I had a dream and a hero was born

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you woke up and said, “What the hell was that?”

A few weeks ago I had one of those dreams. It was a crazy dream saturated with elements of steampunk, the paranormal, and a ton of images I’m still trying to make sense of. Once I realized I was awake, I grabbed a pen and wrote down all of the key points I could remember. Some of the visions are blurry, like trees in the fog, having shape but no detail. Others were vividly clear, almost too real for comfort.

I’ve been working diligently on Old Mill Road, and paused to wrap up a short story for a cool new project (I’ll talk about more of that later in a separate post, somewhere down the road), but one thing that has continued to haunt me through all of it, was the character in that dream.

Who was he? What did he mean? What am I supposed to do with this?

Well, I’ve done a lot of thinking…and I’ve started researching…and I think I finally have an idea.

Old Mill Road has good momentum, and I don’t want to stop that just to work on this. I was listening to some old podcast episodes of Michael Stackpole’s The Secrets, and he was discussing serialized fiction, when he mentioned pulp fiction.

Then, BAM! It hit me.

I’m going to write a series of novellas, around 35k words each, which will follow the evolution of this new character. These stories will be in the vein of neopulp; paying tribute to old pulp fiction characters such as The Shadow, Flash Gordon, and Doc Savage. I’m still working out the kinks of exactly what is going to happen, but I’m fairly certain of where it’s going to begin and end. I’m going to shoot for five novellas in the series at first and then I’ll see where things go after that.

I’ll narrow my idea down to the nitty-gritty for now. The story will involve steampunk elements, a grand sense of adventure, and dabble in the Spiritualism movement of the late 1800s. It’s going to be about a blacksmith who’s nearly killed by a lightning strike and begins to develop otherworldly talents. Because my mind is wandering all over the place right now, I could ramble on about all the ideas I have. I’ll wait to ramble more until I have my official synopsis planned.

What I do know as of right now, is that the series is going to have an awfully long name: The Mysterious Chronicles of the Proteus Bell. The first story will be entitled, “Spiritual Awakening”.

Stay tuned. This series is promising be a wild ride into the fantastic.


  1. I love it when that happens! So happy for you Allen! When a dream can take you on such a wild ride and still be just the tip of the iceberg…well, it’s what we live for right. Congratulations on the new ‘baby’ or should I say ‘babies’. Enjoy it, have fun, and keep the coffee flowing…gonna be a fabulous and fertile writing stint.

    Love Always,


  2. This is awesome! Plus you had the pen and paper right there ready to record all of the details from your dream. I wrote a piece about doing just that — using the dreamscape to mine for new material and sensory information.

    For anyone interested, here is the post:
    Writer’s Tool Bag: The Dreamscape

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