Lois Wickstrom – Exploring Dreams and Science

Unveiling the Intersection of Imagination and Scientific Inquiry in Dream-Shifter

Lois Wickstrom discusses “Dream-Shifter,” drawing from her science background to craft a tale blending dreams, science, and self-discovery.

Delving into the intricate world of dreams and scientific wonder, Lois Wickstrom, a luminary in both education and storytelling, brings forth a captivating blend of imagination and rationality. With a distinguished background as a former high school chemistry teacher and head science educator, Wickstrom’s passion for science permeates every facet of her literary creations. Her latest endeavour, Dream-Shifter, embarks on a journey where dreams transcend mere fantasies, intertwining with the fabric of reality.

Wickstrom’s inexhaustible curiosity finds expression in her protagonist, Gwendolyn, whose struggle with dream-shifting forms the crux of the narrative. In an exclusive interview with Reader’s House Magazine, Wickstrom sheds light on the genesis of “Dream-Shifter” and the profound influence of her scientific acumen on its thematic underpinnings. 

Beyond mere entertainment, Wickstrom’s narrative delves into the amalgamation of science and folklore, birthing what she terms “Science Folktales.” These tales imbue classic narratives with scientific principles, offering protagonists a path to redemption through knowledge. Such ingenuity reflects Wickstrom’s steadfast belief in science as a panacea for life’s myriad dilemmas, even those entrenched in fairy tales.

Through meticulous plotting and character development, Wickstrom navigates the complexities of Gwendolyn’s journey, infusing the fantastical elements with grounded realism. Her characters, drawn from a mosaic of personalities, mirror the intricacies of human nature, navigating the duality of existence with grace and resilience.

Yet, beneath the veneer of enchantment lies a profound philosophical undercurrent. Wickstrom draws inspiration from the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, urging readers to embrace impermanence and cultivate resilience in the face of adversity. In Gwendolyn’s transformative odyssey, readers find echoes of their own struggles, resonating with the timeless quest for self-discovery.

As Wickstrom masterfully navigates the realms of science and fiction, she invites readers to confront their own existential quandaries. Balancing the fantastical with the mundane, Wickstrom weaves a tapestry of narrative richness, offering both escapism and introspection in equal measure. Through her stories, she endeavours not only to entertain but also to illuminate the path to a deeper understanding of the human condition.

In Dream-Shifter, Lois Wickstrom beckons readers to embark on a voyage of self-exploration, where dreams intertwine with reality, and science illuminates the darkest corners of the imagination. It is a journey not to be missed—an odyssey that transcends the boundaries of storytelling, inviting readers to dream, explore, and discover the infinite possibilities that lie within.

What inspired you to write Dream-Shifter and explore the concept of dream-shifting?

I subscribe to J. Thorn, author of the 3-Story Method, on Facebook. One day he posted 100 story ideas. One was about a shape-shifter who couldn’t shift back. That grabbed my attention. I know that I shape-shift in my dreams, so I saw that as my protagonist’s problem: she shape-shifts in her dream and can’t shift back. 

How did your background in science education influence the scientific elements in the story?

My background in science education influences everything I write even if the story does not include science. Science education develops a style of thinking that shapes my world view. So, of course, if I ever get stuck in a dream shape, I’ll want to know if my DNA is still the same, and I will get it tested. For the story, I had to ask which is the most plot-worthy outcome — is the DNA the same or is it different?

Can you tell us more about your process of creating the magical world within the narrative?

I plot out a novel before I write it. Usually, my first plot structure is Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat.  I don’t stick with that outline because as i write the story changes. I get to know the world and my characters better the more I write about them. I often include traits from people I know (both those I like and those I don’t get along with). I also use the Enneagram structure to be sure I give even the most admirable characters some negative qualities.

What challenges did you face while developing the character of Gwendolyn and her journey?

I kept writing myself into quandaries and having to trust my imagination to figure out answers which meant skipping over some sections and coming back to them and sometimes having to rewrite earlier sections to include clues to what would happen later.

Are there any specific messages or themes you hope readers take away from the book?

I a huge fan of Sri Ramana Maharshi. I would like to master the thought processes that Gwendolyn uses to return to her human form. I think the attitude of seeing everything as temporary is truly helpful.

How do you balance the fantastical elements of the story with the more grounded aspects of Gwendolyn’s life?

This is the challenge of my daily life. I try to make my characters more successful than I am at living with this dilemma.  Right now, I’m working on a story in which the protagonists wear contact lenses that let them see parts of the world that are invisible to everyone else. They have to deal both with problems in the regular world and the usually invisible world, and not let on that they see things others cannot. It’s fun to play with problems in my stories that are in many ways metaphors for my own life. I hope these stories will help me and my readers live happier lives.


“Dream-Shifter by Lois Wickstrom is a spellbinding blend of fantasy and science, captivating readers with its imaginative storytelling and relatable protagonist”.

Dream-Shifter by Lois Wickstrom is a captivating tale that seamlessly blends elements of fantasy with the power of scientific understanding. At the heart of the story is 12-year-old Gwendolyn, a Dream-Shifter who transforms into the animals she dreams about. As she navigates this extraordinary ability, she faces the challenge of needing to return to human form before it’s too late.

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