Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau

by Justine Bergman

Welcome to the Kickoff of the Dreams of the Dying Book Tour presented by Storytellers On Tour! We’re always told to never judge a book by its cover, but I mean…look at that cover! As soon as I spotted it along with its gripping blurb, I knew this was a book that I desperately needed in my life with its promise of everything I look for in a dark fantasy tale. For all you fans of Grimdark Fantasy and/or Psychological Horror with a bit of mystery thrown into the mix, be sure to stay tuned throughout this upcoming week as we showcase Nicolas Lietzau’s chonker of a novel, Dreams of the Dying, book one of the Enderal series. I’m champing at the bit to hear what everyone thinks of this one, it’s going to be an exciting week.

Nicolas was kind enough to stop by to chat about this book of his, what he hopes readers take away from his story, and what lies ahead. So, keep scrolling to learn more about the book and author, check out the jam packed schedule of awesome people taking part in this tour, read the interview, and enter to win yourself a copy of Dreams of the Dying!

We’ve enlisted a group of wonderful and talented bloggers and Bookstagrammers to help us feature Dreams of the Dying. This is what we have going on, so make sure to check out each and every one throughout the week for some brilliant content, including reviews and more.

Whispers & Wonder (IG: @whispersandwonder)
The Swordsmith
Devouring Books (IG: @wilcoxmandy)
Rusty’s Reads
The Bibliophile Chronicles (IG: @thebibliophilechronicles)
Beneath A Thousand Skies
I Can Has Books? (IG: @carrieicanhasbooks)
Queen’s Book Asylum

For more info, visit the official tour page at Storytellers On Tour.

About the Book

Years after a harrowing war experience, ex-mercenary Jespar Dal’Varek has taken to drifting. It’s a lonely existence, but, barring the occasional bout of melancholia, he has found the closest thing to peace a man like him deserves. Life is “all right.”

Or so he believes. Hoping to turn the page, Jespar accepts a mysterious invitation into the beautiful but dangerous archipelago of Kilay-and everything changes.

Plagued by explosive social tensions and terrorism, the tropical empire is edging ever closer to civil war. Kilay’s merchant king is the only person able to prevent this catastrophe, but he has fallen into a preternatural coma-and it’s Jespar’s task to figure out what or who caused it. As the investigation takes him across the archipelago and into the king’s nightmares, unexpected events not only tie Jespar’s own life to the mystery but also unearth inner demons he believed to be long exorcised.

Battling old trauma while fighting for his life, his sanity, and the fate of Kilay, the line between dream and reality blurs until only one question remains: If your mind is the enemy, where do you run?

Dreams of the Dying by Nicolas Lietzau
SERIES: Enderal (#1)
PUBLISHED: October 28, 2020
GENRE: Grimdark Fantasy, Mystery, Psychological Horror
PAGES: 726



Meet The Author

I’m a German author best known for my writing for the award-winning indie videogame Enderal, which grew from niche favorite to cult hit.

Growing up in both the heart of Munich and a bucolic Bavarian farmhouse, my love for stories began by reading German fairytales in the attic and was nurtured by copious amounts of fiction, ranging from fantasy to horror to historical to literary.

Many things have shaped my writing: a turbulent childhood, living in five different countries, and a loss of reality I suffered due to experiments in lucid dreaming. I feel drawn to people and experiences off the beaten path and try to make my work reflect that.

When I’m not writing or reading, I make music, travel, longboard, study languages, and try to see and experience as much of the world as I can. I’m currently working on the second Enderal novel.

Sign up to my newsletter or follow me on social media to stay up to date on my latest work. Also, a big thanks to all my patrons – you make my work possible.

WEBSITE: www.nicolaslietzau.com

Thanks so much for stopping by for a chat, Nicolas. Since we already have your official bio, can we have the MC(s) from Dreams of the Dying introduce you in one sentence?

‘Ma’sae, may I present, Nicolas Lietzau, a man with whom I share a lot more than he’d like to believe.”

Give us an idea of how Dreams of the Dying came to fruition.

Dreams started as a web series I started a year after the release of Enderal, a non-commercial video game which I worked on for the better part of eight years. I felt like there were still stories left to be told in this universe, and a novel exploring the past of Jespar, one of the game’s protagonists, felt like a great idea. 

I wrote the web edition with next to no planning, which didn’t work as well as I hoped it would – so I decided to rewrite it for the release of a physical, revised edition. It was a challenging project, but I learned a lot. 

Can you share with us something about Dreams of the Dying that isn’t in the blurb?

Sure! The novel has a second POV whose main character in many ways mirrors Jespar’s psyche.

Was there any specific research you’ve done or inspiration you’ve pulled from for this story of yours? If so, did you learn anything fun or interesting?

I did a lot of research into repression and trauma, and that certainly taught me a lot – also about my own coping mechanisms, which are far from ideal. It’s ironic, in a way: I always considered Jespar and myself to be fundamentally different, but writing Dreams taught me that we have a lot of overlap. If you believe a faithful reader (and now friend) of mine, Jespar is essentially a blonde version of myself. I don’t agree fully, but maybe that’s wishful thinking.

What do you hope your readers take away from Dreams of the Dying?

The readers who connected the most with Dreams of the Dying were, almost without an exception, people who struggled with their mental health, too. I hope that they will find some solace or perhaps even a validation of their struggles in Jespar’s story. A reader wrestling with a family member’s recent suicide after a history of abuse recently wrote me an email where they said reading Dreams made them feel less alone, at least for a while. That moved me to tears.

What comes first, the plot or the characters?

To me? Neither. The theme.

What do you think makes a good story?

Authenticity and boldness.

If you could go back and change how you approached writing your debut novel, what’s the one thing you’d do differently?

One thing? Insert desperate laughter. Jokes aside, let me think: probably I would have done more plotting work and worldbuilding before starting the nuts-and-bolts writing. I could have avoided so many pacing problems and unnecessary rewrites.

Writing can be a stressful pursuit. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

It sounds cliched, but I think it’s crucial to understand yourself if you want to make good art. There are themes you will inevitably feel more strongly about than others, and, in my opinion, those should be the essence of your writing. Don’t waste your time writing genres and tropes only because they are fashionable – you will never be as good as those who write them because they resonate with their deepest selves.

Have you read anything awesome lately?

I recently found out that the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are back on tour, with John Frusciante. But you’re probably referring to a book, so yes, I recently started Jade City. Fonda Lee is terrific, and deserves all the success she’s gotten. I can’t wait to finish the trilogy.

Thank you again for taking the time have a chat, Nicolas. Tell us what lies ahead for you!

Right now, I have three projects in the pipeline: The Cure for Living, which is the second book in the Enderal series, the Dreams of the Dying audiobook, and a AA/AAA game I’m writing for THQNordic. I’m excited about all of these! 

The Giveaway

Enter to win!
International • Ends 10/31

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Happy Reading!

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