Thursday, September 18, 2008

Guest Blogger: Kathryn Smith

The winner of Kathryn's book is: AriesRain. Congratulations! Send me your snail mail info and I'll pass it along to Kathryn. Thanks to everyone for participating!

So, like other bloggers who have blogged before me, I found myself at a loss for a topic, even though Lynda gave me a nudge by suggesting I talk about something fun or interesting about the paranormal. The only problem with that is that there is just so much to discuss!

After much thought, however, I thought that I would talk about dreams and Nightmares, since both are such strong components of my romantic urban fantasy trilogy (for now!) called the Nightmare Chronicles.

In the first book, Dawn Riley discovers that she is a Nightmare, and that a lot of people -- one bad one in particular -- think the world would be much better without her in it.

I've always found dreams fascinating. Nightmares even more so. How incredible does your brain have to be to scare you so unbelievably well?

When I was younger I did a lot of lucid dreaming. Not by choice, mind you. It just seemed to happen. I had a friend try to coerce me into joining a sleep/dream study but I never got around to it. Frankly, the idea of someone peering into my head while I slept creeped me out.

Now imagine that there is an entire race of people who can literally get inside your dreams and influence them. That was the basis for the Nightmare Chronicles. What if dreams *aren't* just in your head?

But of course, that's fiction. Regardless, many studies have been done into dreams and their meaning. During my research I found a fabulous book on dream therapy that was so interesting! I wish I could have used more of it in the first two Nightmare books, but Dawn had her hands full with other things.

So what's with our fascination with dreams? Most experts believe that dreams are simply our sub-conscience's way of working out issues that we encounter in our daily lives. That sounds fabulous, but what the heck does my daily life have to do with watching a soap-opera star get decapitated while it rains strawberries? I'm pretty sure that's not an issue that I need to work out!

Of course this is explained by the fact that the human mind is terribly complex. I also think the human mind is on a serious acid trip when we turn off all the switches and power ourselves down for the night. In order to try to put some order to all of this, people have assigned specific meanings to different images we see in our dreams. For the record, this directly opposes the theory that the meaning of dreams lies within the dreamer her/himself -- a theory I personally think makes more sense than the idea that a raven means the same thing for everyone. However, I'm no expert, and sometimes the books get it right -- or at least they seem to.

Now, I'm probably putting some of you to sleep with all this rambling, so let's get to some fun stuff shall we? I'm going to share some of my worst and best dreams that I have actually had. Please feel free to dissect them, comment upon them, or run screaming for a crucifix. Also, feel free to share your own dreams for other people to interpret. Best interpretation (judged by yours truly) gets a signed copy of BEFORE I WAKE and a sneak peek at the cover for my next Brotherhood of the Blood novel, due out in Feb 09.

OK, here we go -- in no particular order:

1. Freddy Krueger is my father. He tries to kill me, but I'm not afraid. I take control of the dream, and Freddy is so proud that he gives me his trademark razor glove, with the full expectation that I'm going to take over the 'family' business. I take the glove and put it on. It feels good.

2. I'm a cop investigating a disappearance. I must be fairly high up the food chain because others are reporting to me. I'm scared that the girl I'm looking for has fallen victim to a serial killer, and I can't get one of my best officers on the radio. "Where is she?" I wonder out loud, growing more and more impatient with this cop. Then a man's voice comes over my radio, "She's dead, bitch."

3. Related to the dream above, I am called out to find a missing girl at a farm during the late fall months. It's cold and I'm moody. I go out to the barn, and when I open the huge sliding door I find the girl hanging by her feet skinned and gutted like a deer.

4. I am responsible for the death of a friend's child.

And now, since all of the above are pretty grusome and you probably think I'm nuts, here are a few on the lighter side:

5. The Nelson twins (remember them?) ask me out on a date -- with both of them at the same time! I go. ;-)

6. I'm at the opera with Colin Firth. He hits on me, but before anything happens he turns into my husband. (Big mystery to that one! lol)

7. John Stamos asks me to go shoe shopping. He needs new shoes for some gala he's attending and he doesn't like the guy at the shoe store. We go to a second hand store and find the perfect pair for $20. They're vintage. And, they're purple.

