Settings in Gateway to Reality: Sea Clearly

Houston Aquarium

Photo Credit: Jason Coleman via Flickr

There’s a giveaway at the bottom of the post, so don’t miss it!


Gateway to Reality explores the idea that our world isn’t real but our dreams are. Real life is known simply as the Existence, and it consists of many worlds. One of my favorite places in the book is a restaurant called Sea Clearly.

Here’s a short excerpt describing this setting:

The entire place was constructed of clear glass, and all the walls were filled with water. Exotic fish of all kinds swam between the panes. The walls were undulating curves as if they mimicked ocean currents.

Several patrons sat at a curving bar at one side of the restaurant. Beneath the thick glass counter, fish were illuminated by a hidden light source. Some shimmered and others glowed. Watching the sea life swim all around him gave Wes the strange sensation that the entire place was moving.

Wes and many of the other Creatives hang out at Sea Clearly. His girlfriend Emily created the place, inspired by her love of sea creatures and aquatic life. Sea Clearly is an important location in the book, and many key scenes occur there.

GtR kindle cover final websizeWhen writing the novel, I dug into my memories of dining at the aquarium restaurant in Houston, but endeavored to make Sea Clearly top even that. By the end of the novel, I was pretty attached to this fictional place.

The first draft of Gateway to Reality lacked one of the book’s pivotal scenes. Back then, I didn’t yet know what would happen at Sea Clearly in Chapter Nineteen (you know what I’m talking about if you’ve read the book), though I knew I needed to add another scene to increase the tension between Wes and Emily and deepen their relationship through shared hardship.

My worlds are somewhat like characters, in that I can get a little attached to them. Emotional attachment to fictional things can be bad for a writer because often we want to keep them safe. Niggling somewhere in the back of my mind was the desire to protect this place. But when I eventually let that go, I discovered an amazing new scene idea. This became the fateful Chapter Nineteen, which entirely changed and improved the story.


Gateway to Reality is available:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

iTunes | Kobo


The giveaway ends Thursday, so enter while you can!
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