Author Interview – ES Fein

Author of A Dream of Waking Life.

Join me as I chat with ES Fein about his psychological thriller which released on May 6, 2022. Interested in lucid dreaming and existential discussions? Then check out his podcast.

Helen: Welcome Eric. I am so happy to be speaking to you today about your new book. It sounds so cool, and definitely a little mind bending!

Eric: A Dream of Waking Life is a philosophical, psychological thriller that tells the story of one man’s journey through space, time, and mind to not only discover his true identity but also the love of his life—a woman who keeps slipping through his fingers and into another reality. A thought-provoking meditation on the thin line between what is real and what is not, A Dream of Waking Life will leave readers questioning how far they would go to understand the nature of their own existence and how much they would sacrifice for love. 

Helen: Oh, that sounds deep and very intriguing. As is your cover. Can you tell us a bit about it?

Eric: The cover represents the three predominant dreams/worlds/realities (part of the grand mystery of the story is the uncertainty of what is real) that the protagonist is stuck in. I wanted the cover to appear as if these realities are blending into one another. The two figures standing and looking at the large tower, called “The Tower of God” in the story, are the main characters. You will also notice a small figure in the sky watching over them. I won’t say who that is. You’ll have to read the story to find out!

Helen: It is an interesting cover, you want to flip it around and inspect the alternate view to see what is different, because it is not a true reflection. What made you write such a complex and thought provoking book?

Eric: I wrote this book as a reflection on my lifelong experiences with lucid dreaming, existential confusion, bipolarism, thousands of psychonautical trips using DMT and other potent psychedelics, and the most important thing in existence: love.

Helen: I’ve never even heard of lucid dreaming, so colour me interested. I’m definitely going to be checking that out, when I find the time lol! I’m knee-deep in editing at the moment and my deadline is looming. You have some great reviews for your book already, and ‘unputdownable’ is the clear message. What genre does this book fit into?

Eric: I predominantly read and write scifi. A Dream of Waking Life isn’t pure scifi, but it definitely fits into the category. I love scifi stories because they are constantly forcing readers to wonder about reality and ask the big questions of existence: Who are we? Why are we here? What’s the purpose of reality? What the heck is going on?

Helen: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, it is such an achievement. What made you first put pen to paper and write a book?

Eric: I’ve been writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember. I remember in preschool, I used to have kids laughing and jumping in excitement as I made up wild and zany stories about what I had gone through on my way to school. The other kids called it “Eric story time,” and it felt as natural as breathing to me.

Helen: When writing do you prefer silence? or do you surround yourself with music?

Eric: Always! I listen to jazzhop or lofi hip hop when I write.

Helen: Is there anything random you would like share about yourself?

Eric: I was born without a right pectoral muscle. It used to cause incredible depression and self-hatred, even leading me to attempt suicide several times when I was young. Now, at 33, I see it as a blessing that has taught me how to accept imperfection and find beauty in all forms.

Helen: I am so sorry to hear you had to deal with such issues, but really happy that you found your way out and have embraced who you are and can appreciate all that is around you, and that you channelled your emotions and creativity into writing. What is the most useful piece of advice you have found about writing?

Eric: The author, Robert Heinlein, said in a book of writing tips something along the lines of: “Throw it all up! The only way to write is to throw up everything until it’s a complete mess. Once it’s all out, then you can go back and sift through the barf to find the actual story you’re looking for.”

Helen: Thank you Eric, for spending time with me today, I’ve loved chatting with you. Just to close out, is there any advice you would like to share with any aspiring writers?

Eric: Don’t expect to succeed in the traditional sense. If you aren’t writing because you enjoy writing, this will almost undeniably be a heart-breaking experience for you.

About the Author:

Reader, author, and purveyor of top-shelf science fiction, speculative fiction, and fantasy. My favorite subjects to read and write about include transhumanism, esotericism, cosmological ontology, existential ontology, Eastern philosophy, hard sci Fi, soft sci Fi, time travel, space exploration, psychological exploration, pansexualism, religion, mythology, space opera, experimentation with entheogens, and more. I like strange characters dealing with strange situations. Check out some free short stories on my site: Officialesfein.com

For all the latest news:

You can preorder A Dream of Waking Life from Amazon:

UK: eBook | Paperback

USA: eBook | Paperback

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If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and keep up with progress on my next books are published.

