Step into your dream world
18th Jan 21

Step into your dream world

Imagine being able to control your dreams and being able to decide what you want to do each time you fall asleep! Ross Welford's new novel, WHEN WE GOT LOST IN DREAMLAND, explores just that!

We asked Ross to tell us more about WHEN WE GOT LOST IN DREAMLAND:

Q: What is When We Got Lost in Dreamland about?

A: Two young brothers discover a mysterious device called a "dreaminator" which allows them to both control and to share their dreams. Every night is a new, exhilarating adventure, until it all starts to go wrong...!

Q: How did you decide what the Dreaminator would look like?

A: It was originally called The Electric Crystal Dream Machine, but that was far too clumsy. I don't know where the name "dreaminator" came from! As for what it looks like, it was sort of based on a "dream catcher" and I kept adding bits.

Q: Many of your books include strange gadgets / occurrences (invisibility, time travel, space ships and everlasting life included...) If you could have any one of these, which would you choose?

A: I guess time travel would be fun. I'd like to visit beautiful parts of the world before they were overrun with tourists - and yes, I totally understand the irony of that! And I'd like a glimpse of the future as well. All that said, though, a Dreaminator could allow me to do pretty much all of that anyway.

Q: Which comes first when you're writing, the situation and characters, or the gadget?

A: It's almost always the situation or "big idea" that comes first - the "great what if...?" Then I'll think about how that might come about - which is often the "gadget" or something similar. (Film writers call this the "MacGuffin" - the thing that propels the plot and creates the interaction between the characters).

Q: Why did you decide to explore son and father relationships in this story?

A: I didn't really - the characters did. In the first draft, Malky and Seb's dad was kind of in the background, quietly asking for a bigger part like a frustrated actor with a pushy agent. Of course, I gave in and it made the whole story much better.

Q: Through the Dreaminator, you also explore the power of our subconscious. Is this something you needed to research, including ideas around meditation and Buddhism?

A: I don't meditate myself, so I did research this area a lot. You have to tread a little carefully: these are often areas that people feel very personally.

Q: Do you have a favourite moment in this novel, or a section you really enjoyed writing?

A: I liked writing the scene when the boys try to assassinate Adolf Hitler with Nerf Guns: it's such a daft idea but there's a real edge of menace to it as well. I was pleased that the designers chose to base the cover illustration on that scene.

There's also a scene set in a 1980s television studio which, thanks to my background in TV - kind of wrote itself!

Q: Where and where do you do your best writing?

A: I try not to limit myself as to where and when. I have a study at home and when I'm doing early drafts, I try to write every day. I'm lucky, though: I also have a place in the country where I can escape and be totally alone for a few days, and that can very productive.

Q: Which of your novels did you enjoy writing the most?

A: Time Travelling With A Hamster stands out because it was my first, and was written more or less without any pressure. Since then, it's work, and there are countless things I'd rather do than work. It's rewarding, it pays, it's incredibly satisfying, absorbing and so on. The actual act of writing though, is hell. The German writer Thomas Mann said "A writer is someone for whom writing is much more difficult than for other people."

Q: What are you currently writing?

A: It has no title at the moment, but it involves a portal, an eleven year-old and an old mine shaft. Probably. I don't really know, to be honest: it's all over the place at the moment. But that's normal.

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