Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Perchance to--walk?


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:   How do you feel about sleeping? I love sleeping.  I crave sleeping. I snuggle down in bed, even in a hotel bed, and appreciate the sheets and appreciate the pillows and appreciate the darkness and I appreciate the sle.........
Anyway. And what do do when I'm asleep? I have some pretty down-right nut city  technicolor dreams, but I stay in bed. I do not get up until the silly alarm.
But my deal pal Kathy Valenti--did I tell you her first book was an Agatha nominee?--has a very different experience. And she lets us in on why her second mystery is called 39 Winks.  What's more--today's her book birthday--and we are so honored to have her here to celebrate! 
And at the end, we have a question for you. And you could win 39 Winks!
 
Life Imitating Art
There are many writing axioms.
“Write what you know.”
“Write hot, edit cold.”
“All writing is autobiographical.”
They’re all interesting and quote-worthy, but it’s the latter that always catches my attention.
One of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How much of this is based on your real life?”
I imagine they’re not inquiring about how many people I’ve offed or my personal experience fleeing from homicidal maniacs. Or maybe they are. Either way, it’s a valid question, especially when you consider axiom #1. After all, if we write what we know, wouldn’t we then write from our own experiences?
For me, the answer is sometimes. Ish.
The last time I was on Jungle Red Writers, I talked about how a computer snafu inspired the technology-based hook for Protocol . While the book’s murders and conspiracies were all fiction, the vulnerability I felt after said snafu was all too real.
For 39 Winks, I took another page from my own life: sleepwalking.
Not Kathy

This is Hollywood’s image of sleepwalking. But  I’m usually wearing sweatpants and my hair is in a swirly.
In the second book of the Maggie O’Malley series, Constantine’s Aunt Polly happens upon her husband’s murdered body during a sleepwalking episode. I’ve never stumbled across a corpse, but I have plenty of experience with somnambulism.
I’ve not only walked in my sleep, I’ve also folded laundry and made macaroni and cheese. I haven’t literally sawed logs, but maybe that’s next? I also tend to rope my poor husband into my nighttime escapades, sometimes pointing across the room and shouting, “Who’s that man?” or looming over him as I stand on the edge of the bed.
I’m dead serious. You can see how this sleep disorder offers plenty of material. And sleepless nights for my husband.
Maybe that’s why I sleepwalk!
 
So while my so-called art doesn’t imitate my life, it’s sometimes informed by it. I write what I know. I write what I imagine. I write what I feel, exercising empathy to put myself in another’s shoes in another world. It all becomes a soup of truth and fiction, and it’s this blend of real and make-believe that draws me not only to fiction but to the mystery genre itself.
What about you? Have you ever drawn from experience to create a character, a plotline, a bit of dialogue? Or are your feet firmly planted in the world of the imagined? 
Any other sleepwalkers out there? Maybe we can talk about our nighttime (mis)adventures or fascination with sleep-crime. And bonus: we could even do it in our sleep.
HANK: Whoa. That is SO interesting. Do you sleepwalk? Have you ever dreamed a book? And hey--wake up! A copy of 39 WINKS to one lucky commenter--and we promise it will not put you to sleep!
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About 39 Winks
Former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O'Malley is losing sleep. Constantine's aunt is a multitasking sleepwalker who, in addition to wandering her stately home, prepares meals, folds laundry and, one winter night, stumbles across her husband with his throat slit.

It's a rude and gruesome awakening that's upsetting to Aunt Polly. And interesting to the police.

Maggie and Constantine work to uncover who killed the cosmetic surgery mogul and why. As they dig into the lives of those who knew him best, they discover that the truth is only skin deep and doctoring perception is a treatment with deadly side effects.

A gripping page-turner with more twists than a surgeon's suture, 39 Winks is a tale of lies, betrayals and greed that will keep you up at night. And looking over your shoulder.

Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley mystery series. The series’ first book, Agatha- and Lefty-nominated Protocol, introduces us to Maggie, a pharmaceutical researcher with a new job, a used phone and a deadly problem. The series’ second book, 39 Winks, releases May 22. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more here!  




