Reminiscent of Interview with a Vampire, Being Human, and Byzantium, Darkly Dreaming is dark fantasy literature. Quirky, witty and vicious, it seems like any other self-discovery novel until the heroines, Rae and Layla, meet a darker future when they are infected with the vampire virus.
These vampires are not the undead, instead an ancient virus has caused a complete metamorphosis so they have evolved into more physically sophisticated beings, each with their own special gift. They can only feed on blood, and animal blood, while tasting vile, suffices. However vampires don’t dream, and human blood not only tastes sublime, it offers a narcotic escape into their victim’s memories.Who could resist?
Written in 'Honolulu Heights', the Being Human house, Darkly Dreaming explores the themes of friendship, self, and being true to who you really are, no matter what the temptations. A tale of heartbreak, battles to defend the weak, and the sort of daft mistakes only Rae could make.
Conceived in nightmares, wrought from despair is a tag line I use to describe Darkly Dreaming, and it’s literal. A couple of years ago my brain stopped working the way it was supposed to. I started suffering hideous, vampire riddled, nightmares, and I experienced aural hallucinations of the door bell ringing, the door knocking, or my alarm going off every time I fell asleep. I became highly strung- easily startled, and permanently convinced something awful was going to happen.
I’d been stressed out before, but this was different. This went on, and on. Eventually I accepted there was something properly wrong, and went to see my G.P who diagnosed severe anxiety and depression. I had been living on adrenalin for so long, I’d broken me. After my appointment I sat in the car and cried and cried. I cried all day. I was a support worker, and foster carer, I was the one who helped other people. That woman who sat in the surgery and confessed her terrifyingly irrational thoughts couldn’t be me. But it was.
That was my lowest ebb, at that point I realised I had a choice: I could crumble under the weight of all my responsibilities, made impossible by my illness; or I could acknowledge that the worst had happened, I had nothing left to lose. Which was a bizarrely liberating realisation to
reach- all my fears had come true. I could seize the freedom this failure offered and have a go at pursuing that dream life that I’d always ‘one day’ed, and ‘when we win the lottery’ed.
I still don’t know exactly how I took my bleakly barren brain, that quaked at remembering what I’d gone into a shop for, and wrung Darkly Dreaming, my first novel that I am so proud of, from it. I can only thank my tribe of trusty criticals for all their love, support and nit-picking. It wouldn’t be the book it is, and I wouldn’t be the woman I am without them.
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