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Jamie Leigh Hansen – To Dream a Hot Dream

October 3, 2007
I can’t be the only one. I hope. Are writers the only people who occasionally wake up with this scene in their head, like they were watching a movie while they slept? I do that quite often. I think it’s the best part of being a writer. I can lie in bed and slowly wake up from that dream that has my heart pounding and honestly, with complete sincerity, say I AM WORKING.

So, this one summer night, I had a dream. I was in the past, way back like a medieval, and there was this warrior and his bride. She didn’t know him, was very afraid of him – not that I knew why at the time. It was a dream. All I knew was right there, sometime that night, they had to consummate the wedding.

Now, for some reason, my brain tends to skip to the good stuff. So I pictured the warm skin and the closeness, his scarred muscles and her fear. There was caressing and gentleness and lots of invasion of private space. Then I went back. Like rewind. I do that.

I wanted to know, now that I’d seen these two people together, who were they and why was she afraid? And so the words started to flow. I don’t just watch it like a movie, I read text. And if I don’t think the text is doing it right, I edit. In my sleep. I so want one of those brain wave machines that scribble down all the thoughts a person has in their sleep. Have they invented one yet? I could get so much done!

So, I went over and over picturing and writing this tall, dark warrior in chain mail. And this delicate heroine who was full of this unreasoning, bone deep terror. And they were supposed to get naked. Yeah, okay.

The dream continued and he reached out to her, moving slow, talking low, being gentle. She helped him off with his armor and he brought her closer to the fire where it was warmer. He held her close and slowly she relaxed, but when it came time to do anything, she ran away. Well, my tall warrior hero who wanted to soothe his new bride did the only thing he could do.

He stripped down, tied his wrists and ankles to a chair and left the rest in her hands.

After working for several years to learn how to nail down a story, I was in the process of making up short stories. I wanted to get the format set in my head and slowly expand to longer stories. That didn’t work. Holding no hopes that the dream would stay with me for long, I got up and wrote it down. For several days. Then stopped and thought about it for a few months. Then I wrote a whole draft. Then thought about it for a year, slowly evaluating all the parts and working on research.

After much thought, prayer and work, I found out why the heroine was so afraid. And I learned that one night could fuel a passion that lasted centuries. That one woman could take a journey from abject terror to strength and courage. She can save her husband and break a tragic curse and even learn to love him all over again.

Betrayed is due out January 2, 2008. It’s a Tor Paranormal Romance. I can’t wait to share it with everyone. So, anyone impatient like me, the prologue and first chapter are on my website:

Now, I would love to know about some of your most memorable dreams…

Jame Leigh Hansen

One Comment

  • Asa Maria Bradley June 13, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Hey Jamie,

    I know this comment is a little late, but I just wanted you to know that I too get lots of plot ideas from dreams. That's all I'm going to say for now. 🙂