Today I'm happy to share with you an interview with Sarah Noffke, author of The Lucidites series!
is the story of a young girl named Roya Stark, who has just discovered
she’s a part of special race of humans and that her fate is tied to that
of a dangerous man’s, Zhuang. Roya is a Dream Traveler, which allows
her to use her dreams to go anywhere in space and time. She’s also
clairvoyant. Zhuang has taken her family’s consciousness hostage and
Roya knows the only way to save them, and the world at large, is to
fight him. The Lucidites, a seemingly good society of Dream Travelers,
swoop in and offer to assist Roya. However, upon arriving at their
headquarters, she learns she hasn’t been told the whole truth. Still
Roya remains reluctantly committed to the mission she must lead. And
there is some hope for her, since she’ll have the aid of five talented
Dream Travelers who all have their own special ability. Roya has plunged
into a dynamic and dangerous new world, but what keeps her awake at
night is the fact that the fate of humanity’s dreams rest of her
Awoken is the first in The Lucidites series,
in which all three books were released at the same time. What made you
decide to release the whole series all at once?
make the conscious decision to release all three books in the series at
once, and have since learned this is considered an edgy approach. The
reason I did this was to cater to the reader’s needs. Releasing one book
at a time stirs up a lot of media and marketing attention. But readers,
from my experience, don’t want to wait. Why make them? I’m a reader and
I loathe when I have to wait six months for the next book to come out.
And all too often, by the time the book is released I’m off reading
something else and can’t get back to it for a long time. I’m not sure
that I’ll always release all my books in a series at once, but if it’s
what the reader wants then I will. I serve readers, not a hungry
What inspired you to write about people who can dream travel?
always been obsessed with dreams. They’re this enigma, which seem to
carry so much power. How many times have you dreamed something that came
true the next day? Or dreamed about a friend and then they called out
of the blue? Or had the strangest déjà vu? Dreams hold so much richness
and also a ton of mystery. I have always wondered how I could use them
more fully in my own life by lucid dreaming. All these fascinations of
mine with dreams led to the idea of a special race who transcend time
and space when asleep. And from there the rest of the story slowly
How did you come up with the villain of the story, Zhuang?
idea for an ancient villain came to me when I was reading about
Zhuangzi, who was a Taoist philosopher. He said, “Once upon a time, I
dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents
and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a
butterfly, unaware that I was myself. Soon I awaked, and there I was,
veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man
dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I
am a man.” Once I read this I quickly latched onto the idea of a villain
who was once good, but became corrupt through greed. And so Zhuang was
born, but he dreamt himself as things much more threatening than a
butterfly. Maybe most writer’s start with creating the hero, but in my
case I started with the antagonist. From there the idea of stealing
consciousness through dreams took shape and everything fell into place.
Did you relate to Roya at all, or any of the other characters whilst writing the story?
I relate to all of my characters in one way or another. Roya is in many
ways a lot like me, and in other ways we’re complete opposites. She’s
quiet and antisocial, which I’m not at all. She’s also very brave and a
badass, and I can’t say I’ve ever been either of those. However, we both
share a love for classic literature, use sarcasm way too much in
conversation, and truly believe the world is innately good. Besides from
Roya, I think the character I relate to the most is Aiden, or at least I
highly admire him. He’s a very focused individual, who also doesn’t
take himself too seriously. I love how much life he interjects into his
scenes. Is it wrong that I want to be a nerdy scientist in my next life?
What made you decide to write the series for young adults?
YA is my genre of choice when reading. For young adults, nothing is
fixed. For the most part they don’t know who they are, who’ll they
marry, who they’ll become or where they’re life is going. All of these
uncertainties make for a lot of adventure and tension. Also, young
adults have a hunger for life that dissipates to a certain extent for
adults. As adults, we’re bogged down by the day-to-day. Young adults
have a fresher perspective. I also love interacting with my young adult
audience for this reason. They are so inquisitive and passionate.
Falling in love with the characters. When I first start writing a book
all of these characters come to me, like I’m meeting the whole gang at a
party. Over weeks of outlining and brainstorming, their personalities
are revealed. Then I start writing and it’s like we’ve all taken an
extended holiday together. Somewhere between the first page of a novel
and the last, I find that I’ve attached myself to a few different
characters and in some cases, fallen madly in love with them. I’ll tell
you this, when I finished the last book in The Lucidites series I cried
and cried and cried. I felt like all my friends had gotten on a ship and
sailed to a distant land where I would never see them again. Yes,
that’s right! I have imaginary friends.
Do you have any advice for other inspiring writers out there?
writer has advice on this topic and it’s all worthy. It’s advice from
other writers that’s made me who I am. With that being said, I don’t
want to repeat what most say, but I’m going to anyway. My promise is
that I’ll try to say something new too.
So most will tell an
aspiring writer (and they’re correct) to read as much as possible, write
every day, and read books on how to write.
Alright, now here’s
my something new that I give to only you: Become intimately acquainted
with the writer inside you. This is not a person the world outside will
know. This is the part inside you that only you know, that tells stories
inside your head, and imagines fantastic things when the normal
day-to-day is going on around you. You’re the only one who knows this
person and the only one who can interpret their stories. Make a habit of
closing your eyes once a day and meditating with this person. In time
you will be so connected to them that their words will flow from you
effortlessly. Most writers I know will agree that their books do not
come from them, but rather through them. This happens when you open up
And if that sounds too metaphysical for you, well then just check out Stephen King’s autobiography, On Writing. He’s a genius.
Finally, are you working on any other novels at the moment?
currently writing a new trilogy. I’ve complete the first two books and
hope to start the third by early spring. It another series about Dream
Travelers. There’s all new characters. A new society. And it’s WAY more
dystopian than The Lucidites. It’s also a lot darker and a little
sexier, but still YA. The series is called The Reverians.
Thanks so much to Sarah for stopping by! You can read my review of Awoken here, and look out soon for my review of book two in The Lucidites series, Stunned.