Posted by: Vanessa Barneveld | June 28, 2009

‘D’ is for ‘Dee White’

Dee White

Author Dee White spent almost two years travelling around Australia. Wherever she pitched her tent, that was her home. These days, this former advertising copywriter finds touring cyberspace from the comfort of her rural property much more civilised. Today we’re celebrating the release of her first YA for Walker Books, LETTERS TO LEONARDO. As part of her massive blog tour, Dee’s here today to tell us a truly spooky story to kick off our dream theme this week. Be sure to comment for your chance to win a copy of her book.

After family, friends, writing and chocolate, dreams are my next favourite topic; so I was pretty enthused when Vanessa said, “Can we talk about dreams on your blog visit?” Dreams are so full of scope – they can be anything – and can become anything. In my YA novel, LETTERS TO LEONARDO, Matt has this dream that if he finds his mother, he will have the perfect family – this turns out to be so not true.

When I was seven, I had a dream that I was a writer – and now I am. That was one of the good ones, but I’ve also had my share of nightmares – and one in particular, that was really freaky – especially when it actually happened. It’s a bit gruesome, so brace yourselves.

I went through a stage for years where I regularly dreamt that my back was being gnawed by a big tawny monster with yellow eyes – it was sort of like a lion, but not really. I’d wriggle and squirm to try and get away, and eventually, I’d wake up. Then one day, when I was in my teens, I was walking through the bush with a friend, when a Great Dane (one of those really big long-legged dogs with a tawny coat and yellow eyes) came out of the bushes and grabbed me on the back. It was the strangest thing – I don’t even remember being that scared – just thinking, I knew this was going to happen. Luckily for me, my friend ran off screaming and the dog chased her instead. Fortunately, she wasn’t bitten – and we both escaped. I never had that dream again.

Just the other night, I had a bizarre dream about an elephant with an unusual perspective on reality, but I can’t tell you much about that because it seems to be turning itself into a Picture Book.

I always say I’m going to write down my dreams and turn them into a ‘bestseller’, but of course by morning, most of them are forgotten. The bizarre elephant dream is one of the few exceptions – not that I’m saying it’s going to be a ‘bestseller’ – but at least I remembered it! Hmm! Now where are the paper and pen you’re supposed to keep next to your bed to write stuff down in the middle of the night?☺

Thanks for having me here today, Vanessa, and for being part of my LETTERS TO LEONARDO blog tour. I’m having so much fun zooming through Cyber Space. Tomorrow, I’m off to Dale Harcombe’s blog to talk about the process involved in writing LETTERS TO LEONARDO (a book that wasn’t inspired by a dream – but by something that actually happened).

Thank you for being here on your whirlwind tour, Dee!

You can buy a copy of Dee’s book online at Booktopia, Boomerang Books, Collins Booksellers and The Book Abyss.

Or…you could WIN one of your very own simply by telling us if your dreams (or nightmares!) have ever come true. The winner will be drawn next Friday.



  1. Thanks for having us on your blog Vanessa, it’s so great to be here. Dreams are such a fascinating topic. Matt (the mc from Letters to Leonardo) and I were just discussing yesterday how sometimes it’s hard to know if dreams are real or imagined. Can’t wait to see what other bloggers have to say about dreams.

    Catch you soon.

    Dee and Matt:-)

  2. Hi Dee, and congratulations on your debut book. What an enormous thrill! I have a soft spot for Walker books and we have quite a few of them here.

    I come from a family of dreamers. Well, my dad and I dream a lot and my kids have vivid dreams. I love the fact that dad would get up of a morning and start telling me these wonderful things he’d dreamt. It was like hearing about a good movie but usually without the ending. Mum reckons he’d been known to wake up, murmur something about going back to sleep to finish an interesting dream, then do so! I’ve never been able to do that. Sadly now I can’t remember mine. It’s the waking dreams that keep my occupied as I try to write!


  3. Thanks for dropping in to say hi, Annie – and for your congratulations.

    I was really interested in what you had to say about dreams. I know I sometimes have that feeling that I wish I could go back to sleep so I could find out what happens in the end of the dream.


  4. Thanks for being here, Dee! I second the congrats on publishing your YA. Your story about the dog gave me chills! Are your dreams usually prophetic?

    Hi, Annie! Glad you could pop round. I’m a vivid dreamer too. It really is like having a movie playing just for you. How cool that your dad is able to ‘finish’ dreams after waking!

  5. Thanks Vanessa,

    I’m really pleased to be here. My dreams aren’t usually prophetic – and like Annie, I don’t always remember them:-)


  6. Thankyou again, Dee and hello to Vanessa,
    What a fasinating stopover. I am a great believer in dreams – had a couple of ‘prophetic’ ones (Scary!) but mostly good fun – usually two a night but witout the peanuts and icecream during interval.
    A friend suggested rather than waking up enough to grab pencil and paper, one should record a message to themselves on their mobile phone. Don’t know how well that would work. Don’t have mobile.
    Oh rats! I talk too much! Great site, delightful blog. Thanks Dee and Vanessa.

  7. Hi Belka,

    Thanks for dropping in to say hi! Prophetic dreams are strange aren’t they? Using the mobile phone as a recording device for your dreams sounds like a great idea – might have to work out how to do it:-)


  8. Hi, Belka! Lovely to see you here. I do need to find a good system of recording my dreams but I reckon I’d be too incoherent to record my dreams in the middle of the night.

