The dream from the Himalayas that became a book

I sat bolt upright. Blackness, nothing but an impenetrable darkness surrounded me.

Somewhere close a deep crack filled the icy air, as the once-great glacier of Namik carved her way downwards from the hunchbacked peaks of the Indian Himalayas above.

My dream flickered in front of me, replaying like a movie on the black canvas of the night. I scrambled for my pencil and paper and began to scribble under the beam of my head torch, hoping not to wake Gauri, my great friend and guide.

A young boy cowered under a dark djinn. His dreams, sparkling like strands of blue light floated in front of him. They had been ripped from him and were dangling from the calloused claws of the hideous, hooded spirit that stood over him.

Outside our tent, Namik glacier groaned, inside I had been sucked into a different world.

The boy cowered, powerless to stop the evil djinn as it dropped his dreams into a jar and roared ‘Dream no more boy. The world no longer needs your foolish dreams. It is time for you to grow up and be like everyone else.’ The djinn looked deep into the boy’s eyes. Its burning hatred was the last thing the young boy saw before the djinn dissolved back into the darkness.

As the sun rose across the old city of Xhadur, the boy desperately searched the dusty streets for the shadow-like creature and his dreams. The djinn though was nowhere to be found, and inside the boy, a dark weight took root, strangling his child-like spirit.

I scribbled furiously, trying to capture the textures and feelings as the boy felt the dark mist of fear growing inside him. A mist that was implanted by the djinn and that will take over his mind when the next full moon rises.

Somewhere in the depths of his pain, the young boy found hope, and in the hope, he found courage. The courage to leave the world he knew, and his family that he loved, and step into the unknown, step out with no certainty of return, in search of the dark spirit and his dreams.

Tiredness soon gripped me again and I drifted off to sleep, unaware of the journey that I had just stepped out on. I was not an author. I was barely a writer, other than my daily scribbles in my journal. Somehow, the act of writing down the dream that night sparked something to life. And now, twenty years on I have written almost every morning, stepping through portals into the lands of Xhadur, Duzkah and Umlak following Tarun’s epic journey in search of his stolen dreams.

Today that dream from the Himalayas has become a book, and more than that it is becoming a series. Writing has become a daily dream for me and I hope that, as we get close to publishing, this story helps you, or someone that you love, to water the seeds of a dream that lives inside of you. Because if I can become an author, I know that you can achieve your dreams. I’ll share everything that I can in this blog to help you water the seeds of your dreams and bring them to life. We all feel the weight and the dark mists of fear, but like Tarun, we can loosen its grip through courage, hope and walking forward each day, even if we are not exactly sure where the path is leading.

Let’s live our dreams together. I am here for you if you need any support.

Here is a little trailer of The Jar of Dreams, book one in the Dream Chronicles. It features the beautiful illustrations of Kalyani Ganapathy and was created with the help of my good friend Jamie Humphris from Mountain High Media.

An Introduction to The Jar of Dreams

Welcome to a short introduction to The Jar of Dreams and to this story that came to me in a dream halfway up a mountain in the Himalayas. I hope you enjoy this blog and the little windows it opens to the story, and the writing adventure I have had, bringing this dream to life.

Synopsis for The Jar of Dreams

Tarun is a young dreamer living in the twin cities of Xhadur and Hymez. One morning he wakes to discover that the dark djinn, Malakhiim, has smuggled into his sleep and stolen his dreams. In their place, Malakhiim plants a poisonous mist of fear that grows inside its host, strangling Tarun’s spirit and taking control of his mind.

With only thirty moons left to reclaim his dreams, Tarun steps into the unknown and the mysterious worlds beyond the walls of Xhadur.

Join Tarun on an adventure that sees him escape the dark spells of the Great Khan of Duzkah; cross the perilous ocean of Zalpaz; overcome Nayak-Ra, a fearsome, man-eating beast in the caves of Umlak and confront the Hekati, the demon warriors that guard the path back to his dreams.

