Fighting Nightmares with Dreams – Excerpt from Kyle’s fantasy novel

As a child, I used to be fascinated by dreams and, like many people, I believed they were the gateway to discovering amazing things related to our world.

That’s why dreams have always been a great source of inspiration for writing my novels. Here, I’m going to post a chapter from “Kyle’s Nightmare“, a fantasy story of a young man who takes missions from an ancient spirit that threatens to not let him wake up unless he’s finished his tasks.

*** Excerpt ***

Chapter 2

Swept Away

I was walking through a sandstorm. I knew where I had to arrive, and my steps were taking me precisely there. There was no need for me to see anything.

Soon, the dense squalls faded and let me enter the Sheriff’s Town. Old-fashioned cowboys and gentle ladies in long frocks were wandering about the classic western town, consisting mostly of two lines of wooden houses placed on the sides of the main road. I smiled. I could easily see the bandits with black scarves on their faces, lurking behind the barrels and in the shadows.

I was being followed, that’s for sure, and I loved that feeling. I was on a mission; I knew I was good, I had some foes to defeat, and at the end came the reward. I was a handsome, skilled hero.

I kicked the saloon’s doors and walked in. Squinted eyes, hostile wrinkled faces and many heads in brown hats turned to greet me. They were all fierce men sitting at their tables to drink beer and talk about wanted criminals. “Feels like home,” I told myself, and grinned at my spectators.

The portly bartender was pretending not to watch me. I flung my hands in the pockets of my jeans and walked towards him.

“Hi there, old man,” I said with a wink. “Give me something to drink and I’ll give you something to admire.”

The man didn’t look at me, but poured me a glass of foamy beer and pushed it towards me. I took out the diamond queen from my sage-green jacket and put it on the long table.

Just as I was sliding my palm back from the playing card, an idea struck me. This is a dream. I frowned.

Golden cover small
Kyle’s Nightmare cover on Amazon

I took the card back before the bartender could lay his hand on it. He noticed my concentrated face, so he said out loud, “Hey, kid! Are you going to pay or not? Don’t try to fool around.”

But I didn’t care about what he was saying. I was thinking about what made me believe this world wasn’t real. I turned my back on the old man and looked around. Where was I before getting into this place? Who am I?

I became restless. “I’m Kyle Jadison! I should be on my way back from work,” I thought, and felt my heart racing. Everything about this place wasn’t real, but I couldn’t wake up.

I made to leave, but the bartender grabbed my arm.

“Listen, boy,” he said in a grave tone. “You better pay right now.”

I snatched myself from his grip and turned. “You’re not real!”

The man took me by the collar and pulled me to his face. “Don’t try something stupid,” he whispered. “Just do what you got to do.”

I was taken aback by this. It was as if he actually knew what went on in my mind. “No,” I said. “I’m not her slave!” I pushed him away, then took out the card and ripped it. I remembered my car, the newspaper, the headlines about Kreeba Museum. I had to get out of this. The Queen was trying to make me her subject again.

“Listen to me!” the bartender said with a pleading face. He actually looked concerned about me. “Just do this only this time and…”

I ripped the card parts in as tiny pieces as I could, then threw them in the air. It was obvious there wouldn’t be just one time. I had to defeat her from the very beginning. I marched towards the exit. Some men tried to stop me, but I knocked them out easily. I was really pissed off.

I went out and kicked up a storm. I took every barrel and cowboy who stood in my way and hurled them over the buildings. I was a lot stronger in the dream than I was in reality.

“Get out, you witch!” I shouted. “Come out right now or I’ll destroy this place.”

Bullets flew by me. I laughed. “Oh, yes! Come on, guys! Shoot at me! I’d rather die than serve a mad hag.” But no bullets hit me. They were really bad shooters.

The noise of some galloping horses with armed men was approaching me. They seemed to be powerful cowboys, unlike the ones I had fought before. I jumped in the middle of the street, closed my eyes, and waited to be killed while constantly urging myself to wake up. I had promised myself to never surrender to some hallucinations. I had been living a free and normal life for the past eight years, and that’s how it should have remained.

***

If you’d like to read more from this novel, you can download, for free, the first 3 chapters from “Kyle’s Nightmare” on Instafreebie.

Or, you can read it with KU or buy it on Amazon for only $0.99.

