Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Guest post - Allison Pang

I'm very pleased to have Allison Pang here today. Nothing like helping other authors get out there and heard.

And isn't her cover lovely?

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Playing in the Dark


Nightmares and dreams play a large part in A Brush of Darkness. The car accident took her mother’s life and left Abby Sinclair with a shattered body also destroyed her dreams of being a dancer. She becomes disillusioned and internally very angry. The denial of her mother’s death coupled with the loss of her livelihood manifests itself in the form of vicious nightmares. Most nights she is plagued by terrible dreams, usually in the form of sharks which tear her to pieces.

 I’ve always thought that dreams and nightmares are ways for our brain to process the external information of the day. Many of them are mostly likely random interpretations and sometimes they’re quite easy to figure out. For example, if I watched a documentary on lions during the day and a lion randomly happens to wander on through my dreaming experience that night, it’s probably pretty clear as to why it showed up.

On the other hand, repeating dreams or nightmares might be the indication of something larger at work – a problem you need to work out, for example, or emotional distress that has no other way of being released. In Abby’s case this is obvious.

When she is forced to bargain with an incubus, he is able to determine that not only is she having nightmares, but she is also something called a Dreamer – someone who can actually manipulate their dreams into reality.  He works with her on this, showing her that she does have a place of safety within her dreams that she can retreat to, even if she’s not quite ready to face the nightmares directly.

Here’s an excerpt from one of the nightmare scenes:

Water lapped at my hips, fresh and blue and brilliant. The sand slid through my toes, the song of some ancient wisdom caught up in the grinding of seashells beneath my heels. One step and then another and then I was floating, the waves cresting against my skin, salt water dripping from my hair. Warm and aching beneath the sun, I swam, dimly aware of the coastal shelf falling away beneath me.


It was always the same. No matter how I raged at myself to stop it, to stay on the shore, I inevitably ended up in the ocean, lazy and careless. I opened my eyes and my mouth clamped down on the scream threatening to claw its way from my throat. Black now, the watery depths became nothing more than a pool of ink from which no light glittered. In the distance, the shore teased me with its safety, a golden patch on the horizon. I hovered over the abyss, my limbs like cement, my heart slamming against my ribs.

Would they be able to hear it? The syncopation of my organs pulsed the blood through my veins like the distressed flutter of a fish as it struggled against the current. I eyed the island, knowing I would never make it. I knew I would try anyway, knew I would fail. The current stopped, leaving me in a pool of silence, the water still and even. I held my breath, the barest movement threatening to broadcast my presence in the telltale ripples that would surely mean my doom.


Something brushed past my feet, and I bit my lip at its sandpaper sharpness. Like teeth for skin, biting and hooking into my flesh. I fought the urge to yank my foot away and closed my eyes.


Make it stop. Make it stop. Make it stop.



My mouth formed the words in an empty prayer. There was another sharp tickle – a tug – jolting me from my ankle to my thigh. I looked down, already knowing what I would see, the scream forming on my lips. Blood poured from my midsection, my legs gone, cut out from under me.


When the fin broke the watery surface, my mind blanked, my arms flailing uselessly. I struggled toward that golden shore, the current suddenly picking up again. Sometimes I almost made it.

Not tonight.


The shark snapped at me, pain replacing fear, and all around me was the taste of blood and salt and death, my wailing voice ebbing into a haunted gurgle as it finally pulled me under the darkness…



http://www.heartofthedreaming.com - author website
http://mynfel.blogspot.com - blog
http://word-whores.blogspot.com - group blog
http://www.facebook.com/apang - facebook
http://www.twitter.com/allison_pang - twitter


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