Louise Nealon was 18 when she had a dream that belonged to someone else. “The dream was not very alive. It was just a general feeling of being disembodied. What I remember more than the dream is the feeling of disappearing completely from myself.

It may sound like an experience of a nervous breakdown, and Nealon, now 30, did suffer from anxiety and depression as a college student. But she deliberately reverted to the surreal experience of dreaming someone else’s dream as the inspiration for her first novel, Snowflake.