117 comments:

  1. Happy Book Birthday, Kathy . . . "39 Winks" sounds so intriguing; I'm looking forward to reading it.

    I am not a good sleeper . . . after half an hour of tossing and turning, I generally give up, get up, and read. So, no sleepwalking here . . . .

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    1. Thanks, Joan!

      Insominia--ugh! Maybe more time for reading is the silver lining? Here's to more Zzzzzzzs!!

      Kathy/Kathleen

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    2. Oh, dear, Joan. And are you so tired during the day? :-(

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    3. Sometimes I'm tired, Hank . . . it really depends on how long I end up reading before I've managed to convince myself that I'm tired enough to go to bed and actually sleep.

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    4. Oh, Joan, I hope this all works out. Love you so much! We would not be who we are without you.

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  2. What a great premise! And your sleepwalking - that's pretty amazing. I sleepwalked as a child and into college. At home I would wake up terrified in our huge-ceilinged living room, too paralyzed with fear to go get a parent at the other end of the house. I never went outside that I know of, or made macaroni and cheese, for that matter. Once in college I was visiting a friend at her parents' home in San Francisco. It was a big old Victorian and I woke up in the bathroom with my pillow. When I went into the hall, I had no idea behind which door I'd been sleeping.

    Kathy, do you usually wake up during an episode, or get back to bed and only find evidence of your escapades later? And does it make you feel exhausted the next day or well rested?

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    1. Hi Edith!

      Waking up in a strange room in a strange house must have been terrifying!

      For the most part, I'm asleep for the entire episode. Since I often involve my husband in my antics, he's the one who usually clues me in. I do feel more tired on those mornings-after and very disoriented. It's like I've time-traveled or something!

      Kathy/Kathleen

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    2. Hi Edith!

      Looking forward to your talk/signing on the Cape on Thursday!

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    3. Wow, Edith! That does sound scary! And you remember, after?

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    4. I remembered after, Hank, yes. Jay, see you there! Kathy, does he wake you up during the antics or is that not even possible? I do remember one of my sons being up while asleep but it was only once or twice. And was probably the one with the same vivid imagination as I have...

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    5. He sometimes tries to reason with me--especially on those occasions where I sleep-panic that I'm late for something and run around the room screaming, "What time is it?!" He'll tell me the next day that he calmly replied, "It's time to SLEEP." This has no effect on me. Poor man!

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  3. No sleepwalking here, but quite a bit of sleep-waking; in other words, I often don't sleep through the night. When I can't get back to sleep, I listen through ear-buds to a little radio I keep within arms reach. Sometimes the radio is so interesting (CBC overnight schedule with lots of BBC programs) that I'm glad to have woken up to hear it!

    Congrats on your second book, Kathy. I wonder if it was harder or easier to write the second one in the series?

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    1. Thanks, Amanda!

      Glad to hear that the radio has programming worth waking up for! My best friend suffers from insomnia, but the upside is that she sees/does more things while I'm snoozing--or wandering around in my sleep.

      The second book felt easier to write in some ways, but that's not the case (so far) with the third! I'm discovering that books are like children. They're a part of me, but seem to have a mind of their own. :)

      Kathy/Kathleen

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    2. Yes, sometimes when I wake up in the night, usually around 434, hilariously, I wonder if I should just get up. Or do something. But then I think no, I will try to go back to sleep… And I usually can.

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  4. Congrats on the new book.

    I don't sleepwalk.

    Sadly my dreams tend to be as boring as my waking hours. I once dreamed of the Swedish Bikini Team. But instead of something untoward, they were all in business suits and talking about macro economics.

    Just a couple of days ago, I dreamt that I woke up and started cleaning the bathroom. This was the night before I was getting up to start cleaning the bathroom.

    See...boring.

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    1. Jay, that's so sad about the covered up Bikini Team! LOL

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    2. I love the Bikni Team dream! So respectful!!

      The cleaning dream is good, too. I need more motiviating dreams!

