Today I am very excited to welcome author Robin Saxon to the blog. Robin is here to talk to us about her new book, The Royal Road. She has also brought a copy to give away to one lucky commenter, so be sure to check out the details at the end of the post. Welcome Robin!
There is one quote that essentially sums up my new book, The Royal Road:
“The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.” — Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams
Dreams are funny things. Our minds at rest can create fantastic scenarios as we sleep, processing the events of the day and working through our fears and our hopes. The human race has been researching why we dream for over a hundred years, and nobody is yet 100% sure about why we do it. Some think it’s tied into how we form memories, some think it reflects our emotions, others think they’re just a random by-product of our neurons firing in rest.
Whatever the truth is, dreams have had a powerful effect on human society at large. There are hundreds of books devoted to puzzling out dream symbolism, thousands of art works based on dreams. People connect to their religion through them, have ideas from them, change important decisions based on them. Some of those dream meaning books will tell you, for instance, that dreaming of the ocean signifies tranquillity and enlightenment. But what if the dreamer is deathly afraid of the ocean?
The Royal Road was born out of my desire to play with a few ideas. I wanted to see if I could find a way to put four completely different genres in one book (which I did, through three dream segments), I wanted to explore rumour versus first impressions versus expectations, I wanted to explore common stereotypes in various genres, and I wanted to mess around with the traditional linear structure of novels. And most importantly, I wanted to write about dreams. Weston, the main character, experiences vivid dreams when he meets the new productivity consultant, Sidney, at his work. In his waking life he is paranoid that Sidney is out to get him fired, but his unconscious mind notices clues that his waking mind does not. His dreams portray Sidney as a misunderstood villain. The question for Weston is: do his dreams hold a grain of truth?
The relevancy of dreams is ultimately up to the dreamer. For instance, I do not think that my recurring dream of being chased around an oval hole by a gorilla/piranha monster is especially relevant to my life, except for the fact that I once saw an illustration of the monster when I was very young. But what about I dreams I have frequently about needing to escape a disaster but all my limbs lock up in a seizure? Those might speak of a fear of not being able to escape something that scares me.
In any case, dreams fascinate me, and The Royal Road was my little experiment in tying interpretation of them to the real world. I hope you give it a try!
By day, Weston Davies designs mascots for Sanderson Designs and avoids the new productivity consultant, Sidney Romero, who has been hired to ensure maximum efficiency. In the evenings, Weston writes. Fantasy, detective stories, science fiction—he’s tried it all, and he isn’t very good. All his attempts are riddled with clichés, and his characters become mouthpieces for scathing commentary on overused literary stereotypes. Though fantastical dreams that inspire his stories haunt his nights, Weston can’t put words to paper without cringing.
Worse, Weston’s work has begun to invade his sleep. Everybody in the office thinks Sidney is strange, quiet, and out to destroy the company. But in Weston’s dreams, Sidney is a mysterious dragon, a street-smart law enforcer, and a rebellious agent of the future government. While Weston reluctantly gets to know Sidney better in the real world, he struggles to reconcile him with the Sidney of his subconscious.
What are his dreams telling him? Is Sidney being wrongly vilified? And what if Sidney recommends Weston’s boss fire him? Weston must learn to pick through the clues his dreams are giving him, or he will never understand Sidney’s role in his life—professional or otherwise.
Robin Saxon, born and bred in New Zealand, lives in the Midwest with partner Alex Kidwell. When not writing or daydreaming about ideas for more stories, Robin is usually found playing MMOs like World of Warcraft, reading, drawing, and fussing over their cats, Starsky and Hutch.
In the rare times when they are not being pestered by their cats, Robin also listens to heavy metal music and enjoys everything from classics like Chaucer to urban fiction, as well as cooking vegetarian meals and inflicting them on Alex.
Robin has been kind enough to offer up a copy of The Royal Road to one lucky reader. Leave a comment by Friday, February 15th at 11:59 pm EST for a chance to enter. Good luck!