Susan Campbell Bartoletti's new book, The Boy Who Dared, writers' dreams and tips

I've pulled forward a comment Sue made in response to a recent post of mine. It's so interesting I wanted to make sure everyone saw it. Authors and dreams.... how do your dreams swim into your writing?

I got to read The Boy Who Dared in galleys. It's an incredible, brave book. One of those books you put down and your world seems somehow altered.

Here's Sue:


What a great question! I just finished a novel that will be out next month: The Boy Who Dared (Scholastic). I encountered the main character's story when I was researching and writing Hitler Youth.

It's a story that kept me awake long after I had finished writing Hitler Youth. That's how I knew I wasn't finished with Helmuth Hübener yet, and in order to understand his courage and strength, I had to write a novel.

Now I'm in the throes of researching and writing -- and nearing the deadline of -- another nonfiction book that's keeping me up. The material gives me nightmares!

But that's not necessarily a bad thing. I've grown to accept the nightmares as an understanding that my subconscious is processing the material in a deep and meaningful way -- or at least that's what I tell myself.

But the dreams must be working because I"m seeing the whole picture now, the thematic threads that must be tugged through the narrative.

I'm curious, Betsy: do you have any thoughts on the value of dreams and the creative process? What does the dream spirit say about dreams -- good and bad -- and creativity?

Susan, who has never blogged before and needs to figure out how to use html tags AND get her full name to show up and so for now will add:
Susan Campbell Bartoletti