Blog Tour Guest Post: Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid + Giveaway
I'm very excited today to be part of the blog tour for Heather Reid's Pretty Dark Nothing! Big thanks to Heather and to Jen from Book and a Latte Publicity for the opportunity!
First, here's a bit about the book:
Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid.
It’s time to choose: Love or lies, faith or fear, darkness or destiny.
Seventeen-year-old Quinn hasn’t slept a full night in twenty-three days. She’s terrified of the demons that stalk her dreams, pull her into a deep dark nothingness and whisper hauntingly of her death. Exhausted, Quinn dozes off in the school hallway, and Aaron, an amnesiac with a psychic ability, accidentally enters her nightmare. If Quinn can learn to trust her heart, and Aaron can discover the secret locked away in his fragile memory, their combined power could banish the darkness back to the underworld for good. That is, unless the demons kill them first.
Pretty Dark Nothing: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Now welcome the author, Heather, for a guest post! This post fits in very well with the "Dark Side" event I have running right now, so I'm excited to share what Heather has to say about exploring the dark side of lit.
Exploring the Dark Side
“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” ― Mark Twain
I don’t remember when they started—the dreams of faceless entities, of black figures standing by my bed whispering in the deep shadows of my childhood room. Sometimes I would wake from their dark grasp and find my six-year-old self standing at the end of my parent’s bed, or in the kitchen, or walking down the hallway. Other times I would suffer from sleep paralysis, trapped between dream and reality, a scream trapped in my throat.
Some nights, fear gripped me so tight I thought my lungs were being crushed under the weight of it. Books kept me company, kept me awake, kept me from falling into the arms of the monsters waiting for me on the other side of sleep as I huddled under the covers with a flashlight, stuffed animals standing guard around my bed.
A bible stayed tucked beneath my pillow, a cross around my neck, anything to ward off the evil stalking my dreams. The darkness both terrified and fascinated me and as I grew, I found myself drawn to all the shadowy terror my dreams were made of.
Childhood stories were replaced with novels by Christopher Pike, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Lois Duncan, and V.C.Andrews. My mother would often catch me reading non-fiction about the occult, hauntings, demons, tarot, spirit boards, anything mystical, but she never made me feel ashamed of my obsession. Perhaps she sensed I was seeking a way to make sense of it all, to rationalize the irrational. For how can you recognize the light if you don’t understand the darkness?
The more I shined a light on my darkness, the quicker the nightmares faded. I still don’t understand what caused them or what they meant, but one day they no longer held power over me. The fear may be gone, but the shadows of those nightmares have never truly left me. I guess it’s not surprising that those experiences, so vividly etched upon my imagination and tightly twined around my soul, would find their way into my own writing. With the sun watching my back and the darkness in front of me, I delved into the world of the tainted, broken, haunted — first with short stories and dark poetry and then into the novel that would become my debut, Pretty Dark Nothing.
In Pretty Dark Nothing, I wanted to write about a girl facing her own darkness. What would happen if her nightmares manifested in her reality and she was the only one who could see them? How would fear, the self-awareness that what she was seeing might be real, but shouldn’t be, affect her everyday life, her relationships, her ability to trust herself, to trust others, and to make decisions.
I chose demons as metaphors for the darkness that lives inside all of us, the personification of that still small voice inside that perpetuates negative thought and twists the truth. They feed on the darkness living inside humans and exploit and magnify the insecurities and self-doubt they find and use it to gain power and create chaos.
While I’ve never seen a live demon, I hope my night terrors have been put to good use, to create a story rich in creepy atmosphere and emotional brokenness. I admit that at times it’s been terrifying to conjure up old nightmares and pick at the scars of fear left on my psyche, to bleed some of my own darkness onto the page, but watching Quinn fight demons helped me remember to always be wary of my own.
About the Author:
ABOUT HEATHER L. REID
Heather L. Reid is both American and British and has called six different cities in three different countries, home. Her strong sense of wanderlust and craving for a new adventure mean you might find her wandering the moors of her beloved Scotland, exploring haunted castles, or hiking through a magical forest in search of fairies and sprites. When she’s not venturing into the unknown in her real life, she loves getting lost in the worlds of video games or curling up by the fire with good story. For now, this native Texan is back in the Lone Star State, settling down with her Scottish husband and dreaming up new novels to write.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads
Grand Prize winner will receive a signed copy of PRETTY DARK NOTHING, a Pretty Dark Nothing necklace, nail polish, and bookmarks (US only). One winner will receive PRETTY DARK NOTHING shipped through Book Depository (International).
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TOUR SCHEDULE - Keep up with the rest of Heather's tour!
In keeping with our "Dark Side" event, be sure to stop by The White Unicorn for a review of The Dark Between!