      Kathy/Kathleen

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    3. Karen, well I'm glad it made someone laugh. I was certainly depressed when I woke up.

      Kathy, it may be respectful but it was a dream. I spend enough time in the waking hours being boring and respectful, I think I should have more adventurous dreams. As for the cleaning dream, it was depressing to dream about something I was going to do anyway.

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    4. True, true!! Your mind must have been priming you to clean. (But where did the Bikini Team come from?)

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    5. That Is the funniest thing I have ever heard! And I am so delighted that you remembered it! I’m times I wake up from a strange dream, and I just have sort of vestiges of it, and I know it was interesting but it’s gone.

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    6. Kathy, I had that dream in my early 20's when the Swedish Bikini team was on posters for some alcohol advertising at a liquor store I worked at.

      Hank, I'm glad you are amused! I was less so when I woke up from the dream. :D

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  5. As far as I know I have never sleepwalked but I do get a lot of exercise in the night with having to go to the bathroom so often! Congrats on the book, Kathy. I'm looking forward to reading it.

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    1. Thank you, Judi!!

      I never thought about the exercise my wanderings afford me. I need to wear my step-counter to bed! :)

      Kathy/Kathleen

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    2. Oh, I definitely wear my step counter to bed! Very necessary

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    3. I'll have to start doing that. Every step counts, right?

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  6. Fascinating! Sleepwalking is such a fascinating phenomenon. And it can be dangerous. Good thing you stay in the house.

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    1. Thank GOODNESS! I have awoken with my hand on the door going outside, but that's the closest I've gotten to taking my act on the road.

      Kathy/Kathleen

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  7. Yes, it is very difficult to imagine! My dreams are crazy, incredibly complicated and elaborate, but at least I stay in bed.
    I think it’s so incredible that you were using it for a book… Cannot wait to read it.
    Do you know in advance what it might be a sleepwalking night?

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    1. My husband loves to tell people that this book is my alibi in case I commit sleep-crime. Ha ha!

      I never know when I'll sleepwalk. It's definitely stress-related, so when I have taken one of my middle of the night strolls and reflect on the previous day, I'm not surprised!

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    2. I think one of the episodes of "Bull" involved a murder committed by a sleepwalker.

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    3. Ooooooooooo! I'd love to see it!

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    4. Hank, I meant to tell you last week. I dreamed we were at a conference, and you and two other authors were wearing matching black and white print wraparound dresses (SO not your style, and the others weren't Reds). Now I've forgotten the rest, but you were being characteristically encouraging to whatever adventure I was on. ;^)

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    5. Aw..that is really fascinating! Matching, huh? Hmm..... ANd thank you for the reassuring words!

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  8. And have you ever tried to do anything about it? HOw did that work?

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    1. Yes! I went to a sleep clinic and had a study when I went through a period in which I sleepwalked multiple times in a single night. They found brain activity associated with somnambulism every 90 minutes, almost like clockwork, which was pretty unusual. They were delighted. Me? Not so much. They tried various sleep medications, which made me feel fuzzy and hung over. In the end, I went with ye olde stress management, which proved the most effective of all!

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    2. I am not surprised that’s the solution… But it proves you are a deep thinker, right?

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    3. Kathy, this is fascinating! (At least for us--maybe not so much for you.) So there is a specific type of brain activity associated with somnambulism?

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    4. If I remember correctly, some kind of brain waves are associated with sleepwalking. I think? The sleep study doc was so pleased to have such an interesting case. I'm glad at least one of us was having fun!

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  9. I walked in my sleep when I was a child, short walks, and easily guided back to bed. But my oldest daughter was a champion sleepwalker. She and her stepmom once actually played Frisbee in the backyard, all while Christy was asleep.

    My new son-in-law eats in his sleep. It's a real problem, too, because he would really like to lose weight, but every morning there's evidence of his nightly swath through the kitchen: cupboard doors open, peanut butter smears, etc. The only time he doesn't do this is when he travels, which he does a lot for work. Kind of scary to me.

    Love your title, Kathy! 39 Winks is a great name.

