Clare Jay’s short stories and poetry have won prizes and appeared in anthologies, and she has tutored writing at university level. One of her most powerful memories is of nearly drowning in a turquoise swimming pool in a dream she had when she was three, which was what got her hooked on dream imagery. In that dream, she realised she had a choice: she could stay in the dream and drown, or wake herself up by rolling out of bed. This early spark of lucidity and the intensely vivid dreamlife that unfolded throughout her childhood led her to an ongoing exploration of lucid dreaming and the development of dream-based techniques for entering the writer’s trance. Clare’s earliest academic research into lucid dreaming took place while she was studying for her undergraduate degree at Lancaster University, for which she received First Class honours. Her PhD with the University of Leeds (2007) focused on the connection between lucid dreaming and the writing process, and her academic articles, talks and interviews appear under the name of Dr Clare Johnson. Clare leads ‘Dreamwriting’ workshops at international conferences and retreats, as well as Creativity Weekends and short story courses.
Brought up in South Devon, close to Dartmoor, Clare has since lived in Montpellier, Lisbon, Stuttgart and Cádiz, and has travelled extensively in South-East Asia. Fluent in five languages, Clare spends her non-writing time teaching yoga, experimenting with acrylic painting and collages, playing with her little daughter, and reading novels. She married her husband on an Algarve beach. Clare currently divides her time between Totnes in the UK and Stuttgart in Germany.
Clare’s first novel, Breathing in Colour, initially written as part of her doctoral thesis, is about a mother whose teenaged daughter, who has the sensory condition of synaesthesia, goes missing while backpacking in India. It was published in the UK as part of a two-book deal with Piatkus of the Little, Brown Publishing Group. Her second novel, Dreamrunner, is set in Lisbon and is about the effects of a violent sleep disorder on a family. As well as working on her third novel, Clare is currently writing a non-fiction book on lucid dreaming.
Literary agent: Jane Conway-Gordon
Editor: Emma Beswetherick
Publicist: Priya Assanand