I had the privilege of being able to interview Avalon Dane the author of “The Garden of Forgotten Dreams.” Check out the interview below!
Is the title supposed to hint at the story’s plot? Yes! The garden is not only a physical location where much of the book takes place, but it’s where Kaitlyn rediscovers her dreams and begins to make new choices in order to create the life she desires. It also ties into the twist at the end of the book, when the reader learns that a big portion of the story was a dream.
How much did you take from your own personality to make Kaitlyn?
Kaitlyn and I are both stay-at-home moms living in the suburbs, but I created a character that is a bit more timid than myself. I prefer to face life head on, armed with research and a plan, rather than sticking my head in the sand and hoping it all works out. I love making lists, and checking things off! That said, perhaps is one version of me, from when I was younger and doubted myself more. I did utilize some of my personal experiences when writing the book, but I think these experiences are fairly universal, particularly for Moms. Feeling alone and overwhelmed at times, and little things like being tired and not having enough time to sleep or shower. I believe new mothers are especially prone to doubting themselves—I know I did—and I wanted to let them know they aren’t alone. Also becoming a parent, and many other important choices we make in life, demand sacrifices. And I wanted to remind people that even if they gave up a dream long ago, so long as they’re still here on earth, they have a chance to realize their dream. I hope readers laugh and cry and struggle along with Kaitlyn as she finds the courage she needs to create the life she desires, and if a small handful of people read this book and it encourages them to work toward their own dreams, I’ll consider this endeavor a raging success.
When starting this book did you always have the plot twist in your head?
I always intended the book to be a dream because I wanted to encourage readers to think about their own our unique experiences and how these might be contributing to their reality. I believe we’re all shaped by our experiences, but by taking the time to dig deeper and reflect on why we feel the way we do about something, we can push past our habitual reactions to the outside world and create solid plans that will move us toward the life we’ve always dreamed of.
Kaitlyn is very inspiring throughout the book did you make it to inspire the reader in their goals?
What I find most inspiring about Kaitlyn is how she faced rejection, failure, and fear yet found the courage to keep trying. When I was teaching my older son to ride a bike without training wheels, he fell off and scraped his hands. While crying and refusing to try again, we talked and I explained to him that if he kept saying he couldn’t do it, his mind would make that come true. If he changed his words, saying he can do it, even when he was struggling, he would eventually succeed. By the end of the day, he was riding his bike like a pro. Of course adult problems are usually resolved so quickly but I I think the lesson applies to all of us. If we believe something is impossible, we may miss opportunities and cause our own failure.
I would love to know your feelings towards Matt. I felt that I had strong opinions and would love to know yours.
Matt is the villain in this story, and I think reader’s will dislike him from the start and wonder why Kaitlyn is with him. In my mind, she believed she had no other options and wasn’t worthy of him. Sadly, this happens more than some people realize. Smart, successful people fall into relationships with controlling partners, and after some time passes in which they’re isolated and emotionally manipulated, they start to lose faith in themselves. To everyone on the outside, the abuse is clear, but the victim finds themselves making excuses out of fear and low self confidence. I also thought it was important to highlight the dangers of emotional abuse, which can be overlooked as less dangerous than physical abuse. I think the best way to combat such situations, is by reaching out to others for help, and I hope to have shown how the support from her friend’s has helped Kaitlyn.
Anything else you would like to tell your readers or other writers?
I hope people will read the book and that it sparks conversations about all of the things we discussed above. These topics are very close to my heart and it’s important that we think about them. On a more selfish note, I hope that people buy the book and recommend it to their friends. Women’s fiction is a very difficult genre to break into, especially for indie authors who don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to spend on marketing and promotion. I’d love to continue writing thought provoking books about matters that are important to everyday women, but without the support of reader’s my books will be lost amongst the millions of other unread indie books. If you have questions or want to connect, feel free to visit my website at www.avalondane.com or email me at email@example.com
Yesterday I posted a review of Avalon Dane’s book. Please check it out, and also check out her book and website!