Dream Tide

Local Author Hits Print

Local author Scott Schlefstein's first novel, The Dream Tide has been released and is available from a number of sources.  We talked with Scott about his new book.

This is your first novel.  How long have you been writing?

I've been writing my entire life - focusing on creative, surrealistic pieces which are heavy on poetic license. I spend a lot of time reading and that is where my muse comes from most of the time.  As a child, my mother took me to the Los Angeles City Library for long afternoons in the summer.  She was a big promoter of reading and always got me some kind of novel for birthdays and Christmas.  I spent many hours reading Orwell, Steinbeck, Wambaugh, Brooks, Clavell, Castaneda, Tolken and others, through my teenage years. 

Writing is like any trade.  You have to work hard to build the skill to have a command of the English language, but there's more to it than putting correct sentence structure to paper.  I tell people that the story and characters are the most important pieces of any novel.  The Dream Tide took two years to write.  A part of my soul had to be fed into the machine while I pushed the buttons of creativity, made a manuscript and edited for what seemed like forever.

Tell us a little about the story.  Is the book a crime drama, or an excursion into the supernatural?

The Dream Tide is a complex thriller novel with both supernatural and crime drama played out on the pages.  The story begins with my main character, Nate Abbot who has a strange experience as a teenager, where he discovers a unique dreaming gift.  This gift allows him to draw people into his dreams as well as in the physical world.  Development of this gift is cut short when the girl who helped him discover the ability is accidentally killed in front of him.  When Nate is an adult, his own accident brings back the past and throws him back into this dreaming again.  This time, he draws a familiar spirit into his life - a person long dead who warns him of future danger and changes to come.

Nate, who is a private investigator, also faces a dead-end case of a missing girl while this happens to him.  In order to get away from the case and his dreams, Nate decides to take his family and friends camping on vacation.  Once they arrive in Black Rock Nevada, things take an ugly turn.  Nate's case comes alive, the missing girl must be saved, a murderer is nearby, and survival in a surrealistic natural disaster is their only path.  Will Nate solve the case, figure out his dreams, save his family and find personal redemption in the process?
I filled the story with symbolism and an underlining of life and death, fate verses free will, and added a touch of murderous evil to the mix.  Somewhere inside, you’ll find the question of the “wolf” hunting the “sheep”, our connections to nature, and why bad things happen to good people. 

And at the top of the story, overlooking it all, is Abel - a beautiful, hero dog who has grey whiskers and an innocently loyal tenderness.

Where did you get your inspiration for the book?

My greatest inspiration came from family camping trips to the Playa at Black Rock Nevada. There is something magical about this place and we used a photo of the Playa on the book cover to show how beautiful the place can be. 

 I always thought:  “How did those pioneers survive that crossing on their way to California’s gold rush?”

 Also, the part about Nate’s dreaming and Libby’s sleepwalking is based on a real experience I had in Mt. Pinos in 1983.  There is a part in the book about a tornado aftermath, which is also based on a real, profound supernatural experience.  Black Rock, supernatural experiences, and a crime plot, peppered with some post apocalyptic survival, was my proverbial “candy store” in what I’d want in a story.  Why not write it?

You bio says you were born and raised in Southern California.  What brought you to Sierra County?

Yes, I grew up in Los Angeles and Ventura.  Sometime in the mid-90’s I decided to visit family in Truckee and never left.  When I married Nancy, we went house hunting in Loyalton because I had been to the area many times on work assignments over the years.  We found our dream house in this beautiful place and also quickly found how great the people are as well.  Sierra County is the friendliest place in America.

Where can people find your book?

Visit my website:
www.TheDreamTide.com.  The website has direct links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Tower Books and Books A Million, or you can buy a signed copy directly from me with the click of a button.

I will be signing copies on April 1st at the Loyalton Elementary School Science Fair.  A portion of each book sold will go to the Grizzly Cub Parents Club for teacher supplies and field trips for the kiddos.

A book signing in Truckee at Truckee Book and Bean will be announced when scheduled and I have a spring signing in Sparks Nevada at NMS on Rock Blvd. TBA.

To read more of Scott's work, see this piece in Pursuit magazine.
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