You may have noticed that I have a lot of celebrity dreams. It's true. But it's never fancy, "oh, I love you Kathryn" dreams. Usually I'm doing something totally mundane or I'm ditched for someone much more exciting.

Anyway, that's it. Have at me!


For more information about Kathryn and her books:

Kathryn's winner will be selected Friday evening.


Blogger Ruth Schaller said...

Okay, I'm going to give this a try. Looks and sounds like fun. I've tried to interpret my own dreams, but never someone elses.

I liked the cop you're a cop in your dream. Well, that means that you have a sense or whats right and whats wrong.

Now for you being scared in your dream. You were worried that the girl may be dead. Well, being scared could mean that there is some lack of control somewhere in your life and actually makes you a little angry about something in your waking life or that you maybe feeling some self-doubt.

But then you hear the man's voice and we know that he's the killer. With this, that might mean, even with all of the self-doubt and such in your life, you know whats right and wrong and you're trying to stand up and put an end to something going on.

That about wraps that up in a nut shell, with the help of my own dream dictionary. But I like how that one turned out.

Some of your other dreams a little more weird, much like my own (when I remember them...LOL)

But that's my interpretation of #2.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Lynda Hilburn said...

Kathryn! Thanks so much for guest blogging today. Your post is great. Dream interpretation -- what fun!

7:51 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

I can't say anything about your dreams. I have the wacky going on at night. I had one dream where I was dropped in Vietnam with Tom Berenger and we had to fight our way out of the country.

My friends favorite dream of mine is that I am at "music festival" in my old high school gym. First I see Henry Rollins doing his spoken words. Then one of my favorites Welsh musicians, James Dean Bradfield, came on. He did a 45 minute continuous song which was just bits-n-pieces of various cover songs. After his set, my friend Sam and I went to meet James. He came out and he had this giant ballon head wobbling about his shoulders. When he leaned over to whisper something in my Sam's ear, James bit her head off and ate it.

After that I woke up. The funny thing is the next night, I had a dream that I was at a dinner with James. The place was decorated completely in cruxifixes and really loud. At one point, James leaned over to say something to me...and I woke up screaming, scared he was going to eat my head too.

I know I need help.

As for your dreams, wow, you seem to have a real need to help people and make their lives better. I'm sure that the Nelson twins were much better people after your date.

Thanks for the ear!

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Stamos asking me to go shoe shopping? Dream yes, perfect pair for only $20 and in my favorite color? Best dream in a l-o-n-g time.

OK so John could represent sex incarnate. Interested in your desires. Very nice. Fullfillment of your wish for something rare, valuable, beautiful and a bit older. Sounds like a big old affirmation to me. Your subconscious really thinks your do we :)
magic,mystery,mayhem and murder

8:13 AM  
Blogger Pamk said...

love the one where Freddie Krueger is your dad. I believe that one is where you taking charge of your world and liking it lol. That why the glove felt good.

8:53 AM  
Blogger AriesRain said...

"run screaming for a crucifix" -- That is just funny.

"Freddy Krueger is my father. He tries to kill me, but I'm not afraid. I take control of the dream, and Freddy is so proud that he gives me his trademark razor glove, with the full expectation that I'm going to take over the 'family' business. I take the glove and put it on. It feels good."

Let me put my pretend “shrink” cap on. *ech-hem*

Alright. To me, this screams “daddy issues”. Freddy Krueger represents dad - big, tough, someone that can put the fear of God in you with just a look, always pushing to better ourselves, learn, and become independent. The reason a scary horror personality is “dad” stems from the fear of having to grow up and behave like an adult and face fears/doubts/worries/complications/challenges/etc.

Dad, aka Freddy, is proud you finally asserted yourself and showed independence and the ability to make decisions. The family business could be a metaphor for many things; maybe becoming the vital link that holds the family together, graduating, getting a promotion, or just life in general.

