Visions of a Dream

Posted 1/2/2017

The current project for the book titled 'Visions of a Dream' is underway. We are currently creating a trailer for the book and will show that the book would be suitable to be turned into a movie. Green screen effects are needed and 3d rendering but we are only at the start of the project and are working on making the 3d models to be shown in the short film trailer.

Visions of a Dream by Justine Johnston Hemmestad, coming soon from Turtle Shell Publishing


My first book, a fantasy novella entitled Truth be Told, was published last spring by Faith by Grace Publishing (now Turtle Shell Publishing), and is available at and as well as at Book World in the Crossroads Mall in Ft. Dodge, Iowa. The fictional medieval story is intended to address the struggles of my own recovery from a traumatic brain injury that I sustained in 1990, as I work to attain a graduate degree in Literature from Northern Arizona University, and which I hope can help other people who are recovering from brain injury like myself. From the beginning of my recovery, writing literally lifted me onto my feet and gave me a purpose that I never let go of. I truly believe that though I’ve written a dozen books in the twenty-six years since my accident, it was fitting that Truth be Told would be my first book published since its story was so in line with my own quest for recovery.

My second book to be published will be Visions of a Dream (tentatively scheduled for release at the end of February, by Turtle Shell Publishing). I began to write the first draft of VOAD in 1995, though rather than mirroring my life in the recovery facet, it was one of the actual greatest sources for my recovery itself. The deeper I went into myself and released my thoughts to my higher power, the more I recovered and moved forward in my own mind. This occurred so much so that I decided to write VOAD from a spiritual perspective rather than a simply historical perspective, and the longer I spent researching Alexander the clearer it became to me that he was a king primarily on a spiritual mission in unison with his military missions (I also loved learning about tactical maneuvers). Among my ancient research sources were Arrian and Plutarch, from which I was able to study Alexander’s speeches, arguments, and actions. From his own words, rather than other historical sources, I formed his character in VOAD – I was so pliable myself in my recovery that I could understand his motivations and his passions (his anchors were unchangeable), which served as the spiritual fire beneath his wings…the things that brought him

forward when any other person would have given into the pressure and the judgments by those, both near and far, who wanted him to give up because they couldn’t control him (a specificity I also understood and which took on greater clarity for me as I wrote the book).

To understand Alexander and to awaken spirituality through his eyes was absolutely the greatest joy in writing this book. I didn’t want to assume his actions or beliefs because they fit with my idea of him – which he had to live with at the will of his contemporaries, people who were respected and believed like Aristotle. Therefore, I strove for my depiction of him to come from his actual self, which I felt flowed through his words; I did know what it felt like to be lied about and misrepresented, and so I wanted to honor him by building his character from his own words as recorded by officers who traveled with him to recreate him as accurately as possible. The character of Baphomet is fictional, though her purpose is to showcase what lay in Alexander’s heart and the reasons for his beliefs, since his beliefs where at the core of his actions, and the words he speaks to her were intended to mesh with those he may actually speak according to his persona. I also think that modern historians are so intent on fitting him into one category or another, that his essential self could be lost unless they give him the freedom that he himself sought; ancient historians don’t seem as intent to box him in. The Masahide (a Zen philosopher) quote at the beginning of the book speaks to how misrepresented and defamed he was, and how he had to let go of who he wanted to be and the people he thought he could trust, essentially his entire kingdom, in order to find the truth for himself.