Author Charles R Hinckley is with me to wrap up the week. We’re chatting about his supernatural thriller, Dream State.
Charles R. Hinckley is an author, audiobook producer, playwright, and fine artist. His short stories and articles have been published by online magazines, and News America Syndicate. As a producer/voice actor, Charles has several titles available on Audible and Amazon.
Inspiration for his novel Dream State came when he had a precognitive experience. He saw a crime happen just before it was committed. After this experience he began to realize the potential for exploring this phenomenon in the form of fiction.
Welcome, Charles. Please tell us about your current release.
August Chase is an ordinary man plagued by extraordinary precognitive dreams. When he foresees the brutal murder of a young woman, he tracks her down to warn her. His warnings go unheeded, and the dreamed murder becomes a reality. The victim’s sister, frustrated by slow police work, enlists August’s help, and he is launched into his first case as a private investigator. Delving deep into the victim’s life, he soon discovers a common thread in the shadowy world that may have claimed her. This is book One of the August Chase Mystery Series.
What inspired you to write this book?
When I was twenty-one I had a very powerful prerogative experience where I saw my car was about to be stolen. I was able to get to my car and stop the thieves, but not until after they had done some damage. The cops came and they said the exact same things I had witnessed them saying in my precognitive vision. It was an unsettling experience. Since then I have had a number of small precognitive visions occur such as, knowing someone would visit, or I’d hear from someone I had been thinking about. I had a football dream once. During the AFC championship game, the Patriots would beat the Steelers, and then go on to win their first super bowl. I knew Tom Brady would hurt his ankle and Drew Bledsoe would come in against the Steelers, and they would win the game. I dreamed all this. And after that, I knew they would go on to win the Super Bowl. I didn’t bet on the game, but I guess I should have.
Excerpt from Dream State:
Pablo Carrillo was killed in the same dream several times before I attempted to save him. The dream always starts the same way: I’m in the passenger seat of a large sedan travelling along a suspension bridge. Light flickers through support girders, creating a strobe effect on the faintly illuminated guardrails. Outside to my right, at least a hundred feet down, is black water. I turn to the driver. He’s a heavyset man with a five o’clock shadow and thick, dark eyebrows. He’s fishing around for something between his legs, his eyes darting from the road to the seat. I try to speak, but nothing comes out. Awareness that this is actually a dream begins to dawn on me. It’s already set in motion. I’m only along for the ride. The car will crash, and the man will be killed. I dream this again and again. But this time I have the presence of mind to do something.
“Stop the car.” My voice is slurred and low as I choke out the words. He glances in my direction and smiles, like I’d paid him a gentle compliment. I turn down the sun visor and gaze into the mirror. It’s not my reflection I see, but a dark-haired woman sitting in the back seat. Her eyes are black and intense. She glares at me as if I’d robbed her. Her mouth moves, but I cannot hear her words.
Up ahead, in the oncoming lane, a large pickup truck swerves across the road, coming straight at us. I hear the piercing sound of tires skidding on cement, and shock reverberates through me. A slap to the head and we’re falling off the bridge toward the river. My stomach flies around in my chest; my heart pulses hard enough to burst my veins. Then the guttural smack of hitting the water, the puzzled look on Bushy Eyebrows’ face as his fat frame pushes into me, the crunching of bone as my cheek melts into the car door. His face is in front of me now. I see it in his eyes. He knows. All is lost. Death rears up and there is no escaping. It’s happening no matter what I do.
What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently working on a sci-fi story about an astronaut that encounters an alien species that is toxic to humans. As the space station he’s in changes course towards Earth, he must overcome the effects of the toxicity to save the space station and, ultimately, the planet from the alien threat.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I have been writing off and on since high school, but was drawn into acting and playwriting. I guess, you could say I have come full circle back to writing. Just in the last few years, I have been able to write full time.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I try to get all the daily chores out of the way and start writing around mid-morning. I take many breaks throughout the day, and sometimes can work up to 10 hours a day. Some days, I hardly write at all. Maybe I’ll spend the day reading or doing research. I also paint and produce audiobooks, although I try to do one thing at a time. So when I’m writing full time, no other projects take up my time.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I get into the mood and sort of get the creative juices flowing by listening to music. (Although, I can’t listen to music while I’m writing. It’s too distracting) Dido is a great artist for me to get into the state I like to be in when I write. There’s something about her music that gets my creative juices flowing. Also, classical music. Love cello. Also, dreaming is big in my life. I solve problems while dreaming. I often lucid dream. Many times when I write, I’m seeing the story in my head and just writing down what I see. I dream small movies at night. They usually have a beginning, middle and end. Sometimes with music!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was really young I played soldier all the time. As I got older, I was drawn to the arts. Music was huge for me growing up. I learned to play the drums and attended Berklee College of Music. But I soon realized music would not be my full-time passion. I gravitated towards the theatre and storytelling after that.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I am very happy and grateful to be able to write full time and plan to write as long as I can. I hope you enjoy my writing as much as I do.
Thanks for being here today, Charles.