Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Déjà vu Writing - A Guest Post by Russell R. James for the "Dreamwalker" Tour

This time around, my novel creeped me out.

When I wrote Dreamwalker, I wanted to set it in a location that emphasized the duality that the main character, Pete Holm, lives in. I’d read about Atlantic City and how the promise of casinos hadn’t created the promised city-wide rejuvenation. Atlantic Avenue divided the city, separating the glitter of the high-rise hotels from the poverty of the rundown residential areas. The location seemed perfect.

I’d never been to Atlantic City, or Philadelphia, another location in the book. But MapQuest is amazing, and I used grids of the streets to flesh out my fantasy versions. Pete takes a bus, so I Googled the bus station locations and schedules just to make sure such places existed.

After the second draft of the story was completed, I had a free weekend in Maryland and decided to visit these places I’d so casually created based on a few thin facts. I headed to Atlantic City, hoping I could work in some real-life observations to the story.

I drove through the city and went into shock. Locations I’d created in my mind’s eye were here in real life, almost doorframe for doorframe. The restaurant Pete works in, the rundown homes, the decaying basketball court. It didn’t feel like I was exploring someplace new, it felt like I was returning to someplace familiar.

In the late afternoon, I drove to Philadelphia, taking the same route my character takes when he tries to find the identity of the girlfriend in his dreams. In the city, I followed my invented route to her fictional hospice. There was no hospice, but there was a doctor’s office with an entrance that looked just as I’d imagined the hospice’s did. It gave me chills.

Dreamwalker is about a college student who enters an alternate reality when he dreams. Did I enter some alternate subconscious reality when I invented the locations for my book? I don’t know. If I could, it would sure make writing the next novel much easier.

Dreamwalker is the sixth novel that Russell James has published with Samhain Horror under legendary horror editor Don D’Auria!
Dreamwalker Synopsis
Two realities. One hope.
What if you lived in two worlds, and could die in either?  Pete Holm can. He is a dreamwalker, able to travel to the realm of dreams, including the devastated world of Twin Moon City, where an evil voodoo spirit holds living souls in terror with his army of the walking dead.
In the waking world, drug lord Jean St. Croix knows only the power of the dreamwalker can stop him, so St. Croix vows Pete must die.
Pete is the only hope to rescue the lost souls in Twin Moon City…unless St. Croix kills him first. Can anyone survive when two realities collide? 
Get your copy today!
Samhain Horror:
Barnes and Noble:

1)      Open reviewer giveaway: Anyone who reviews Dreamwalker on Amazon and one other site like GoodReads, etc. and sends Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, their links to hookofabook@hotmail.com will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card. This contest ends on Feb. 28, 2015.

2)      Rafflecoper giveaway for two copies of Russell’s previous books. Two winners will each win one of two books, Black Magic and Dark Inspiration. US only, no international shipping. Must use a valid email that you can be reached by. By entering the giveaway, you consent to allow Russell to have your email for very infrequent newsletter updates. Contest ends Feb. 28, 2015.  

Other contest questions can be referred to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, Hook of a Book Media at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

Praise for Russell R. James
“James has a talent for combining action-packed vignettes into a powerful, fast-paced whole.”
—Library Journal on Black Magic

(Five Stars, A Night Owl Top Pick) “I loved the story so much that I’m eagerly waiting to read more from him. He carefully and very intricately wove his storyline to have elements of mystery and suspense throughout. I now have a new favorite book I’ll read over and over again.”
—Night Owl Reviews on Dark Inspiration

“The book had me at the edge of my seat. The writing is so vivid I even jumped a few times. If you're a fan of the genre, love ghosts and are drawn to the supernatural, then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of this book!”
—Long and Short Reviews on Dark Inspiration

Russell R. James, Biography

Russell James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching Chiller, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, and The Twilight Zone, despite his parents' warnings. Bookshelves full of Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe didn't make things better. He graduated from Cornell University and the University of Central Florida.

After a tour flying helicopters with the U.S. Army, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight. He has written the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration, Sacrifice, Black Magic, Dark Vengeance, and Dreamwalker. He has two horror short story collections, Tales from Beyond and Deeper into Darkness. His next novel, Q Island, releases in 2015.

His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says "There is something seriously wrong with you."

Visit his website at www.russellrjames.com and read some free short stories.

He and his wife share their home in sunny Florida with two cats.

To find out more about Russell R. James, please visit his Website or follow him on Facebook! Join him on Twitter, @RRJames14. Also, feel free to drop him at a line at