Have questions about the story? Put them in the comments section or contact me on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tinasilvensauthor/ I’ll reply ASAP.

Thanks for reading this post!

 

Watching, reading and playing horror. Is it good or is it bad? Advice from an expert.

Tempted to try some scary movie? Here’s what to expect.

A little note: I’m a fantasy writer but since a couple of my friends have identified some “scary” ideas in the plot of my upcoming book “Kyle’s Nightmare“, (an ancient spirit), I thought it would be great to debate some preconceptions and curiosities about the horror world.

For those who are into horror and worry that feeding your eyes with scary tales might affect your life in a way or another, I decided to interview an expert. Meet Julia Benally, an experienced horror author who also plays horror games.

So, Julia, does watching horror materials on a regular basis:

Q1. Make you have nightmares or make you immune to them?
Julia: I guess it depends on the material. There are some things I will NOT watch, and others I can watch all the time. What does scare me, I’m not immune to. I once tried making myself immune to this particular thing I found freaky, and all I did was get nightmares. So I don’t go near it.

Q2. Make you more scared of the dark or braver?
Julia: It makes me scared of the dark, but I’ve always been scared of the dark.

Q3. Enjoy life more because you’re thankful those things don’t exist?
J: One day I read this freaky story, and I said to myself, I am so glad that’s not real! It made me feel pretty good. Of course, when it really freaks me out, telling myself that it isn’t real feels kind of foolish, since I did wantonly scare myself. It’s only as real as your head makes it out to be, sometimes.

Other questions:

Q4: What should you do in case you get really scared (and maybe it’s even late at night)?
J: For me, if I get really scared, especially if it’s late at night, I turn on my top light in the room and sleep with it in my face. Sometimes I think of a comforting song, or a lullaby, and play it over and over in my head.
 
Of course, some things are too freaky, and that’s when I have to make rules for myself: Never watch/read this again, work on this story only in the daylight and stop before evening comes on, and then do something uplifting, like dancing, or watching a funny movie, reading scriptures, writing in my journal, or spending time with my family.
 
For me, as a writer, brainstorming about my book gets my mind off of everything. I also pray. It comforts me to tell Heavenly Father about my day, what I wrote, what I thought, and the plans I’ve laid for my next project. In those moments, you realize that what you’ve seen, or what you’ve written, or what you’ve read because you had to study a magazine, is nothing at all. Everything is just fine.

Q5: Which of these do you think have more impact on the viewer: movies, literature or gaming?
J: I’m not sure about this one. Each one has a different impact on the viewer. In gaming, the viewer is a participant, in literature, the viewer has their own imagination to rely on, which can be really vivid, and in movies, the viewer is exposed to freaky elements, equipped with music, which really hits the senses. I guess, again, it depends on what’s in the game, story, or movie. Based on the viewer, the impact is different.

Q6: For who is this genre?
J: You never know who likes horror. In grade school, all my schoolmates loved horror. In college, they wouldn’t go near it. Lots of people I know have a background with horror, and they love Halloween, and love Stephen King. I don’t. People find it surprising that I love Christmas and Easter the best. Personally, I love the extra oompf of horror, it’s suspense, it’s lack of mush, it’s excitement and the rush of fear.

Q7: While it’s great to experience adrenaline from time to time, maybe sometimes it would be great just to relax. In your writing and watching/reading list, do you stick to this one genre or do you like to alternate between it and some other?
J: I find if I stick too much to horror that it makes me antsy. I have been moving into different genres, and hopefully they’ll get picked up soon. I did a young adult romance once, and working on another. I’m actually getting one of my first fantasies published in Black Noise Quarterly, and have two looking for a home. Writing other genres is extremely fun. I don’t want to be stuck in one genre forever.
 
For reading, I mostly read horror for magazines, but for books, I adore Jane Austen, The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia and Treasure Island, to name a few. They make me happy, and I love happy endings. While I love horror movies, I’m extremely picky about what I watch. If I see “horror” slapped on a case, I do careful investigation because gratuitous sex and gore turns me off, especially if the story line sucks.

