Boxing the Octopus Contest/Dream Advice Exclusive: Ask Dr. Hudson a question about your dreams in the comments below or simply post a comment to be entered in a drawing to take place on Friday, August 5th at noon CDT to win a copy of Into Your Dreams! Beginning this afternoon (Monday, 8/1) Dr. Hudson will answer your dream questions on a first-come, first-served basis in the comments section.
Please include an e-mail address with your comment or check back at the blog on Friday afternoon so we can reach you if your name is drawn.
Right around the time I sold my first book, I was fortunate enough to meet Jan Hudson, the author of more than thirty romances and romantic comedies. During a shared meal at a writer's conference, I casually mentioned a vivid, terrifying dream that had repeatedly troubled me for months, something about continually being cut off on my commute to work by tornadoes dropping from the sky.
That's when I learned of Jan's alter-ego, Dr. Janece O. Hudson, psychologist, hypnotist, and expert on dreams, who, with a few insightful questions, led me to figure out I was not really afraid of actual tornadoes, but that my stories (ideas that come from above, a.k.a. my brain) were going to cause me to leave my secure career in teaching.
That brief conversation clarified my fears about the decision at hand so quickly and completely, I never had that dream again. (And I really did end up quitting my day job soon after.) My subconscious had finally gotten across the message, and I've never looked at dreams in quite the same way since.
That's why I'm especially excited that Dr. Janece O. Hudson has finally shared her expertise in the form of a brand new book called Into Your Dreams. Recently, I invited her to stop by and answer a few questions.
BtO: Hi, Janece, and thanks so much for visiting Boxing the Octopus. I'm curious to know what inspired your interest in dreams?
JH: It seems I’ve always been interested in dreams—I still remember one from my childhood—but I think it was meeting Elsie Sechrist and becoming part of her study group that really whetted that interest. Elsie was an author of a best-selling dream book, an international speaker, and expert on the Edgar Cayce readings, who became my mentor. My experiences with my own dreams convinced me of how important working with those unconscious messages were.
BtO: Has an understanding of the messages of dreams ever offered insights to your own novel-writing or writing career? Do you feel that dreams can influence waking creativity?
JH: Absolutely! Last night in the U.S. alone, there were a billion and a half dreams by people—all marvelously creative, all unique to the dreamer. That’s enough to convince everybody of their own creativity. Look at all the stories there! And, yes, I’ve used dreams in my own writing. In one particular one, as the scene unfolded, I thought to myself, “This is a terrific plot for a book.” I’ve written it as a humorous mystery, but I haven’t sold it yet. Writer friends tell me it’s the best novel I’ve ever written, so we’ll see.
Several writers have reported using dreams in their work. LaVyrle Spencer once told me that a dream awakened her, one so vivid that she got up and wrote it down immediately. As I recall, it was the basis for HUMMINGBIRD, a much beloved novel.
BtO: What can we expect to learn from a reading of Into Your Dreams?
JH: You can learn how much interpreting your own dreams can enrich your life and get lots of tips on how to do that. You can learn to understand “dream language.” As I often say: You have a direct pipeline to the world’s greatest wisdom. It’s as close as your pillow.
BtO: Thanks so much for stopping by, but before you go, I have to sneak in our standard BtO Bonus question. What's the last book you've read and loved?
JH: Thanks for having me. I just got home from vacationing and reading a half dozen or more books. My two favorites (can’t recall which I read last) were Janet Evanovich’s SMOKIN’ SEVENTEEN and Tess Gerritsen’s THE SILENT GIRL.
For those in the Houston area, Dr. Hudson will be signing copies of Into Your Dreams at Barnes and Noble Champions Village on FM 1960 from 2:00-4:00 PM on Saturday, 8/20. Stop by and, who knows? Maybe she'll help you unravel your own subconscious mystery, just as she did mine.