by Kathryn Berla
Published by: Amberjack Publishing
Publication date: July 11th, 2017
Genres: Romance, Time-Travel, Young Adult
Zat is a dreamer from the distant future—a time when humans no longer dream and Earth is a desolate wasteland. He dreams of the beautiful Earth of the past, and a fiery-haired beauty named Babe. Against the wisdom of his peers, Zat decides to risk everything to travel back in time and live in Babe’s dreams…
Babe is the perpetual new girl in town. Her father’s job frequently moves the family around the country, and Babe just longs for a place to call home. As she settles into the sleepy town of Sugar Dunes, Florida, Babe begins to have strange dreams of a green-eyed boy named Zat. Night after night, Babe shows Zat her world. But the dreams come at the cost of nearly crippling migraines every morning. Babe’s life outside of her dreams pales in comparison to her growing love for Zat and their time spent together.
But the more time Babe and Zat spend together in her dreams, the more Babe’s pain increases, and Zat begins to question the reality of his existence. How can he live a life with Babe, when all they have is her dreams?
Can a dream become a reality?
~AUTHOR INTERVIEW with Kathryn Berla~
1) What gave you the inspiration for the storyline?
The inspiration for DREAM ME literally came to me in a dream which is why it may have a bit of a surreal feel to it. I have very interesting dreams. Some of them are not worth remembering but the good ones get recorded onto my cell phone before I forget them. Zat’s name also came to me in that same dream.
As for the contemporary storyline, that was inspired by my experience of moving from California to the Florida panhandle and falling in love with the area and its people.
2) Are there any hidden themes in the book that you hope readers will discover?
I’m not sure they would be called hidden themes but there are quite a few themes that are very important to me that I hope the reader will discover and appreciate. The main one is the idea of a refugee, a stranger in a strange land who must count on the hospitality of their host. Zat is a refugee and I tried to tie his experience in with Mai’s parents. There’s also the idea of preserving our beautiful planet. Sugar Dunes, Florida is a microcosm of the beauty of Earth and how we are all stewards with the duty of protecting it for future generations. Being a strong woman and taking control of your life is an important theme which I hope comes through in Babe’s character. There are issues she’s forced to handle in the form of a misogynistic predator but she faces him head-on. I named her after Babe Didrikson Zaharias who was an athlete in the early part of the 20th century who excelled in golf, basketball, baseball, and track and field. That’s not to say you have to be an athlete to be a strong woman but Babe Didrikson Zaharias broke so many barriers. Reaching out to others. Making friends with people who are different from you. Digging deep and not judging people based on the superficial. And last but not least, without revealing any spoilers, the theme of being true to who you are. Always. The truth will set you free, as they say.
3) Are any of the characters based on real people you know?
Yes. But only in essence.
4) Who has influenced you most as a writer?
That is a difficult question to answer because every writer I’ve ever read has influenced me in some way, even if I didn’t like their book. Writers who write just because they must, without regard for fame or fortune, are my biggest inspiration.
5) If you could have any three literary characters over to your place for game night, who would you invite, what would you play, what would you serve, and why?
This is such a hard question. I suppose I’d invite Pi Patel (Life of Pi), Karl Ove Knausgaard (My Struggle) and Grace Marks (Alias Grace) because they seem like they’d be interesting people to hang out with for a night. Because I don’t cook I’d probably order in pizza. And I’d make them play the original Nintendo Dragon Warriors with me just because I love that game 😉
Kathryn Berla graduated from the University of California at Berkeley as an English major. She has lived in many different countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. She currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.