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    1. YES! I have sleep-eaten, as well! Not very diet-friendly and quite disconcerting. I feel his pain!!

      I do love the sleep Frisbee-playing, though! Isn't it fascinating that we can do such complex activities while asleep? Does your daughter still sleepwalk?

      Thanks for the congrats and the name love! I appreciate it so much!!

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    2. No, my daughter no longer walks in her sleep, but her 13-year old son has done some. It makes me wonder, since she was also around that age, if it has anything to do with the growth spurt in adolescence.

      One of my other daughters walked in her sleep a few times when she was small, but she grew out of it by about third grade.

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    3. Very interesting! I wonder if it is tied so adolescence for some. My mother walked in her sleep until her final days. I guess I come by it honestly!

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    4. I know this is a silly question--but is she good at it?

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    5. Who knows? She was about 11 then, and she's 47 now!!

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    6. Oh, okay! It will remain a mystery,

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  10. congratulations on your new release! I blend experiences with fact in a fictionalized version of a real location. Sleepwalking is a great plot premise.

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    1. Thank you, Margaret!

      I love that you blend fact with fiction, as well. I find it hard not to do so sometimes. And the sleepwalking experiences were too irrisistable!!

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  11. I do not walk in my sleep, but had a college roommate that did. It was interesting the unusual things she would say in the middle of the night. I was not always aware that she was asleep when she would begin talking. The nights I found her looming over me were disconcerting but harmless and we would have a good chuckle in the morning about it. Your book sounds like an interesting read.

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    1. Thanks, Lil!

      The nighttime looming must have been a little terrifying! I know I do that to Darling Husband. My own children, who occasionally sleepwalk, appear at my bedside and stand there until I awaken, then allow me to guide them back to bed. It can definitely be disconcerting!

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    2. What did she say?? made up things, or true and revealing things?

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  12. I used to sleep walk, eat and tidy up, in college. I would wake up the next morning and find a cup of coffee in the fridge and the cheese in the cupboard (not the fridge where it belonged. It passed. Several years later, I was visiting my sister and my niece, who was about twenty years old, walked in her sleep. It looked just like your photo. She was staring out a window dressed in a long white gown. Spooky.

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    1. Ooooooooooooo! What a spooky sight!!

      Sleep-tidying seems helpful. I now wish I could sleep-write! Now THAT would come in handy (if it was any good)!

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    2. Come ON Keenan--sleep tidying? Now, going back to Mondays post on overnight quests, THAT would be a guest!

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    3. Agreed! A house guest who tidies while the host/hostess are asleep--a DREAM!!

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  13. I often joke with my doctor that I wish I DID sleepwalk! The longer I sleep, and I rarely sleep as long as eight hours, the achier I am when I wake up. If I could only safely combine walking and sleeping at the same time...

    When I was a child, I remember hearing that the younger brother of one of my classmates was a sleepwalker. One night he fell down the stairs in his sleep and broke his arm. I can't imagine how horrifying it was for his parents.

    DebRo

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    1. Oh my gosh! That must have been horrible for the boy and his family. I read that sleepwalking injuries aren't uncommon, but that's so much worse than the typical bump or bruise!

      It would be nice to make sleep a multitasking experience. We could be so productive!

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    2. Come to think of it, I did have to go downstairs when I was a child and then woke up in the living room. Never fell that I knew of. But scary for a parent.

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  14. Happy book birthday! I woke up and was so happy to see the notification that 39 WINKS was available on my iPad. =)

    Not a sleepwalker. But the very first story with my Laurel Highlands protagonists - a long short story published at Mysterical-e - was inspired by a comment in the visitors' book at a retreat house I stayed at.

    Mary/Liz

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary! I hope you enjoy it. :)

      I love that you drew from a comment(!!!) for your story. And now I'm dying to read it! Inspiration is all around us. (PS A retreat house sounds pretty wonderful!!)

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    2. SO great, Mary. You never know where inspiration will come from, right?

