Nightmares & Daydreams tells the story of twenty-seven-year-old Kalim. He lives in Marseille with his boyfriend and is a songwriter. Kalim starts to experience nightmares and hallucinations as trauma from his past starts to haunt him, unraveling his thoughts. Then, his out-of-body experiences get violent. Kalim decides his only hope of salvation is by following a mysterious being.
The plot sounds so twisty. It is currently available on Amazon. I was very excited when the author reached out, as I am a huge fan of thriller novels. One thing that grabbed my attention about Nightmares & Daydreams was how it’s also paranormal.
Author Dominic Anton joins me today to chat all about his latest book and answer exclusive questions about it!
Dominic, welcome! Tell us more about Nightmares & Daydreams.
Nightmares & Daydreams is my third book and very first “hybrid” project consisting of a thriller fiction story as well as a section of poetry that ties back into the story’s themes of trauma, addiction, and cognitive distortions, as well as the path to healing. The story unravels the consequences of a boy named Kalim, who had suppressed his innermost traumas from his teenage years, including abuse, addiction, and the loss of his grandparents in a fatal car accident.
Unable to properly cope, his inner demons start to ripple from the depths of his subconscious years later and begin to manifest into nightmares, hallucinations, and out-of-body experiences. An entity of an older woman begins to emerge through the fog of his manic mind and haunts him, getting closer with every nightmare and daydream he falls victim to. Unable to escape, he has no choice but to succumb to his own spiritual calling and follow the entity as his final hope for salvation.
Nightmares & Daydreams
The story follows Kalim. He’s a songwriter living with his boyfriend, who is haunted by trauma from his past. Find out if he overcomes his nightmares and finds salvation or if the past continues to haunt him.
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What inspired you to write this spiritual thriller?
Interestingly enough, there was no profound inspiration for the story, and I didn’t have a goal to write a fiction book. I started writing some poems in 2020, but there was no real direction for them. One morning though, I woke up in a very peculiar state of mind. Usually, when I wake up, my thoughts begin to run rampant, but that morning my mind was silent, and I felt the urge, as if I were possessed, to go to my laptop, and I began to write. Twenty minutes later, the general plot of the summary was written. As I began to fill in the details with each chapter, I injected some of my own personal experiences into the story and used the poetry section to delve deeper into its dark themes. I simultaneously wrote both sections of the book up through the Summer of 2022.
Do you have a favorite character in Nightmares & Daydreams?
I’m most excited for readers to meet the protagonist, Kalim. Kalim is such a beautiful soul and intelligent person but unfortunately fell victim to many tragic situations in his past that stunted his spiritual growth, as well as his capabilities to healthily work through and heal the trauma he endured. As stubborn and resistant to help as he appears to be throughout the book, I hope readers can fully immerse himself into his psyche and understand the complexities of who he is, which is an incredibly loving soul, despite the deep fog of his past that clouded his growth and ability to heal.
Is there a chapter you are most eager for readers to read?
I think “London Calling” and “Standing in the Cold” midway through the book are two of the most profound chapters. Kalim lives in Marseille but returns to London, where he grew up, in an attempt to reconcile his relationship with his father. Without spoiling too much, they’re very emotionally heavy chapters that the book slowly builds up to, and writing about my favorite city within the context of the story was a thrill.
This is your third novel but your first spiritual thriller (and it also includes poetry). How did your writing process differ in crafting Nightmares & Daydreams compared to your previous novels?
I’ve realized much more about my relationship with writing during this project than my last two, and not just because this was my first attempt at writing fiction. I used to think that writing was a passion of mine, but something I touch on in the poetry section is that it’s not solely a passion. It’s more of a force that possesses me, whether I want to write or not. I realized it at first when I wrote the plot of the book seemingly out of nowhere, and it became more evident during days when I wasn’t in the mood to write, but this force inside of me would take control, and I would write complete poems within minutes. It’s funny, but I joke that this energy is some sort of monster that doesn’t allow me to rest. There’s a line in one of the poetry pieces that goes, “Still the feeling comes, and it throws me to the desk, and I’m without a say as every muscle gets possessed.” I wholeheartedly believe that it would have taken me twice as long to complete this book if writing was simply just a hobby. There’s a deeper force within me, and I’m just the vessel it channels through.
What is it you hope readers take away from this novel?
I hope that readers, maybe those who have suffered any type of trauma in the past or even have just been stuck in negative thought patterns, can realize that these things do not define us. Although we feel as though our bodies and minds have been programmed and conditioned since we were young into the beings we are now, we have the power to recondition ourselves to have more positive mindsets and adopt healthier coping mechanisms, trains of thought, and even personality traits. We only have to find the inner strength within ourselves to break these patterns, and with patience and practice, we can shed the skins of our past.
Anything else you want to add before you go?
I wrote this book for many reasons, but especially to highlight the voices of underrepresented minorities, such as BIPOC members of the LGBT community. Being Middle Eastern and a member of the LGBT community, I didn’t grow up with much support and was afraid of expressing myself to those around me. I didn’t even have the opportunity to see people similar to me in books, movies, or TV shows.
There was no escape or comfort, and I wanted to use my voice for those who are in the same position I was in when I was a child and be a source of comfort to people who are struggling with accepting their sexualities, particularly in traditional and ethnic households. Living as a member of the LGBT community is not always easy, but being a POC and living within a culture where being LGBT is heavily frowned upon and even illegal in some places raises an even greater threat to our identities and safety.
I want other readers who don’t identify as a BIPOC member of the LGBT community to also immerse themselves into the mind of a gay BIPOC character like Kalim and understand how much of an impact parents have on their children by not creating a safe space of support for them to grow up in. I hope to shed light and continue, along with many artists of the current generation, to comfort those who are still trying to find the inner strength to love themselves and remember that they’re deserving of love, no matter what environment they grew up in, no matter who told them that they’re not deserving.
Where can readers find you on social media?
I’m mostly active on Instagram, and you can find me on either of my handles @AKADomm and @Violetvenomx. I’m also on Tik Tok with my @AKADomm handle, and you can find more info as well as the links to purchase my books on www.violetvenom.com
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