When you put the glove on and “it feels good” you are accepting and embracing your life. You grew, became wiser, made decisions, and became independent.

Kay. That is all I have. I am jealous. I usually do not remember my dreams. I know I have them, but the details are foggy. I would like to be able to remember more of them more clearly.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Caffey said...

Hi Katherine!! I have enjoyed your historical vamps and excited about this one! This is so unique with her being able to get into other's dreams!

You know what, I have absolutely no memory of my dreams at all. I don't have them. I have slept walked when I was younger (and a couple of times as an adult but not as bad when I was younger til my teens. So in some ways I think its neat when I hear people say they can dream because I can't.
My sleepwalking has taken me trips to city swimming pool, walking the street at night, to walking the yard. I've only occasionally woke up from the sleep walking and it was terrifying when I did. They tried locking the door but they said I went out the window. I've only sleepwalked a couple times since I've been married and once I woke up from it but not scared as I was when younger (I was cooking a casserole at 3 a.m. since my hubby woke me from it. But after that he never did. They were told not to wake me but to bring me back to bed. This not a dream/nightmare but kind of was one to me as a kid.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Caffey said...

I never saw those Freddy movies. Those with the like hockey mask? I'm so jealous on Colin Firth! LOL. I think otherwise your creativity is pushing to be shown. Along with the shoes, um, (I am so bad at this), its you trying newer and different things that bring out the you!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Hi Kathryn, congrats on the great reviews for your story, I really enjoyed the excerpt. As for dreams, I one of those that forgets what I dreamed within minutes of waking up.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Kathryn S said...

Thanks so much for the comments and compliments, ladies! I really think you're being too easy on me! lol. I've come to think of my dreams as fodder for books. I once dreamed an entire book - do I ever wish I had remembered it!

As for Freddy and 'daddy' issues, my father is a bit of a monster...Ohh, that was harsh, wasn't it? :-)

12:11 PM  
Blogger AriesRain said...

Nah, not harsh. I have two dads, one being genetics the other by marriage. I love them both dearly, but dang, to have two gruff and intimidating guys mad at you creates a whole new level of fear. Who would have ever thought they would have raised such an opinionated - foul mouthed woman like me?! LOL

2:34 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Kathryn thanks for your books and imagination. I think this could be insightful.

Ok it seems your nightmare dreams revolve around power, in the first dream Freddie(father or father figure)has the power,you stand up to him(growing up)and take the power as your own(stand on your own)and it feels good(you're, your own person and not subjugated to anyone anymore). The second you seem to be in a position of power(higher authority, cop) but in reality the killer has the power and you're afraid(fear) of losing that power(could be afraid of losing yourself to something or someone). The last two nightmare dreams are a little confusing they seem to be about responsibility or lack thereof.

Now for the fun ones, the Nelson twins no brainer, how cute were they, of course you would say yes who wouldn't! The opera is serious music(represents a serious relationship, marriage) and Colin Firth while also handsome turns into your husband because in your mind and heart you have your perfect someone(your husband) and therefore you don't need anything better. Now John Stamos, also very handsome, needs help to buy shoes, unless you have a shoe fetish I can't really figure this one out, but at least you have excellent taste in men, Yummy choices!

Thank you this was alot of fun and I hope I didn't upset you, but in my defense you did ask for it, LOL!

3:33 PM  
Blogger Night critter said...

My take on your Freddy Krueger dream is secretly you have always wanted to scare the crap out of people and what better way than in their dreams! You believe that old Freddy no longer has what it takes, he's a bit of a has been, it is time for a new scarier order,so you are going to take over.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Dream interpertations would be great to learn, except for the scary ones.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Kathryn S said...

All these comments are fabulous, thank you! Caffey, thanks for sharing about your sleepwalking. I've never done that, but I know a lot of people who do. I'm more of a 'talker' than a 'walker'. :-)

7:42 AM  

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