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  15. Happy book birthday, Kathy, and be careful. The notion of sleepwalking terrifies me. I get in enough trouble wake-walking as it is.

    Like most people over a certain age, I wake up in the middle of the night, go to the bathroom, and then lie there wishing for a return to that dream I was having, you know, the one about trying to find a working toilet. Almost always I then sleep-read, and by the next time I pick up my book/Kindle, I have no recollection of the previous couple of chapters. Then I start the process all over again.

    Seriously, sleepwalking can be dangerous. Be cautious

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    1. Thank you, Ann! Yes, the whole thing is slightly terrifying--but always in retrospect since my mind is elsewhere while it's happening. Thank goodness no injuries--at least yet!

      I sleep-read, too. :) When I find I'm making up more of the story then reading it, I put the book aside. It can get pretty zany in my head!

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    2. I sleep read, too. Most night my husband has to take off my glasses when he comes to bed:-)

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    3. Oh, yeah, every night I see Jonathan totally asleep--with a book on is chest.

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    4. Maybe we should start a sleep-reading club!

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  16. Hi Kathy and congrats on the new book! Great premise, great title. I'm glad I don't sleepwalk, as we have a very steep, single flight, staircase right outside our bedroom door.

    I have dreamed most of a book, though. I was in the very early stages of working on a book. I must have gone to sleep thinking about it, as I woke up about four in the morning with what seemed like the entire book in my head. Characters, scenes, plot, even big chunks of dialogue. I got up, got a pen and a notebook, and wrote like mad for about four hours, trying to capture as much of the dream as I could. It was one of the most exciting things that's ever happened to me and I wish I knew how to make it happen again!

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    1. Wow--like Xanadu! That is quite incredible! And you kept it? It worked? WHoa.

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    2. Wow! Deborah, that's wonderful! Your subconscious must have been working overtime. If you can find a way to replicate it--and share the secret--I'm all ears. :)

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    3. Hank, yes, I kept most of it. It's the core of The Sound of Broken Glass. So weird!!!

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    4. WOW, Debs. Incredible.Chillingly wonderful.

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  17. Hi Kathy! I am so excited about 39 Winks and know I will love it as much as I did Protocol. I have sleptwalk in a boathouse floating on a lake (where there is a cut-out in the middle for the boat), and how I avoided falling into the lake, I'll never know! Then in college I was woken up by someone on our dorm floor for trying to climb into their closet ~ I did wake up one morning with what I thought was a wonderful plot for a novel, then promptly forgot it.

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    1. Well, Celia, i have to admit, forgetting is more like what I do! And I wonder if sleepwalkers are super-aware?

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    2. Oh my GOSH! How terrifying! So happy to hear that you avoided a dangerous midnight swim. I occasionally have bookish dreams, but I, too, forget by morning!

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  18. I've never had an issue with sleep walking, but I did spend a night with a sleep talker on a college retreat one time. That was an interesting conversation to say the least. It started when one of the other guys in the room asked the sleep talker if he knew what time it was. His answer was "Real or spiritual." And none of us in the room knew if he was still asleep or not because that sounded like something he might say wide awake.

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    1. Wow! That's some deep, metaphysical sleep-talking!!

      There was an audio file going around the internet a while ago in which a sleep-talker recorded himself sleep-talking over several months. Hilarious and fascinating!

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    2. WOW--amazing. Truly. I love that. Very thought-provoking, right?

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  19. Congrats on 39 Winks, Kathy! I used to sleepwalk as a child, which would alarm my sisters. Occasionally, I would show up in their bedrooms seemingly in a trance and start to unpack their bureaus of their clothing and other random activities! As an adult, I don't walk around much, but I have been known to think there is someone in the room, which really freaks out my hubby!

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    1. Very interesting, Ingrid! Seems a lot of us do/did "busy" things while sleeping. Maybe we're anxious about getting things done?

      My hubby and I still laugh about me shouting, "Who's that man??!", although I think it's funnier to me than to him!

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  20. Congrats on 39 Winks! I can hardly wait to read it. Even the thought of waking up by stumbling across the dead body of a loved one is disturbing!

