What scares you? (A Sleep So Dark giveaway!)

photoI’m not a usually fan of scary movies. Nor am I a fan of scary books. Cause here’s the thing: THEY’RE SCARY. And I don’t like the feeling of being scared. So it’s a little odd that I actually sat down and thought to myself, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to write a scary, suspenseful, young adult thriller?”

But I’m like that. Unpredictable. Perhaps even a little crazy. 😉 And at the time, I thought I’d be writing the book for teens, and would be able keep the scary to a minimum and really focus on the characters and romance.

But as I was writing that book, which became A Sleep So Dark, the need to make it more suspenseful–and more scary–grew. And as the book got more and more scary, I started to freak myself out.


A Sleep So Dark is about dreams. Nightmares, to be precise. And becoming lucid in dreams and nightmares so you can control their outcome. This is a real therapy technique they are using with veterans and other people suffering from PTSD. Teach them to become lucid in their dreams, so instead of it suffering from nightmares, they can turn their dreams into something positive.

Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, all the research I did on becoming lucid in dreams just freaked me out more. I started to get scared to fall asleep, because I worried that I would become lucid but not be able to wake up. And what could be more awful than being trapped in a lucid dream?

Suffice to say, this book was tough to write. But it was incredibly fun to write something totally different than I ever have before. And in doing so, I discovered that I do enjoy scaring myself–I just happen to do it by sending myself headlong into new projects, pushing my boundaries, and forcing myself to grow as an artist. And this was definitely a book that did all of those things.

(And, to be honest, I threw in some romance, a hot guy, and kissing. Because those are my favorite parts.)

So here’s the really amazing thing. I assumed no one would actually be scared by my book. But according to the reviews, A Sleep So Dark is “weird but wonderful…full of chills, thrills, and suspense…” And “a scary nightmare of a story with murder, mayhem, and a unique element of the supernatural…”

Which makes me glow with pride–I did it! I managed to not only get over my fear of writing about scary stuff, I managed to create something new and suspenseful along the way! Whee!

To celebrate this accomplishment, and with Halloween just a few days away, I’m giving away a signed printed copy of A Sleep So Dark. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what scares you!

UPDATE: We have a winner! Ruthi Kight, congratulations!You’ll be hearing from me via email. 🙂 Thanks so much to everyone for sharing your darkest fears with me. I hope you all had a happy Halloween!


  1. Sally St. Helen says

    I have dreams of loosing my teeth. I wake up so shaken that I end of rubbing my tongue across my teeth to make sure that they are still there. Then say, “Good, it was just a dream.”

    The other thing that scares me is being attacked from behind.

  2. Vonnie Alto says

    What scares me is creepy noises when it’s dark outside and I’m alone in the house.

    • Vonnie, I hate being alone in the house in the dark. If I didn’t have dogs, I’d never do it. I’d have to live in an apartment building.

  3. Laura Hopperton says

    So proud of you Inara! I plan to buy it but would love to win a signed copy!

    I’m TERRIFIED of white vans without windows. After watching Silence of the Lambs, (many years ago) I have never parked or driven near a white van. I have parked a quarter mile away from my destination to avoid the open spot near a white van! I get serious chills and lock my doors if one pulls up next to me at a stop light!

    I am really in to dream analysis so I think both Faith and I will love your book. I wish I had known about you writing YA books sooner.

    Congratulations on your newest creative baby!

    • Hey, thanks Laura! Any time you want a signed bookplate, just let me know. I’d be happy to mail one to you. So fun to be able to share my books with the other Sept Babies! 😀

  4. Cohlina M. says

    Scary movies scare me but I’ll just laugh them off the next day. Cockroaches and snakes also scares me. What really super scares me are beggars. Seriously, to the point where they are in front of me and I’m close to crying.

    • Cohlina, that’s a serious phobia! I find scary movies to be sickeningly scary…like, I can never sit through them. Not even close. So you’re braver than I am!

  5. Susan Hughes says

    In the middle of the night I sometimes wake up to the sound of my dog as he makes a deep, low growl. He is usually, at least, head up and looking towards the sliding glass door and deck when he does this. What is he hearing that I am not and should I be afraid of it too?

    • Dog growls in the night are awful. Our dogs go for full on barking in the middle of the night, which is easier to yell at them and then ignore. The growl is worse.

  6. I’m scared of giant roaches lol

    • Kelsey, when I lived in North Carolina we had tons of those huge roaches (like, the length of your thumb or more) that fly. Those things are amazing. They’re impossible to kill.