And some bonus questions:

Q8: From your point of view, which are the scariest beings? Zombies? Vampires? Ghosts? Aliens?
J: Come to think of it, if any of these are done right, they can all be freaky. A vampire with glittery skin is a freakin’ joke. A vampire like in Bram Stoker’s book Dracula is a different matter. Zombies that can’t move just makes me wonder how anybody got bitten. A zombie that can run is different. Aliens that look like tomatoes are stupid. Aliens that can think are freaky. Ghosts like The Grudge freak me out like nobody’s business. Ghosts that suddenly do over the top things like bright lights and wind, meh. In the end, I would say ghosts.

Q9: Which scary beings do you like most to put in your stories?
J: I really love making up my own monsters. I find it fun, because then I can make up rules for them, and I don’t have to follow the rules of other already-made monsters.
In Toni’s Land, my monster was an alien, but it was my own alien, carefully designed with loving creepy care. Designing a monster gives me a pleasure that no other freaky character gives me. I feel like each one is a masterpiece in and of itself. Once the monster is designed, the story flows with its rules and is tailored to that monster.

 

Q10: From slightly scary to horror, can you make up a short list of your stories?
J: I’ll put them in what I found the least scary to the scariest.

Robert, Tiger, Love Notes, Toni’s Land, The Ten Hour Project, Donna or Tara, The Hairy Man, The Bridges, Devil’s Hour, The Cowboy Cabin, Megan’s House.

I’m not sure if anyone else would order them this way. I just know that Megan’s House really freaked me out.

It’s about a ghost, too. LOL.

From the list above, I, Tina Silvens, have read “Tiger” and I agree that’s a story which has some scary parts but it won’t freak you out to the point you can’t sleep. I read it at night, so I know what I’m saying. And I’m usually the sensitive kind.

Want to find out if Julia’s stories are able to scare you? Here’s her blog where you can find her list of short works: sparrowincarnate.blogspot.com

Conclusions:

  • Don’t try new horror material at night.
  • Be honest with yourself. If you get scared easily, you don’t have to force yourself to watch or read scary things. Chances are you won’t become braver.
  • Enjoy the thrills, take some breaks and, just like food, keep your entertainment list varied!

In case you have your own questions about this subject, post them in the comments!

P.S. After this interview, I’m sure my novel “Kyle’s Nightmare” is not at all a horror story. It stays faithful to the fantasy-action genre, and although I said it was more serious than “The Arid Kingdom”, it still has some moments of humour.

Why kids should not be forced to read only “books of value”

And this applies to adults too.

When I was a kid, one day the literature teacher asked us to mention what book we had recently read. When my turn came, I was glad to say I had read “The Lost World” by Arthur Conan Doyle.

The teacher, however, had a bored reaction, “So what was that about? Aliens? Dinosaurs?” I felt disapproval from her part as if I had said I had read Snow White. She also had a mocking attitude about a girl who had read a telenovela-like book.
Instead, she praised those who said they’d read the book she had recommended before summer break. That book was about a boy and his multiple intimate, promiscuous relationships with girls.

My reaction to this discovery?

Post 1

What’s wrong about me being fascinated by books with dinosaurs and what’s so good about reading a womanizer’s adventures? I mean, I, as a girl, why would I want to read about a boy treating girls as pleasure toys?

It was enough I had to read, in school, books about the tragedy of life, unhappy marriages, brainless women and abusive men (the books studied in schools may differ from region to region but that’s what I got to read from middle school to high school).
Why shouldn’t someone read what he or she wants to?

To be honest, because of this attitude in schools, for a while I hated reading. It became a burden and before discovering how many good ebooks were in online stores, I thought I would just take a long break from reading. The teachers’ recommendations were only disasters to me and they made me think that 99% of the books considered of value in the world are just a blend of everything that would make me feel depressed, while what I liked to read was worthless and stupid.

So, if you want to make students give up on reading, tell them to read only what you consider valuable. But if you want to encourage reading, tell them to find the genre and the books they like.

Books are, almost, like any other kind of entertainment. You like pop-rock then you will search for that kind of music. Forcing yourself to listen to, say, classic music for a long while won’t make you love it. You will probably give up on listening to music. You like action-adventure movies then would you watch only melodramas, because they are valuable?

I know that books which depict real life experiences are considered of high value. It’s good to read them but then why is wrong to also read what you like? Why not let the books you read represent you, your true personality?

Now, as a grown-up, I really don’t judge anyone for their preferences. I like fantasy, I read fantasy and I write fantasy. And I find no problem in that.

reclama1