Sometimes you can judge a book by its cover. The new edition of my book Dreamgates has a beautiful cover, designed by Tracy Cunningham, that makes you want to step inside it. Flying to California this week to talk about Dreamgates at a series of fine independent bookstores that are bravely weathering current conditions - Book Passage in Corte Madera, Readers Books in Sonoma, Copperfields in Sebastopol - I saw the cover work its magic.
Like all well-trained authors, I had a copy of my new book with me along with my in-flight reading. A young woman - an editorial assistant in her 20s - sitting next to me on the first flight caught sight of the gorgeous cover and asked if she could have a look at it. She went straight to the last pages of Dreamgates, where I tell the story of a weave of dreams and synchronicity that guided me on how to publish my first book on dreaming (Conscious Dreaming) and led me, a year after a crucial guiding dream, to a scene in the Embarcadero cinema in San Francisco where that dream unfolded, in ordinary reality, in front of my eyes. My rowmate exclaimed, shiny-eyed, "I want to live like this." She proceeded to devour as much of the book as she could before we landed.
On the second flight (Chicago-Oakland) my rowmate was a feisty lady aged 75 who's lived for 20 years in Carmel, California. She, too, asked to see the book with the gorgeous cover. She opened it at random to a section that explores the idea that we can "design a home in the afterlife". This didn't faze her one bit. "I've put all this time and effort into making myself a perfect home in Carmel," she said. "I'm 75 and I guess it may be time for me to start looking seriously into real estate options on the Other Side." She leafed through a section of Dreamgates about visiting our departed loved ones in their present environments, not only to have timely and helpful communication, but to gain first-hand knowledge of conditions in the afterlife. She told me, "I'd love to see what my husband's been up to since he died thirteen years ago. You mean this book can teach me how to do that?" I showed her the section in Dreamgates that contains simple and practical instructions for making a conscious dream journey to meet a loved one on the Other Side. She announced she would get the book and give this a try. She added, patting the book, "I think I want to die like this."
I felt charmed and blessed that in chance encounters on two planes on launch day, Dreamgates was judged a good book to live - or die - by. That seemed to cover a lot.