What inspired me to write my first novel, Lucid?

By: Katherine Angela Yeboah


  Los Angeles…a city of high-rises, palm trees and sunsets that melt you on the inside. I first set foot here in the early 1990s and instantly fell in love with the place. During one of many visits, I was staying in an inn for young travelers. It was a wild place, with fascinating characters coming and going by the van-load and parties that never seemed to end before the dawn broke. The names and the faces of some of these curious people have long since been forgotten. But the conversations I had with them are imprisoned in my memory for good. I recall being shown how to use the Ouija board in a drafty dining room at two in the morning. I recall being instructed on how to astral travel…and how to lucid dream.

  After deciding to stay in L.A. permanently, I moved into a third floor apartment with a view of the Hollywood sign through the bedroom windows. The past-its-prime building had creaky wooden floorboards and poorly lit corridors and a roof that would leak every time the rain fell. It was the perfect setting for a mystery story. The perfect abode for a carefree, young college student named Sloane, the main character in my novel, ‘Lucid’.

  It was in this ancient, red-brick building that I had my first lucid dream. In the dead of night, I ‘found myself’ in the corridor outside the apartment. My mind drifted back to one of those conversations I’d had during my travels. I had been told that, if I ever suspected I might be dreaming, I should center all my attention on my hands. I later learned that this ‘reality check’ is a widely recognized technique for confirming that you are dreaming and therefore inducing a lucid dream. So as I stood there in the hallway, I raised my palms toward my face and peered intently at them until they came into focus. And as soon as they did, everything appeared to change. This was no longer just your everyday, garden-variety excursion into dreamland. This was unlike any dream I had ever had before. The world around me seemed to intensify, to liven before my eyes, and I understood instantly what lucid dreaming was.

  I continued to concentrate on my hands, not wanting to let the dream slip away. Brushing my fingertips over the uneven surface of the wall as I wandered up and down the corridor. I awoke…my dream went no further. But the character from my story, ‘Lucid’, is not so lucky. Although her first lucid dream begins harmlessly, as mine did, Sloane’s dream quickly turns into a horrific nightmare. She gets a glimpse inside her neighbor’s apartment…and a glimpse at the dirty, little secret he’s been hiding there. Is her mind playing tricks on her, or are her dreams actually based on reality? Is her neighbor as ordinary as she once thought him to be, or is he really the savage monster who haunts her nightmares?

  It was the strange and vivid dreams that I’ve been having for as long as I can remember that inspired me to write my first novel, ‘Lucid’. In fact, more than half of the dreams described in the book are based on dreams that I actually experienced.


  Lucid is out now in e-book edition and Amazon Kindle edition. For more information, please visit my website: katherineangelayeboah.blogspot.com

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