year and is very vivid. I can clearly see the distinctive paint on the walls, the handrail and the door at the bottom. According to my mom I never fell down those stairs but I've been dreaming that I did since I was a teenager.

Grandma Cootie said...

Sometimes I have very vivid dreams about my mom, and wake up wanting to go discuss something with her before I realize she's been gone many years. I always wonder if she's trying to tell me something.

Linda Marie said...

I sometimes have dreams that I am running away from a huge wave that is about to crash down and I am trying to climb a wall to get away from it. Never happened to me although I used to surf🤔 Hum!

Lelandlee said...

Bacon comes up alot

Xia Lee said...

Me fighting someone

Cherisse said...

I once dreamt I was a super hero and my weapon of choice was a water hose 🤷🏻‍♀️

Tatum Rangel said...

I often have dreams about commuting or weather. Something tells me they're not always good signs. But who knows?

Danamichele84 said...

I often return to the same house searching for something. This has been recurring for years. I have never seen this house before either! But I’ve had the same dream about something before and ended up seeing it and had the craziest deja vu