Have you ever had a dream so vivid you wonder how the hell it was possible? The mind is an incredible thing, we know that, but I admit there's something I find absolutely fascinating about how we dream. See, I'd been fretting about Henry's character. He's one of my protagonists, the love of Johnnie's life. Yet I've been feeling disconnected from him. He hasn't been talking to me as much as the other fellas. Granted, when those other fellas are Johnnie and Chance, it's understandable. Anyone would be lucky to get a word in edgewise. I needed Henry to step up and stop being such a wall flower because if he wasn't careful, Johnnie's ostentatious personality was going to wipe him clear off the map.
This fretting was obviously floating around in the back of my mind when I dozed off last night, and the whole thing filtered into my dreams, because I dreamed I was in the 1930s. It was weird. It was one of those things where you kind of know you don't belong there yet you're still a part of it, a sort of semi-awareness. It's not the first time I've dreamed of a different time. (Welcome to the head of a historical writer). Anyway, the thing is, it was the 1930s. Not surprising considering how much of my day I spent trying to immerse myself in that time. What I found surprising was the incredible vividness of the dream. I swear, it was as if I had closed my eyes and woken up in that time.
I remember a restaurant, and the incredible detail of it just blew me away. I don't know what restaurant it was, whether it may have been something I had seen at some point somewhere or if my head had just made it up and turned the colors up full blast, but the details took my breath away. From the clothing the people were wearing to the gorgeous ceiling and the tiled floor. It breaks my heart that I can't remember much of it now, but I remember at the time just standing there in awe.
Just where had my head conjured up this place from? Believe me, I might know my era, but I'm nowhere near as good as that, where I can just piece something together off the top of my head. There was also a hotel lobby and busy sidewalks at night, all illuminated by signs. Mostly I remember indoors. I remember a good deal of it was sort of in a shopping arcade, which is where this restaurant was. I remember green marble tiles in a diamond pattern on the floor with white marble tiles. Lots of gold inside the restaurant, intricate designs.
Now the best part was, there was a man in a dark blue, three-piece suit walking beside me. He had his hands in his pockets and a gray felt hat on his head with a black ribbon around it. He was tall, slender, very unassuming, soft spoken, and handsome, though I couldn't see his face clearly. He would talk with his head lowered. I couldn't see what color his hair was. Then I remember he took me back somewhere. There was a gift shop, but it was closed. I remember sun coming in through a window on my left and cloth tarps covered a good deal of the furniture. Even though I can't remember what he was talking about, I remember there was an odd sense of peace mixed with sadness. Either it was him giving off this sadness or it was whatever he was talking about.
When I turned, I saw a table filled with pretty souvenirs. They were British. I knew then the man was Henry. Henry's English, you see. He's tall, slender, unassuming, soft spoken, and handsome. For the life of me, I can't remember what Henry was talking to me about. I wish I could say I woke up and knew everything there was to know about him, but I didn't. I did wake up feeling a little more connected to him. It might sound strange, and a little silly, but I also woke up feeling somewhat sad. Because for a moment, he had been there, real and in the flesh, living and breathing like any other person we talk to on a daily basis. Except he was a man of his time, and in the here and now, he would have passed on many a year ago. Henry was gone.
What does this mean for the story? Well, it's made things a little more complicated, so hold onto your hats. See, now that it feels as if I've met Henry in person, I can't get into his head. I've mulled over the POV of Johnnie's book endlessly. At first it was going to be Johnnie's POV because the first book was written from Chance's POV and I thought I should continue that. Then it changed to third so I could get into other characters' heads. Now, it only feels right doing it from Johnnie's point of view, to see and feel things through him, and most importantly, to see Henry through Johnnie's eyes, the way I saw him through my own. See, there's a reason they say we writers are screwy. So I feel as if I can't let Henry down. I have to give a life and a love worthy of the man who had walked beside me in that shopping arcade. Henry, I apologize in advance for what Johnnie will put you through, but I promise you, you'll get your happily ever after.