    Speaking of food and dreams, an old flatmate told me you shouldn’t eat bananas before bedtime because you’re guaranteed nightmares.

  9. […] other news… There’s still heaps of time to comment at We Love YA and win a copy of Dee White’s absorbing new YA, LETTERS TO LEONARDO. Possibly related posts: […]

  10. Great blog, Vanessa and Dee!

    Dee, your travel adventures in the tent ust have been fantastic! I’m currently sitting under canvas in Kununurra – my dh and I are travelling by motorbike and towing a camper trailer as our home. We’ve been on the road now for three months and I’m loving it. I might be a hobo at heart, I think! Mind you, it’s a luxury hobo I am! 🙂

    Mmmm, dreams! I’ve had some of those that I definitely don’t want to come true! Those awful pursuit nightmares where your feet are stuck in treacle or the exam one where you get to the desk and can’t remember anything about the subject!

    I had a dream once where I’d almost had this idea for a really really fantastic short story but I woke up before I actually told myself what the brilliant plot line was! Now that was a writer’s nightmare!

    Congratulations on your book. Letters to Leonardo sounds like a very thought-provoking book.


  11. Sharon, thanks so much for stopping by in the middle of your own tour! I’ve had those exam dreams. Ughhhh! The bad thing about lucid dreams is that you really feel you’re living them at the time.

    I hope you retrieve that short story idea from your brain some day. Wasn’t it Stephenie Meyer who said she dreamt the plot of TWILIGHT?

  12. Thanks Sharon – I got all nostalgic thinking of sitting in a tent in Kununurra – there are a lot worse things you could be doing:-) I think I might be a hobo at heart just like you. Hope the rest of your trip is just as fantastic.

    Sounds like your dreams give you plently to write about. I’m with Vanessa – those exam dreams are the worst.

    Vanessa, did you say that Stephanie Meyer dreamt the plot of TWILIGHT? Now she must have some really bizarre dreams. Sounds like she ate too many bananas:-)


  13. LOL to the bananas, Dee! I swear, it’s true SM dreamt the plot. Well, that’s what she says here:

  14. Hey, if eating bananas can make me as successful a writer as Stephanie Meyer then it’s time I changed my diet!!

    Somebody pass me the fruit bowl quickly!


  15. Heh! I’m game. It’s a good thing I’m banana lover.

  16. Wow! Great Blog, Vanessa.

    Congratulations, Dee. Love the photo. You look like a young version of Judy Garland.

    Your’re so clever to come up with such an original idea for your book. I can’t wait to read it, but you already know that by now.

    I can relate to the dog story. I got chased by a pack of feral dogs when I was sixteen and four months pregnant. I was so terrified that I ran into a woman’s garden and pounded on her front door. Lucky for me, and my daughter, the woman opened the door and let me in.

    Now to dreams. I’ve had quite a few of my dreams, and my nightmares come true.

    When I get stuck on a chapter in my WIP, I ask the MC for advice just before I fall asleep. It really works. I wake up with fresh new ideas. It also works if you can’t remember where you’ve put something.

    I’ll have to check the rest of the blog now.


  17. Thanks for visiting us, Trish! I’m sorry to hear some of your nightmares have come true, and being chased by feral dogs when you were pregnant sounds truly terrifying. But wow, I love your idea of asking your MC for advice before turning in at night. I have a *lot* of questions for my heroine…

  18. Trish,

    You are so good for me – a young Judy Garland? Why thank you? Must admit I thought for a while I was chasing rainbows – but now my book is coming out in three days time – Yay!

    What a terrible ordeal for you with the feral dogs -you must have been terrified – sounds like there’s a YA story in that:-)

    Great idea about asking the MC for advice – I will definitely try that one.

    Vanessa, how am I going to break the news to my son that he’s not going to be the boy version of Stephanie Meyer – he’s allergic to bananas:-)

    Thanks everyone for your great comments and conversation. This is so much fun.


  19. Dee, it’s been wonderful having you here today. Thanks so much for your time. I’m glad your dream of being a writer came true!

  20. I’m looking forward to finishing a Y/A book one day, but I have to finish my series of chapter books first. My MC has taken over my life. LOL.

    I started writing a Y/A book just to have a break from the eight-year-old brat in my WIP.

    I had forgotten about being chased by the pack of feral dogs until you reminded me, Dee. I was terrified of dogs for years after that. I must remember to add it to my Y/A book.

    Vanessa, it really does work to ask your MC questions before sleep. Mine has given me some great ideas. Hehe. She lets me know when she’s not happy too. She’s a brat and once I turned her into a nicer child, but when I started writing again, she ended up being more mischievous then ever. She always gets her way. LOL.

    I’m really enjoying your tour, Dee. I’m learning a lot too.

    I’m enjoying your links too, Vanessa.

  21. Ah, Trish, sometimes those characters just run away with the show, don’t they? Troublemakers!

  22. Thanks so much for having me at your place yesterday Vanessa. I had a blast.

    Today we’re off to visit Dale Harcombe to talk about the writing process.

    Happy blogging.


  23. I’m just throwing this out there… Hayden Pantierre would’ve made a great Bella Swan.

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