What Tarun discovers along the way takes him to the edge of the world as he knows it, and beyond, and changes his life and those of many others forever.

Trailer for The Jar of Dreams

I hope you enjoy this little homemade trailer and introduction to The Jar of Dreams. It was made with the magical art of Kalyani Ganapathy, whom I was lucky enough to collaborate with in the early years of developing the characters and building the worlds of Xhadur and beyond.

Do You Want To Know More?

While I love reflecting on all the fun I have had in the last twenty-three years creating this story and learning how to craft a novel from a dream and a jumble of words, this blog is for you. So if you would like to know anything about The Jar of Dreams, or if you have any questions about the writing and publishing process, please let me know. The Jar of Dreams has come to life through the kindness of others and I love helping people who are passionate about writing or bringing their dreams to life.

Welcome to the Campfire of Dreams

Thank you so much for following the breadcrumbs and clicking whichever magical links which brought you here to this campfire where we will be talking about our dreams and ways that we can live them.

I’d love to know your name because, after all, what is a blog like this for if it isn’t for growing friendships (even virtual ones) as we sit around this make-believe campfire and talk about the things that light up our days and bring a little smile to our hearts. In the absence of knowing names at this point, I hope it’s ok if I imagine that you love reading, maybe even writing a little and that you have some dreams hiding somewhere inside you that you would love to bring out into the world.

Just to introduce myself and this blog. My name is Alan and as you’ll discover I have been on a fun journey writing The Jar of Dreams ever since it arrived in a dream, halfway up a mountain in the Himalayas. I had never planned to become an author, but after the dream, writing has become one of the biggest joys in my life. Every morning, I can’t wait to wake up at sunrise and step into the lands in The Jar of Dreams (now a series of books) and see who and what is waiting for me there.

In this blog, I want to share this ten-year (plus) journey with you in the hope that it waters a little seed of inspiration in you, to follow whatever dream it is that you have. Because, one of the biggest lessons that The Jar of Dreams has taught me is that life is better when we carve out time each day, or week, to give our best shot at bringing a little dream we have to life.

My plan as we start out, is to try and bring to life the lessons that I have learned, especially the things that have helped me cultivate a ‘writer’s mindset’. I’ll also introduce you to the kind people in the publishing world who saw something special in my first, half-baked manuscript, so they can help give you a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes when publishing a book. And of course, without creating any spoilers, I’ll give you a sneak peek of the characters and mystical places that make up The Jar of Dreams and the series.

Meet many of the kind people who have helped to create The Jar of Dreams.

Like all plans (and like the thousands of pages that didn’t make the final manuscript), I am happy to change it up, because this blog is written for you, so if there are any topics you would like more (or less) of, or if you have any particular questions, please let me know.

Thanks so much again for joining me around this campfire of dreams. Please feel free to invite anyone you know who might like to join us, and please keep watering your dreams as you go about the rest of your day.

Pelago (I’ll explain the language of Xhadur later ;))


P.S. If you would like to sign up for our newsletter (it’s where you get things like early character sketches, paintings, extracts from the book etc), please join us. Just click on the button below and add your email.

To the Dream Makers

So often in my life, I have been too caught up in busyness, in distraction and in my own stories and ego to stop and thank the people who have made my life so rich. 

Somehow, it seemed easier to unconsciously continue to speed towards the next moment rather than to open my heart and feel the gratitude flowing inside me and to express my love and deep thanks to each of you who have given and taught me so much.

I could never have written The Jar of Dreams, without the incredible support, generosity and love of so many.

This page, The Dream Makers, is my small way of saying thanks to everyone who has helped me on my journey as an author and also as a human, as they are inseparable.

Each week I will enjoy taking time to reflect on one person who has helped me. I am looking forward to saying thank you in my heart and to taking time to express my gratitude and love for you each in a few words.

To each of you, thank you for everything that you are and everything that you have given me.

Just a Few of the Dream Makers