Please welcome Matthew Franks to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs. The Monster Underneath was published on April 5th by Samhain Publishing.
My Recurring Dream By Matthew Franks
Dreams have always fascinated me. Whether a seemingly random collection of images or a specific detail I thought about earlier in the day, I, like many others, wonder why we dream what we dream. After all, it’s a time when we are our truest selves, unhindered by the constraints of reality. Dreams are, in essence, our most unconscious fears, desires, and needs briefly come to life.
Of all the types of dreams, none have aroused my curiosity more than recurring ones. I’ve heard of people repeatedly falling yet never landing. Others are chased by something every night but can never figure out what it is. In my own recurring dream, however, I’m neither plummeting into the void nor running away from a mysterious entity. In my recurring dream, I’m back in school.
Mind you, there are variations on the theme. For example, in one version, I’m a second grader in an adult body like Adam Sandler in Billy Madison. In another, I’m in high school again because all of my credits were somehow deleted and my diploma was consequently voided. In yet another variation, I’m back in college forced to retake courses I’d failed but couldn’t remember registering for in the first place.
In every case, though, once it’s over I feel like Val Kilmer in the eighties comedy classic Top Secret when he dreams he’s in high school only to wake up relieved to discover he’s back in a Nazi prison cell being tortured by two goons. Not that I’d prefer being flogged to going to school but, suffice to say, I’m glad to have that part of my life behind me.
In The Monster Underneath, recurring dreams play a prominent role. Max Crawford, the protagonist, uses his psychic powers to enter the dreams of prisoners who often dream of the specific crimes that led to their incarceration. By doing so, he’s able to help rehabilitate them. It isn’t until the FBI has him enter the dreams of suspected serial killer William Knox that things get a lot more unpredictable. The dreams he must navigate to get the leverage needed for a confession are the stuff of nightmares and make me thankful that my recurring dream pales in comparison. I hope you’ll check it out.
The Monster Underneath
Samhain Publishing, April 5, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 208 pages
Reality can be the difference between a dream and a nightmare…
Max Crawford isn’t a typical prison therapist. He uses his unusual psychic ability to walk with convicts through their dreams, reliving their unspeakable crimes alongside them to show them the error of their ways.
Max always has to be on his toes to keep himself grounded, but the FBI agent waiting for him in his private office immediately puts him on edge. The bureau wants Max to go way outside his comfort zone to enter the dreams of suspected serial killer William Knox.
To get a confession and secure the future of his prison program, Max must gain Knox’s trust by any means necessary—and survive the minefield of secrets waiting inside a murderer’s mind. Secrets that could turn Max’s reality into a living nightmare.
Matthew Franks lives in Arlington, Texas with his beautiful wife and children. He studied psychology and creative writing at Louisiana State University then obtained a Master’s Degree in counseling from Texas State University. When he’s not working on his next story, he’s counseling adolescents or trying to keep up with his three highly energetic daughters. You can connect with Matthew at: authormatthewfranks.com.