Dreams & Reality Retrospective

I had a goal when I began this series… which is by far my best writing and my best selling.  In hindsight, I see three glaring errors.

The first is Tortured Dreams.  I look back on and think of all the things I should have done, could have done to make it a better book.  Too much Aislinn, not enough everyone else… Killer chapters would have been a nice edition… The ending had good planning and somewhere went awry… It is the worse book in the series.

The second is Mercurial Dreams.  I love it.  I think it is one of the best of the series.  My readers would disagree.  So would my sales figures.  For me, it is a dosage of real life.  The serial killer dies, leaving unanswered questions, lots of them.  The who and why mostly.  Aislinn and the men return to their normal lives shortly after the death of the killer.  That’s what they do.  They hunt down serials and then return to whatever counts as normalcy for them.  To me, it is a dose of reality.  Things ended, but they weren’t resolved.  To readers it is a disappointment, especially on the heels of Elysium Dreams.  They want answers, answers that do not exist in the book.  In the last few weeks, I have considered doing some reworks for the ending, but I haven’t, because it is exactly how I intended it.  But it does put readers off… I see it in reviews, I see it in retention rate after Mercurial Dreams

The third is Aislinn Cain herself.  She doesn’t deal with emotions, because she doesn’t have many and the few she has, she rarely understands.  This makes her character complicated, but it makes her world even more complicated.  True to her character, she has baggage and unresolved issues, issues that she is not going to deal with in a timely fashion.  Patterson for example, it will take more than a few days of thought to sort that out… It will take more than a few months to be honest.  It is hard to put that into a single book.  As a result, Butchered Dreams is seen as being anti-climatic, to a degree.  I am often asked “how could she just walk away from it?”  She certainly wasn’t going to deal with it right that moment, she’d have ended up in jail.  Her first reaction was to put a bullet in Patterson, but that would not have improved the series.  Even three months later, she is still unwilling to battle that demon and with good reason… Patterson is a reflection of her and while she knows this, she isn’t going to talk about it or admit it or lay on the couch and let Lucas pick it apart.  It is Patterson and Callow that have made her into the person she is and while she often says Callow no longer has an effect on her, the truth is, that even 20 years after the incident, she has never really dealt with it.  I love her and I’m not sure how to change this aspect of her.  She is who she is, created from the fires of misery and hell, she is cold, calculating, and distant.  As her creator, I’m fine with this.  But the readers need her to be a little more emotional than I can make her, it would not be true to her creation.

Just my thoughts for the night.

Leave a comment


  1. Hey! I found the reference in Explosive Dreams. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. T.Vogt

     /  February 21, 2015

    I disagree, personally I think if you hadn’t laid Aislinn out so completely as you did in the first book we wouldn’t have seen the changes the Team, her experiences have changed her. She may walk a tight rope sometimes but a balance bar another, and when she has a sidewalk to jog on she flies..We could have written her off if you hadn’t laid her out so well, allowed her to see the humor around her, in the interactions with others.. Psychoanalysis on yourself, or your characters is always going to be more chain saw then filet knife… look at her as a fine cheese that you have to shave thin slices carefully so they don’t curl or crumble, and I think you’ll find that Ms Cain started off just right..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Colleen Nowack

     /  February 24, 2015

    Hi Hadena,
    I must disagree with you, establishing Aislinn is crucial to the reader actually wanting to read about her. I thought you did a great job with it in Tortured dreams, although looking back I am fond of the Killer chapters. That would be the only thing I changed about the book.
    Give yourself a little credit for creating a character we love.
    I very much enjoy your series and have watched you evolve as a writer, keep em coming 🙂



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