Dreaming in Starlight 5-star Reviews + Now on Kindle

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Wowza. An amazing 5-star review of Dreaming in Starlight popped up on Amazon yesterday. Thanks reviewer! You are a true hero! Dreaming is available on Kindle now here (as well as paperback) for half the cost of a cup of coffee! Please leave a review if you’ve read the book, even if it’s just one sentence and you hated it! Thanks!

The review:

“Is this our legacy, nausea and raw nostalgia?”

So opens Dreaming in Starlight, Phillip Elliot’s brief but brilliant debut. Part confession, part eulogy, Dreaming encapsulates in beautiful efficiency the short life of a broken man, Jeremiah John Watts. Told though a series of letters that JJ writes while in self-imposed exile, the narrative is scant, nonlinear, and emotionally blistering. JJ is the kind of character you don’t want to identify with, but find yourself strangely rooting for. You approach this narrator with the same feelings you might approach an animal that has darted in front of your car: shame, guilt, sadness, longing. If only you had swerved at the last moment, the scared and wounded creature might live, but in the back of your head you can’t help but think that he’s better off for you having hit him.

Elliot tackles subjects like addiction, mental illness, lost love, and isolation with a scarcity in just 56 pages that somehow makes these heavy ideas feel much more alive than if he had spent several thousand pages discussing them. His style is at once lyrical and blunt, philosophical and plain. Reading him is akin to taking a hard punch to the gut from a poet: surprising yet expected. Due to its length, Dreaming can be a one sitting kind of read, but it’s going to be one hell of a sitting.

With such a knockout of a first book, we should all be watching Mr. Elliot very closely. His capabilities as a writer—while clearly demonstrated as amazing in Dreaming in Starlight—are still not yet fully known. I very much look forward to his followup.

 

I also came across a 5-star review posted on Amazon Australia:

My daughter recommended this book to me and I’m glad she did. I read it through in two sittings (or rather lying downs), one before bed and the other before I even got up the next morning. This young author has remarkable insight into the human psyche of troubled and lost souls and is skillfully communicating the torment and conflict, as well as intense feelings of love and regret experienced by the main character. I thoroughly enjoyed it but it also evokes sadness as I often see mental health patients around my workplace and wonder what their stories are. Really well done for a first novel!

Thank you, Australian person!

Buy Dreaming in Starlight here.

dreaming-in-starlight-front-cover-2

My Book is on Sale!

Books, Fiction

My book Dreaming in Starlight (CTU Publishing Group) has just been released and is available to buy on Amazon here, but I recommend buying it here as delivery is cheaper. If you do buy it, firstly, thank you so much, secondly, please leave a review on Amazon after you’ve read it, even if it’s just one sentence & you hated it!

Dreaming in Starlight is a prose collection of fictional dreaming-in-starlight-front-cover-2letters from a 26-year-old Southern American named Jeremiah John Watts, who, fleeing a chaotic world he couldn’t understand, sought solace in the solitude of deep, mountainous woods. Four months later, Jeremiah is dead, killed by the biggest forest fire the region has seen in fifty years. All that remains is a box of letters written to the ghosts of his past, letters that, gradually, build a portrait of a life filled with mistakes, heartbreak, sickness, and regret, as well as love, faith, hope and perseverance. But was the fire an act of God, a desperate suicide, or something else entirely?

Dreaming in Starlight deals primarily with the nature of the past and how it defines us, and questions whether or not we ever truly leave it behind, and includes themes of mental illness, addiction, spirituality and the ultimate loneliness of the human condition, alongside a chaos of juxtapositions, such as love vs obsession and time vs truth.

 

— special and poignant . . . spellbinding descriptions . . . so much beauty in its brevity . . . a book that I found myself wishing would never end . . . Elliott’s prose is carefully constructed, yet exceedingly natural; unique, yet all-encompassing; and small, yet so large in scope.” – Tamara Drazic, Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Spinebind Magazine

 

— Upon reading Dreaming in Starlight I was let into a world of sheer brilliance. Elliott may only be 23 years old but his genius precedes him and he is, in my opinion, one of the brightest burning stars in the literary world. The people JJ mentions in these letters have a parallel to the alienated and confused dreamers, addicts and lost souls found in the work of the likes of Denis Johnson and William Burroughs, but JJ’s larger-than-life sentimentality as his past leaks out of his heart and onto the page puts this collection in some new sphere of perception equally brilliant but entirely its own.

This is one super debut (unparalleled I’d say compared to other debuts in the contemporary literary world). Elliott is more than a writer to keep an eye on. With the talent and inventiveness in this debut, it shouldn’t be long until he finds you. I’d say he has one of the brightest futures in literature.” – Heath Brougher, author of A Curmudgeon is Born, Digging for Fire and Your Noisy Eyes

 

 

‘Dreaming in Starlight’ Cover Reveal

Fiction

I’m delighted to be able to reveal the front and back covers of my book, Dreaming in Starlight, due to go on sale by CTU Publishing Group in just a few days. Exciting stuff!

front-back-cover

“Upon reading Dreaming in Starlight I was let into a world of sheer brilliance. Elliott may only be 23 years old but his genius precedes him and he is, in my opinion, one of the brightest burning stars in the literary world.

This brilliant debut is a prose collection of fictional letters written by a deceased 26-year-old Southern American named Jeremiah John Watts (JJ). The people JJ mentions in these letters have a parallel to the alienated and confused dreamers, addicts and lost souls found in the work of the likes of Denis Johnson and William Burroughs, but JJ’s larger-than-life sentimentality as his past leaks out of his heart and onto the page puts this collection in some new sphere of perception equally brilliant but entirely its own. Gradually, the letters tell a fractured tale of a life of mistakes, heartbreak, sickness, and regret, but also love, faith, hope and perseverance. Dreaming in Starlight deals primarily with the nature of the past and how it defines us, and questions whether or not we ever truly leave it behind. There are also themes of mental illness, addiction, spirituality and the ultimate loneliness of the human condition, and a chaos of juxtapositions, such as love vs obsession and time vs truth.

This is one super debut (unparalleled I’d say compared to other debuts in the contemporary literary world). Elliott is more than a writer to keep an eye on. With the talent and inventiveness in this debut, it shouldn’t be long until he finds you. I’d say he has one of the brightest futures in literature.” — Heath Brougher, author of A Curmudgeon is Born, Digging for Fire and Your Noisy Eyes

‘It Still Hurts But I’m Getting Better’ in Ink in Thirds #10

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ink10

My little 3-line poem ‘It Still Hurts But I’m Getting Better’ (which is almost the same length as its title!) is in Issue 10 of the very beautiful magazine of stunning poetry and photography, Ink In Thirds. Ink in Thirds published my first ever published poem in April last year, so it’s great to be in the magazine again, and its first double-digit issue no less.

Buy a print copy or download a free PDF of the issue here.

4 Poems in Scarlet Leaf Review

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leaf

I have 4 new poems in the latest issue of Scarlet Leaf Review, which marks my first Canadian publication. Glad to be included in such a great journal. One of these poems is about a certain famous Irish poet I learned about many years ago in school, who opened my eyes to the sheer power of words.

Read the poems here.