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Novel Magic: The Dream Doctor by J.J. DiBenedetto

You just never know where one little idea will take you. My Novel magic guest, J.J. DiBenedetto, let inspiration lead the way to a 10-book series. Magic? IF you are looking for something to binge . . .

The Dream Doctor–Can you call it Magic?

Sara, the heroine of the Dream Doctor Mysteries wouldn’t call her “gift” magic, because she’s a doctor – someone who’s logical and believes in science, and of course there’s no such thing as magic.

What is her gift?  Sara can step into other people’s dreams.  It’s not something she asked for, or particularly enjoys, and she didn’t even know she could do it until shortly after her twenty-first birthday. 

As her author, I’m not sure what to call it, either, but unlike Sara, I know exactly where her ability comes from.  It’s the answer to a simple question:

In mystery stories featuring amateur sleuths, why do the protagonists try to solve the crimes themselves, when any rational person in real life would turn the whole mess over to the police and let the professionals deal with it?

The answer I came up with was: what if the amateur sleuth didn’t have any physical evidence to show the police?  What if the only proof they had was in their heads, because they saw it in some sort of psychic vision?

And with that thought, the Dream Doctor Mysteries were born.  Right away, the idea of psychic visions turned into the concept of seeing other people’s dreams – seeing crimes from the killer’s point of view.  And along with that concept, Sara sprang to life, more or less fully formed, and her whole setting did, too.  I knew from the moment I came up with her, that she was in college, and that these psychic dreams were new to her. 

Once I had the idea, the first book almost wrote itself, and a sequel suggested itself immediately after.  Besides showing her the warped mind of a killer, Sara’s dreams also led her to a fellow student who had a crush on her, and when she ran into that fellow student in real life, it was love at first (or maybe second) sight.

The many faces of Sara.

As the series went on, Sara learned more about her ability – it’s not as unique as she first thought, which she discovers when (in the third book) her four-year-old daughter steps into one of her own dreams.  And it’s not just visiting – Sara discovers she can not just watch other people’s dreams, but affect them.

In the end, ten books came out of that one simple answer to a simple question.  I think it’s fair to call that magic!

The Dream Doctor

Between adjusting to life as a newlywed and trying to survive the first month of medical school, Sara Alderson has a lot on her plate.  She definitely doesn’t need to start visiting other people’s dreams again.  Unfortunately for her, it’s happening anyway. 

Every night, she sees a different person and a different dream.  But every dreamer has one thing in common: they all hate Dr. Morris, the least popular professor in the medical school, and they’re all dreaming about seeing him – or making him – dead. 

Once again, Sara finds herself in the role of unwilling witness to a murder before it happens.  But this time, there are too many suspects to count, and it doesn’t help matters that she hates Dr. Morris every bit as much as any of his would-be murderers do.

Dream Doctor is the first book of the Dream Doctor Mysteries.

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Meet J.J. DiBenedetto

J.J. DiBenedetto is the author of the Dream Doctor Mysteries, the Jane Barnaby Adventures, two Welcome to Romance novellas, and other works.  He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his lovely wife and Danny, a white cat who’s trained them both.  He’s originally from Yonkers, New York.  He loves the New York Giants, fondue, photography, travel, the opera and he’s a huge science-fiction and fantasy geek.

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