Paranormal Perceptions ~ A Nightmare in More Ways Than One
The Paranormal Perceptions series was created to gather some of the most interesting authors that are using paranormal elements in their stories. Every author has their own perceptions and provides their own insight on all things paranormal, ranging from urban legends and paranormal research, to myths and inspirations. This week on the guest series is author of Shades of Desire, author L.M. Pruitt (@lmpruitt).
When I started doing research for the WINGED series, one of the first books I purchased was an encyclopedia of demons. You didn’t read that wrong—I said an encyclopedia of demons. I figured if I was going to write six books full of characters fighting/dealing with demons, I needed to invest in a good source. And before someone says, “Wait, what about the Internet?”, let me say that while there are a lot of helpful sites, there are even more where I’m seriously concerned that just reading the material is going to put my immortal soul in danger. And even more where I’m convinced the people contributing to the site are more than a little…off.
But I digress.
Besides being a great conversation starter (seriously—people see me pull out the book, do a double take, and conversations just blossom), it really is a great resource. Say I’m looking for a demon that would be more likely than not to spend the weekend in Miami wreaking havoc with intense storms. Check a few indexes, look out some truly outlandishly spelled names and boom! I have myself a demon. The fact that he’s also known to cause toads to drop from the sky is a nice little side bonus.
However, sometimes it’s the demons with the smallest entries that make the biggest impact. Like the mara.
You may have guessed that the mara has something to do with nightmares and you’d be correct. For a very long period of history it was believed that dreams resulting in terror and temporary paralysis were the result of a visit from a mara, also known as a night-hag. Pictures and drawings often showed a small, malevolent creature perched on the chest of its victim, smiling in sadistic glee while said victim was depicted in a state of terror. Nowadays we know that what people believed to be a demon in the past is no more than complicated brain activity sometimes compounded by sleep paralysis (which is still pretty terrifying—I’ve had a few episodes myself and it’s nothing to laugh about).
But what if we’re wrong? What if we’ve scienced ourselves out of believing in things, giving creatures like the mara the ability to live among us, feeding on our dreams and turning them into nightmares? And what if one of them decided to use the idea of conducting a sleep study as a cover for their activities?
Well—you’ll just have to check out UPRISING, the second book in the WINGED series to see what happens.
About the Author:
L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She is the author of the Jude Magdalyn Series as well as New Moon Rising, featuring Cari Gravier, and Taken, featuring Frankie Post. She is currently at work on the next book in the Moon Rising series, Harvest Moon Rising, due out April 2012. Ms. Pruitt makes her home in Florida with two cats--one smart, the other not so much.
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/LM-Pruitt/364776895104