Monday, August 23, 2010

Guest Post: Anastasia Hopcus

Hey guys! Here's Anastasia Hopcus, author of Shadow Hills for a guest post! She's writing about nightmares...oohhhh creepy right?


I think the reason dreams play such a large role in Phe’s life, and therefore in
Shadow Hills, is because I’ve always had such strange, vivid, and often frightening
dreams myself. I don’t have any of the usual ‘anxiety’ dreams---I don’t dream about
falling or showing up late for a test I haven’t studied for. Instead, I tend to have creepy
nightmares where I'm being chased by people who are trying to kill me.

Just recently I had a dream where I was in a mall looking for a killer (I blame
Kimberly Derting for that part). His modus operandi was to bury his new girlfriends,
once he tired of them, in his dead wife’s grave. So I’m walking through the mall, and I
come to a cemetery next to Macy’s---no joke---and I wander through it. There is still a
roof and walls surrounding it, but the graveyard itself is all green grass, trees, and rolling
hills dotted with tombstones. Then, at a distance I see this guy pushing legs into an
overstuffed coffin. I’m about to run away to call the police when he spots me across the
graveyard. I try to seem like I was looking at something nearby and not him. This
doesn’t appear to be fooling him, and he starts stalking toward me, shovel in hand.

I try to remain calm and casual acting. I turn away from him and head toward the
more populated food court area of the mall. He comes after me, still dragging his shovel.
The metal scrapes along the tile floor, eliciting this awful screeching sound. I can feel
him getting closer, and I run to the condiments area looking for some kind of weapon.
There is nothing remotely scary, so I go for a straw. I turn just as he is swinging the
shovel at me and I duck. I can feel the movement of the air swooshing by right over my
head. Before he can come at me again, I put the straw through his eye. Which apparently
kills him, as he falls down and I wake up.

This is something I do a lot in dreams---kill bad guys in new and bizarre ways.
I'm always fighting to the death with something very "unweapony" like a straw. Or a
spork. Or a toothpick. And while these dreams are not classic anxiety dreams, they are
what I get before a signing or some other event that makes me nervous. I guess my flight
or fight response feels I should be prepared to defend my life under ANY circumstances.
But hey, if that visualization thing that athletes do really works, I will be totally prepared
for a battle in Taco Bell.

Thanks so much for Anastasia for stopping by! Stop by tomorrow at I Just Wanna Sit Here & Read for more of Anastasia and Shadow Hills!

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Ellz August 23, 2010 at 11:00 PM  

Great post Anastasia. Dreams could hold inspiration, express anxiety, or just be strange manifestations of an overactive imagination. All I know for sure is that I know I have slept with the lights on on several occasions. Good thing I always have a good book next to me to divert my brain.

Unknown August 23, 2010 at 11:24 PM  

I just finished reading Shadow Hills. Fabulous book!

Anne August 25, 2010 at 5:19 AM  

I have always had such a vivid imagination and my dreams can be so bad that when I wake up I refuse to open my eyes. I used to think I saw things in my room in the dark when I was a kid. It must have messed me up because I still am a little afraid of the dark. Dreams are powerful things. Thanks for the great post Anastasia. BTW - I <3 Shadow Hills :)

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