Getting Ideas from Dreams: A Guest Post by Julie Flanders

I'm thrilled to welcome Julie Flanders to my blog today.  Her debut novel, Polar Night was released last week.

You can get it here.

Here is the skinny on the book:

When Detective Danny Fitzpatrick leaves his hometown of Chicago and moves to Fairbanks, Alaska he wants nothing more than to escape the violence and heartbreak that left his life in pieces. Numbed by alcohol and the frozen temperatures of an Alaskan winter, Danny is content with a dead-end job investigating Fairbanks' cold cases. That all changes when a pretty blond woman goes missing on the winter solstice, and Danny stumbles upon some surprising connections between her disappearance and that of another Fairbanks woman three years earlier. Forced out of his lethargy, Danny sets out to both find the missing woman and solve his own cold case.

The investigation points Danny towards Aleksei Nechayev, the handsome and charming proprietor of an old asylum turned haunted tourist attraction in the Arctic town of Coldfoot. As he tries to find a link between Nechayev and his case, Danny's instinct tells him that Nechayev is much more than what he seems.

Danny has no idea that Nechayev is hiding a secret that is much more horrifying than anything he could ever have imagined. As his obsession with finding the missing women grows, Danny finds his own life in danger. And when the truth is finally revealed, the world as he knows it will never be the same. 

About Julie:

Julie Flanders is a librarian and a freelance writer who has written for both online and print publications. She is an avid animal lover and shares her home in Cincinnati, Ohio with her dog and cat. Her debut novel Polar Night, a suspense thriller with a supernatural twist, is now available from Ink Smith Publishing. Find Julie online at her blog, and on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

And now for the guest post!

In Your Dreams?

Back in 2011 I had a dream that I was on an ocean liner in the 1920s, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to the United States. I was apparently a first class passenger, as I was dressed in an evening gown, and I met a good looking man in a tuxedo who told me all about a woman he had loved and lost in Russia during World War I. That dream led me to the story of Polar Night.

I can’t exactly say how, because Polar Night takes place in present day Alaska and has absolutely nothing to do with an ocean liner. The antagonist of my story is from Russia, so I did take that bit from the dream. And he’s unusually good looking, as was the man on the ocean liner of my subconscious. But the world of the novel really has nothing at all to do with the dream.

Nevertheless, that dream stuck in my head and eventually settled into the story that became my debut novel.
I find dreams fascinating and I’m so intrigued by how our mind works when we sleep. For most of my life, I’ve had terrible problems with nightmares, and I normally never remember any of my dreams except those of the terror variety. So it was unusual and surprising for me to remember this dream about a voyage on an ocean liner in such vivid detail. Now, I can’t help but think that somehow it was meant to be.

Have you ever had a dream that stuck in your head and set fire to your imagination? For the writers out there, have you ever received story ideas from your dreams?

Thank you, Lisa for having me as your guest today! 

It was my pleasure! :)

I hope you guys will check out Julie's book!  I can't wait to read this one!


  1. I don't think any pf my dreams have ever evolved into a story. Cool that yours did! At least your dream didn't end like the Titanic did.

  2. Oh yes! When they strike me, I have to write them down right away with all the details I can recall so I can revisit it someday.

  3. Not technically, but I often wonder whether ideas of mine are triggered by dreams I recall subconsciously. The last time I experienced this was with THE BOOK. I woke up one morning with a very strong pull toward the blank page. In three days, after a MANIC writing marathon, I finished the first draft. Never happened to me like this before, and I can't help but wonder whether something happened in my sleep to trigger such an urgent need to get the story out. It is a fascinating thought!

  4. That is so interesting! I often get "messages" from my dreams, but they haven't yet become storylines. They are more like guidance for life. Dreams are very powerful!

  5. Yes! Dreams are great places for story ideas. And the ones that are so real like that you feel almost compelled to write them down.

    Congrats Julie on Polar Night being released into the world!!

  6. @Alex, LOL, I thought the same thing about the Titanic. The ship seemed very similar!

    @Nancy, that's a great idea to write them down.

    @Jessica, oh, that is interesting! This was kind of a manic writing marathon for me as well, not that fast by any means but it was weird how fast it all came together.

    @Melissa, I agree! Thanks!

    @LG, thank you!

  7. Thank you again for having me as your guest today, Lisa! I really appreciate it!

  8. I never remember my dreams. I feel so ripped off. A writer should be better n touch with her psyche, right?

  9. My dreams are one of my biggest inspirations for my stories. I'm a vivid dreamer and I remember them every morning when I wake.

  10. Congratulations, Julie! :)

    I wish I had more dreams about book material. The only one I remember is telling Wallace which one of his abs was my favorite...

  11. Dreams and writing? There's no connection for me.
    I can't remember too many of my dreams...

    Congratulations once again Julie!

  12. Once in a great while. But I get more from my daydreams than sleeping dreams [which are somehow usually stress dreams or about my cats - I think they take over my mind when I sleep - just kidding]. Congrats, Julie!

    Waving at Lisa.

  13. @Elizabeth, I hardly ever remember dreams either, that's what made this so strange to me. Normally the only dreams I remember are ones I'd rather forget LOL.

    @Christine, I envy your ability to remember so many vivid dreams, that's awesome.

    @Carrie, LOL LOL, that's a good one to remember. Thank you!

    @Michelle, that's how I normally am too. Thanks again!!

    @Mary, LOL, I wouldn't be surprised if cats are skilled in mind control LOL. Thank you again!

  14. Mine are more daydreams than real dreams. But, hey - inspiration is inspiration. We should take it where we can get it. LOL

    Best of luck with your new release. ;)

  15. My dreams have been the source of many of my story ideas. Those are always the best kind of dreams :)

    Lisa, I can't remember if I've ever passed on a blog award to you or not, either way I named you in the Versatile Blogger thingydo over on my blog.

  16. That's a great story about your book. I don't normally get ideas from dreams, although my NaNo WIP was based on one. The trick is remembering it after you wake up!

  17. Great post Julie! THanks for having her Lisa!

  18. An aslyum turned tourist attraction in the town of Coldfoot? *scratches head* As an Alaskan, I'm intrigued!

    And Lisa - I'm reading Lisa Unger's Heartbroken right now. It's really good. Have you read it yet??


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