On Suburban Task Force and Dreaming
One of the questions I’ve been asked several times since the launch of Suburban Task Force is the hypothetical what would I be if not a writer? My answer is somewhat always the same. I’d still be what I am, a writer. However, it may play out in other creative ways.
I grew up dreaming of stories and scenes. I would often remake a scene in my dream until I had the version I liked. Part of me was awake, conscious of the redone decisions. The other part of me was filling in the scene with décor and visual surplus. I always liked to have a minimum of three versions of any scene, shown from several different angles.
Luckily, I could wake up and remember my dreams. I would write them down in a journal, and more often then not, re do the dreams the following night or week until it was ‘just right.’ Apparently this isn’t the norm for most six or seven year olds.
There were several times I found myself unable to run or tied to something preventing me from running in my dreams. When I was older I looked up the meaning behind all the ‘tied down and unable to run’ dreams and found that it is a common type of dream.
It supposedly means you feel you can’t accomplish something in the awake state, like something is keeping you from completing it.
As I read more, I recalled that as a 6 or 7 year old I probably wasn’t trying to accomplish too much nor did I have any residual stress from the workplace, so I dug more.
I read that most likely I was experiencing sleep paralysis (which is normal). It’s basically your body protecting you from yourself, like keeping you from enacting the things you do in your dream in real life in your sleep. So if you’re running in your dream your legs might actually be trying to run in real life but your body will paralyze you temporally and in result you will struggle to run in your dream as well.
This was the moment I realized I was a visual dreamer tied down only by my own body. Like any other dreamer, I took it to mean I should pick up, move across the country and be in the film world. My mother was hardly convinced, but I was not to be stopped.
And so I worked in Hollywood in television and film. I wrote copy, tag lines, produced segments, and worked on branding material. And do you know what I realized at the end of the day? I wasn’t a director, or a producer. No. I was the writer. I was making the story.
I wrote Suburban Task Force in my head. I dreamt out the scenes. I acted out the dialogue. The women were real. They were fun. They were honest with their fear and emotions. They kicked butt.
Writing Suburban Task Force was a breakthrough for me, because I realized that no matter what career, job or path I took I would always find a way to be a writer within it.
Good luck to all you dreamers out there!
~*~*~*~ The Interview ~*~*~*~
Where did the story idea come from/how did it come about?
One night the alarm went off in our house. I was so scared I couldn’t move. The police showed up and the back door downstairs had been busted open. The very first chapter of the book is similar to that scene. It was an eye opener and a wake up call that we can’t just expect others to take care of us. We have to learn to take care of ourselves. A couple of months after the break in had happened (we weren’t hurt and nothing was stolen) we were out to dinner with friends sharing the story. Said out loud it was actually pretty amusing. The story just developed from there.
One thing you want the reader to walk away with after reading this book.
The desire to buy the sequel. I jest. I want people to walk away feeling accomplished. Like, ‘I could have done that too.’ I want them to feel as though they know the characters like their own friends, and had a good time laughing and saving the day with them.
Why did you choose your genre?
They say to write what you know. I took half of that to heart when writing Suburban Task Force. I know women. I know Suburbia. I did not, however, know too much about self-defense and firearms. I had fun researching the topics and then incorporating that into a ‘what would I do’ scenario.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Grammar and punctuation. I’m laughing while writing that, but I like to write the way I speak. That often ends up with a lot of unnecessary commas and pauses. I am at the mercy of my editors.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Have fun. Keep everything you write. Never delete. You would be surprised how often an idea works well for another project in the future.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
My immediate answer to that would be that I don’t have my series of 10 yet so, YES! I do, and sometimes it’s not just writers block so much as life block. I am not a full time writer and have to learn to juggle my other projects, a family and ‘life’ just like everyone else. That seems to be my biggest obstacle. I have a million ideas scrambled in my head just waiting to be written.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Aside from a computer and a go to editor? A love of reading. A supportive friend or family member who believes in you for the days you don’t.
You can find Addison’s Suburban Task Force