BOOK CORNER: Author pens moving narrative of ex-gang member in prison

Post to Entertainment and Book Corner with photo Cillian Dunne head shot

By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“Dreams in Incarceration,” by Cillian Dunne, is a moving new book that provides a poignant and visually vivid journey into the challenges, both physical and psychological, that David Spivey, a former gang member, encountered throughout his 15-year incarceration in California’s most dangerous prisons.

The author was inspired to write the book following his encounter with Spivey at an event hosted by Dunne and a friend.

“He was one of our security members, and I spoke to him a lot that night without realizing his past,” Dunne said. “After a few weeks, David posted a ‘tell all’ video on his Instagram, and when I heard his story, I knew I had to be the one to write the book.”

Spivey’s story is told in a first-person narrative. 

“I wanted readers to get inside of the mind of somebody who could do something so terrible and have this redemption story in such a horrible place,” said the author.

Some chapters focus on Spivey’s physical battles that he faced inside prison while interacting with cell mates. Other chapters chronicle some of the dreams and nightmares that Spivey had while incarcerated.  

“I did that because it’s a way to get inside of his mind and show the reader what he’s feeling as opposed to telling them,” Dunne said.

Readers will be impacted by Spivey’ story. 

“I hope that readers will see that just because somebody has done something bad, it doesn’t mean that they can’t turn their life around and start to do good,” Dunne said. “The book doesn’t portray him as a redeemable character, but it shows his struggle to pick up the pieces of his life and try to be a good person.” 

Spivey became a motivational speaker following his incarceration.

“Dreams in Incarceration” is ideally intended for the prison community. However it can be enjoyed by a wider audience. 

“The book has motivational elements thread into an intense narrative, making it accessible for anyone with an interest in psychological thrillers,” Dunne said.

In addition to being an author, Dunne is a screenwriter based in Santa Monica. To connect with the author and learn more, visit him on Instagram @dunne.cillian.

“Dreams in Incarceration” is available for $10 on Amazon.