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Book Review Alert: Immortal Games by Lauretta Hignett

Reviewed: May 2nd, 2022
Released: April 27th, 2022
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Immortality sucks.

Just ask Imogen Gray: Over two-hundred thousand years old and teetering on the edge of total insanity. Strong as a shifter, faster than a vampire, Imogen’s walked the earth forever, always alone, never growing, never changing.

Imogen’s on a mission to find the next reincarnation of her father, the only person in the world who knows how to complete the transition to human, and get rid of the curse of immortality.

But when her delinquent teenage ward accidentally summons a powerful Fae Prince through the portal, suddenly, finding her dad has to take a backseat. There’s a homicidal maniac on the loose, one who has his eyes on the Vampire King. Her Vampire King. Worse than the burning jealousy is the fact that the Fae Prince seems to know exactly what she is.

Immortal Games is Book Two in the fast, fierce and fast-paced Urban Fantasy series. A slow-burn romance, it includes a diverse cast of characters, shifters, witches, fae, cryptids and more. Read My Thoughts…

Book Review Alert: Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray

Reviewed: April 23rd, 2022
Released: March 3rd, 2022
Genre: YA Fantasy

Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome mythical creatures to pay off her family’s debts. But when they are threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand.

As the son of a decorated hero, Ekon destined to become an elite warrior. Until a fire at the Night Zoo upends his future and, on the brink of his final rite of passage, Ekon is cast out – his reputation left in tatters.

For Koffi and Ekon, the outlook is bleak – unless they can capture the Shetani, the vicious monster that plagues their city. As Koffi and Ekon enter the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and danger, the tentative alliance between them is tested to the extreme.

The hunt begins – but are they the hunters or the hunted? Read My thoughts...

Book Review Alert: Sword and Shadow by Michelle Sagara

Reviewed: April 20th, 2022
Released: February 22nd, 2022
Genre: Fantasy

Beyond the Emperor’s law
In the city of Elantra, the law is upheld by a few groups, and the most feared are the Wolves—the Emperor’s executioners. The newest member of this elite force is Severn Handred.

Granted a leave of absence to pursue information about his unknown past, Severn joins a mission to an enclave well outside the boundaries of the Empire. And he will be in danger the entire time. Still, the instincts that led him to the Wolves and the sense of duty that keeps him there can’t be discarded as easily as the tabard he wears.

While he’s in the heart of the West March, enmeshed in a tangled web of mysteries that have been held for centuries, Severn’s belief in justice is going to be tested. It’s one mortal man and his single ally against a community of immortals who will kill to keep their secrets. But they don’t know who they’re up against. Read My thoughts...

Book Review Alert: Rule of the Night by M.H Woodscourt

Reviewed: April 16th, 2022
Released: January 20th, 2022
Genre: Science Fantasy

Blood called to the stars.
Darkness will answer.

After facing the Wildwood’s wrath, Lekore must set his sights on protecting his people from a threat descending from the depths of space. The key to safeguarding the cities of Erokel lies in an ancient shield system—if it can be repaired in time.

And the faraway threat isn’t Lekore’s only trouble. Closer dangers draw near to claim him and his abilities for their own. Somehow, he must wrestle with his newfound right to the throne, while he fends off a Tawloomez invasion, a slave revolt, and the worshippers of the Night—with only four days until first contact.

Meanwhile, the evil beyond his world has other plans… Read My thoughts…

Book Review Alert: Dragon Storm by Sloane McClain

Reviewed: April 14th, 2022
Released: March 31st, 2022
Genre: Paranormal Romance Fantasy

Taylor Lyon knows how to take care of herself. Her family made sure. But when she pulls an injured man from the night surf, she finds herself defenseless against his charms. Plus, the energy she picks up from him matches that of the sword her aunt hid while dying of cancer. A sword the women in her family have protected for centuries. Taylor has no intention of giving it to the wrong person. Is it possible this waterlogged stray is the rightful owner?

            Iain Pendragon can’t believe fate dropped him in the hands of a Sword Maiden who should know the whereabouts of one of the four remaining missing swords. Swords his family require to imprison an ancient evil for eternity. Claiming the sword means claiming his destiny and it leaves no room for love.