  7. I am terrified of a lot of things. I guess that sort of makes me a wuss. Here goes: *ahem* heights, tight spaces, aliens, drowning, being murdered by a serial killer (but I still watch criminal minds religiously), dying, getting bitten by a poisonous snake ( I can handle non poisonous), getting bitten by a poisonous spider, cockroaches in lethal or nonlethal form (those things are NASTY), Jeepers Creepers (man, that movie is messed up). And getting eaten by a shark. Which is weird because I am completely fascinated with sharks and have posters and stuffed animals of them all over my room. And yet, when I go to the beach, I am on HIGH ALERT. lol. Yes, I know. I’m a freak.

    Thanks for the giveaway. The book sounds amazing. (:

    • Ashley, that’s an awesome list. And so thorough! 🙂 I try really hard not to think about sharks when I’m at the beach. But yeah, that’s pretty much terrifying. And I’m with you on the serial killers and snakes.

  8. My parents and I moved into a new house when I was about 20 years old. My mom and I were cleaning up the bathroom because it was dirty. I was scrubbing out the tub and she was cleaning under the sink.

    A moment later the water in the sink turned on by itself. We both looked at each other and were like what the heck.

    Later on that night I went into the bathroom and did my bedtime routine: brush the teeth, use my facial cleaner and moisturizer etc. I finished and closed the door and turned off the light> I forgot my glasses in the bathroom and went back to get them and the light was on and the door was open

    I completely freaked out and told my mom and dad that there was no way I was staying in the house by myself because they were going to go back to the other house and pack.

    Also to this day the faucet still turns my mom says. so yeah being in my oms house scares me a little.

  9. What scares me? The thought of losing my daughter scares the mess out of me. The dark also freaks me out, but it’s not the actual absence of light that scares me….it’s what may be in the dark that I can’t see. Clowns also…and the thought of zombies actually becoming real.

    • Anything bad happening to my kids is heart-stoppingly scary to imagine. I can’t watch TV shows, read books, or even see news coverage of kids in danger. Too awful.

      And yes, clowns are terrifying. Always.

  10. What scares me? Heights, suspension bridges over those heights, walking on a suspension bridge, my children standing too close to the edge of a cliff…rescuing a child on a cliffside… You get the picture? Not snakes, bugs, noises, lions, tigers or bears….. I’m over 70, that’s why.
    I already bought the book but would like a printed copy for Christmas.

    • Yay for being over 70 and no longer caring about bugs! 😀

      Just so you know, printed copies will be available for sale on the Amazon website in a few days.

  11. What scares me the most is tight spaces and spiders. Actually, the other day I decided to go to a haunted house with my mom and brother and they not only had spiders(they were fake, but still… :)), but tight spaces as well. The tight spaces are what really got to me because it wasn’t just crammed hallways or anything, but it was inflated walls that touched each other that you legitimately had to like use a tiny bit of force to go through. They were long and dark, so it felt like they were neverending! LOL Needless to say, I came out of them all crying and trying to catch my breath. Definitely showed my mom how bad that fear was! 😉 I’ll admit, my brother was a HUGE help and tried talking me through them. Anyways, I’ll stop rambling on now,.

  12. Umm what doesnt scare me.. Seriously though. ALIENS they get me big time.. So does the unexpected.. Miley Cyrus.. running out of laundry detergent on laundry day..

  13. LadyVampire says

    Its great that you over came your fear to write this book. That’s a huge accomplishment. Me, I am scared of heights more then anything else. My aunts forced me to go up into the ST Luis Arch some years ago, without preparing me for the swaying the building would do. And it did plenty of moving and rocking because it happened to be really windy that day. Apparently I couldn’t take the shock of being on unstable ground because fear took over and I made a fool of myself in the Arch. So much so that people were taking pity on me and a nun that happened to be up there at the time came over to pray with me and try to calm me down. I couldn’t get down off the Arch fast enough. But as laughable as the story sounds..it really stuck a chord in me of fear that I haven’t been able to shake. Even now, if it shows a high up scene in a movie or TV show..I have to look away sometimes before I get dizzy.

  14. Crystal casquero says

    I am terrified of clowns!!!! And of being kidnapped….

  15. Ruthi Kight says

    I have a recurring nightmare of lice…yeah…I’m totally weird like that. Oh, and CLOWNS! Dear sweet baby niblets clowns scare the stuffing out of me! I get heart palpitations and everything! LMAO

  16. Walking back from the academic buildings to my dorm at night when I have a night class. My campus is in a really safe town, but it still freaks me out. So is sleeping in a room alone. I took like a rape aggression defense class, so that kind of helps with my fear, a lot. On my walk back I go through all the potential steps I would have to take if someone were to attack me, and it makes me feel better.

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