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Writers Inspiring Change featured book: Broken Dreaming: A Broken Series - Book 1, by Neal Solomon






As far as apocalypse scenarios go, this wasn't so bad. It has been 40 years since the world ended and few remaining survivors live in small, farming communities that are mostly isolated from each other. This is the world that Ramsey knows and he's comfortable with it all. That is until he begins to have strange dreams of another world. Every night it's the same dream as if he is living a different life. In his dreams, he is living in a world full of people. It's a world that was never destroyed and it feels just as real as his waking life. Ramsey attends school there and has a group of friends that only exist in that world.


As Ramsey starts to wonder what is going on, he also starts to explore his waking world. Along with his close friends, Alita and Darren, Ramsey goes into the world to find out why things are the way they are. There are dangers lurking in the world that he never even imagined. There are things that the older generation doesn't speak of. There's a shocking realization that occurs when you come to know that the world that you perceived as a child, is much different from how it actually operates. And what do the dreams have to do with everything?


Broken Dreaming is the first book in The Broken Series. It is a post-apocalyptic story that deals with themes of coming of age, dealing with trauma, romance and science fiction.













About Neal Solomon



What inspired you to write? 

I've always enjoyed stories but when I was younger I didn't think I could write a full length novel so I just never tried. It wasn't until I left my job and between jobs, I was feeling much more creative and had many stories in my head that I wanted to get out. This story in particular started by wondering what it would be like to meet myself from another reality. I then started wondering what that reality would be like and how growing up in a different reality would affect who I am. I like the post-apocalyptic genre so I thought that would be the different environment I could explore. Ramsey, the main character, was loosely based on this idea. 


What Inspired your book?

One of my favourite stories and video games is Final Fantasy Tactics. I put several ideas from this game into my book. Anyone who knows the game will recognize names like Mustadio and Ovelia. The characters of Ramsey and Darren are takes on Ramza and Delita from that game. The setting of the game and the book is very different, but I wanted to pay some homage to one of my favourite stories in my writing. The names were initially place holder names but I grew connected to them and didn't change them. I also wanted to write the post-apocalyptic genre a little different from what I know. Generally, it's a genre in a very desperate world. Often there are zombies, and other humans killing each other for resources. I wanted to show a better view of humanity. It starts out very peaceful. No one is fighting each other. Most are isolated by surviving peacefully in small communities. Everything is more than what it seems at first, and the heroes of the story uncover what is really happening along with the reader, but it doesn't take away the fact that the world in Broken Dreaming is not a cut throat, violent world. There is violence. There are lies and manipulation and secrets, but people in general are kind. 

Regarding Ramsey as the main character - I wanted him to be a normal person. He is helpful, he is kind and often unaware of what is going on around him. He's a young farmer because that is how her grew up. He's not particularly gifted at anything. He's just a nice guy. I like the idea of the protagonist not being super human (aside from maybe being very handsome, but this is fiction and main characters are good looking!). Over his story arch in this book and the series that follows - this is the first of a series of four books - I wanted to show how his actions affect the world around him without violence, without being the smartest person in the room, but just by being kind and trying to empathise with others. You will have to wait until the final book to see how successful I am at conveying that, but that is my intention.

The other two main characters I did use more standard science fiction tropes. It's fun and I like that, so I wasn't going to reinvent the wheel here. Darren is smart in a way that only science fiction can do. Ally, the third main character, is a butt kicking girl with ADHD. Both were very fun to write.


What are you aspiring for as a writer?

So writing has become a hobby for me. I enjoy it. I work full time and have a family so I can't put as much time into it as I would like, but if we are talking about aspirations... sure, I'd like to make a living from writing. I have many stories in my head, so I could write and write everyday and spend my life doing that. If I ever sell enough books to quit my day job, you bet that's what I'd do! I'd be lying if I said I didn't also dream of my story becoming a movie. I picture it as a movie as I write it. I think each book would make an awesome movie. I have also created a board game based on the book. It's a prototype right now. it plays well and it a lot of fun. I'm still trying to figure out how to make the game into something real that I can sell and put out into the world. I have very limited time and resources to make this happen so it's moving slowly right now. I hope to get it out one day. I have more books and games to make based on them.  







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