            But Taylor can only tell if the sword she guards is Iain’s by touching it once more. That means recovering it from its hiding place. If Taylor can even find it. Taylor worries that spending more time with Iain will make her fall more in love with him. Iain is concerned that he’ll be forced to choose between the woman he’s coming to love and the fate of the world. Read My thoughts…

Book Review Alert: Angel’s Abdication by Katherine D. Graham

Reviewed: April 11th, 2022
Released: April 9th, 2022
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy

Angel Princesses are not supposed to be forced into marriages with Devils.

Especially not the Crown Princess… to The Devil Himself.

When Angel Crown Princess Seracuse discovers her hand has been pledged to Lucef, the Devil himself, she falls from The Heavens to avoid a life at his mercy.

Abdicating the Angel throne is not an easy feat, though–not with the forces of both The Heavens and The Underworld on her trail.

Stumbling into The Human World, the wounded fallen Angel is rescued from Harpies by a charming, enigmatic Demon who takes her in and nurses her back to health.

The spark between them is undeniable, and the bond she finds herself forging with her rescuer is the strongest one she’s had with another person in centuries. But that bond brings out a darkness from deep within her–a darkness the future Queen of the Heavens cannot tolerate.
If only the man fanning the flames in her heart wasn’t the Demon King, Draco.

Or The Devil’s brother. Read My thoughts…

Book Review Alert: Immortal by Lauretta Hignett

Reviewed: April 10th, 2022
Released: March 31st, 2022
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Immortality sucks.

Just ask Imogen Gray – over two-hundred thousand years old and teetering on the edge of total insanity.

All throughout history, she’s been hunted by an ancient creature who finds her and rips her to pieces every time she dares to access her deepest powers. But Imogen always regenerates. Slowly. Painfully.

She’s on a mission to find answers. She’s almost found them.

Unfortunately for her, there’s a delinquent psychic kid, a dangerously hot Vampire King, and a power-crazed blood witch hell-bent on bringing about the apocalypse standing in her way. Read My thoughts…

Book Review Alert: Definitely Deacon by Vawn Cassidy

Reviewed: April 7th, 2022
Released: March 29th, 2022
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Jesse Ainsley’s life running his busy veterinary practice in the sleepy Cornwall bay he grew up in leaves no time for a serious relationship… at least, that’s what he tells himself, but the simple truth is much more cliché. He’s been in love with his best friend forever, but when he starts pulling away and goes radio silent on him for six months, Jesse begins to wonder if their friendship is finally over.

Deacon James lives his life at two speeds, a hundred miles an hour and stop. He’s spent the last decade travelling the world, winning races, partying with the most beautiful men and women, and living life on his terms, a life which was pretty close to perfect… with just one caveat… he’s never quite been able to get over the boy he left behind. His best friend Jesse has always made him yearn for something he’s too afraid to face and cutting him out of his life seemed like the only answer.

But things are never that simple. When Deacon wakes from an accident in Italy with Jesse asleep in the hospital chair beside him, he discovers Jesse’s been keeping secrets of his own.
At a crossroads in their life, they’re faced with a choice, build something deeper and stronger from the ashes, or let words unsaid and secrets tear them apart forever. Read My thoughts…

Book Review Alert: Graphite and Turbulence by Jami Fairleigh

Reviewed: April 5th, 2022
Released: March 1st, 2022
Genre: Urban Fantasy

He will need courage, resilience, and a bit of magic… to survive fatherhood.

Artist Matthew Sugiyama finally has a location to start his search for his birth family, but no one prepared him for the turbulence of a scowling, unhappy child. Not only is the depot is far away, his fledgling parenting skills are not cutting it… and everyone has plenty of advice to offer on fatherhood.

But before Matthew can find his bearings, Akiko disappears. In a blink, Matthew’s priorities change. Time is running out and when old friends and enemies arrive in the depot, the situation leaves Matthew scrambling. He needs a plan—and he needs help—but who can he trust?

A profoundly moving father daughter story of the search for love and connection, Graphite and Turbulence celebrates the magic that transforms friendly strangers into family. Read My thoughts…