Mindee Arnett, Author of The Nightmare Affair (2013)
I’m so thrilled to be guest blogging here at Fiction Freak, and thanks so much to Nikki for inviting me. Today I’d like to share a little of the inspiration behind my debut, The Nightmare Affair.
The actual idea for a Nightmare as a mythical creature isn’t a new one. Nightmare folklore has been around for ages. My favorite historical depiction of one is in Henry Fuseli’s painting “The Nightmare” seen here:
I just love this picture. It’s creepy, weird, and beautiful. Oh, and it has a horse in it, always a win in my book. The Nightmare, of course, is the little demon sitting on the girl’s chest. My idea for Dusty, the main character in The Nightmare Affair, came out of this question: what if that little demon was actually a normal—well, mostly normal—teenage girl? And just like that, the book was born.
But what is it a Nightmare, really? It’s a complicated question and one you’ll have to read the book in order to find out. But here’s a little insight from Dusty herself to give you an idea. Hope you enjoy it!
I could smell the person’s dreams from here. Those dreams were the reason I’d broken in. I wasn’t some criminal or weirdo who liked watching people sleep or anything. I was just an average sixteen-year-old girl who happened to be the offspring of a normal human father and a mother who was a Nightmare.
She was one of those mythic creatures who sat on your chest while you were asleep and gave you bad dreams, the kind where you woke up struggling to breathe. Some stories said that Nightmares were demons (not true), while others said they were “hags,” as in scary old women who lived in the forest and abducted lost kids to cook for supper (more true, although I didn’t recommend saying so to my mother).
Only kidding. Moira Nimue-Everhart didn’t eat children, but she did eat the stuff dreams were made of—fictus. Nightmares had to dream-feed to live, including me.
Nightmare Affair’s Synopsis:
16-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare.
Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy is hard enough, but when Dusty sneaks into Eli Booker’s house, things get a whole lot more complicated. He’s hot, which means sitting on his chest and invading his dreams couldn’t get much more embarrassing.
But it does.
Eli is dreaming of a murder. The setting is Arkwell.
And then his dream comes true. Now Dusty has to follow the clues—both within Eli’s dreams and out of them—to stop the killer before more people turn up dead. And before the killer learns what she’s up to and marks her as the next target…
Short Author Bio:
Mindee Arnett is the author of two forthcoming young adult series. The first book in her contemporary fantasy series, The Nightmare Affair, will be available March 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan). Her YA sci-fi thriller, Finding Eden, will debut Winter 2014 from Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins). She lives on a horse farm in Ohio with her husband, two kids, a couple of dogs, and an inappropriate number of cats. She’s addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space. Find her online at www.mindeearnett.com.
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