    I don't sleep walk, but I do sleep talk. My husband has occasionally shared very funny conversations we have had while I was asleep.

    We had a friend-of-my-son's live in our house for four years after he aged out of the foster care system. He sleepwalked and sleep-ate. In fact, we started locking our bedroom door at night after one occasion where he barged in, obviously not awake. There were many times when I would encounter him in the kitchen and couldn't quite tell if he was actually awake or not. He would interact, but there was something off about his interactions -- and later, he was likely to have no recollection of the encounter.

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    1. It's such a fascinating state of being! (And proves why it's such a terrific topic to mine for a book!)

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  21. Thank you so much, Susan!

    Your son's friend's activities sound all too familiar! Locking your bedroom door sounds like a wise move. I wonder if he still sleepwalks. It seems that some of us stop, others (like me!) don't. So interesting!

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  22. Happy book birthday! 39 Winds sounds fabulous. I've not sleep walked, but I have sleep talked. Perhaps I should call Susan? What makes it worse, is that I make sense, some folks just mumble. Not me - full sentences.

    A childhood friend of mine used to sleepwalk. His parents slept in shifts to keep an eye on him since he would often wander from the house and their house backed on a river. There were some funny stories too, having to do with mistaking the trash can for the porcelain throne, but we won't go there. Then one day he stopped. I understand his son did the same, sleep walking, I don't know the details beyond that. I wonder, could one murder in one's sleep? Why not?

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    1. I like that idea! Who knows what kind of dialogues we could come up with!

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  23. Thank you so much, Kait!

    Love the idea of you sleep-talking with Susan. Imagine the conversations you could have! (Of course, you'd have to record them for our benefit!)

    Goodness about the childhood friend who lived near the river. His poor sleep-deprived parents!

    There have been cases of sleep-murder! I did quite a bit of research and was surprised how many times it was used as a defense. It's all pretty fascinating...

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  24. My Father died unexpectedly at home in Oregon when I was 11. Wanting to be closer to extended family, my Mother sold our house and moved us to California....and my sleep walking adventures began! My poor Mother was awakened repeatedly to the sight (and feeling) of me standing at the foot of her bed, staring at her. We lived on the top floor of a four-plex apartment and one night our upstairs neighbor across from us came home very late to find our front door standing wide open. She rang the bell to wake my Mom, who of course was scared out of her wits that I had made my escape. Thankfully she found me safely in my bed. For years after that she put a chair up against the front door, the balcony door, and the back porch door before she went to bed in an attempt to keep me contained. I don't sleep walk as an adult, but do have disconcerting "visitors" at night who are very present in our room. I once almost had my husband convinced that "someone" was actually in the corner by our bedroom patio door as I was frantically asking him with eyes wide open "Don't you see him???? There! He is right there!!!" Our latest encounter was a lovely older woman in a long white dress and silver hair who moved back for me to get by her when I got up for a middle of the night bathroom run. My husband woke up when he saw me looking at something softly uttering "Oh my God". Your book sounds very intriguing!

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  25. Oh my goodness, Helen! Those are some terrifying moments--including the nighttime visitors!! Do you wake up exhausted or do you feel little impact on the quality of your sleep?

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    1. Between the visitors, when they happen to stop by, and my vivid wild Technicolor dreams where I am never where I am supposed to be and always seem to be trying to pack when everyone else is ready to leave......I sometimes feel in the morning that I have been working all night and need to go to bed!

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    2. That does sound exhausting! I hope restful sleep is is in your near future!!

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  26. I'm another sleepwalker who likes to tidy in my sleep.

    My main sleepwalking quirk is that I have to have slippers or shoes on my feet. According to my mother she found me sleepwalking more than once in winter boots because apparently that was the only footwear I could find. In my defense I really hate having cold feet!

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  27. These sleepwalking quirks are so interesting! Sounds like you're being practical, even during your nighttime escapades!

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  28. Helen & Ingrid, you're not alone in your seeing things at night. My wonderful husband will still humor me and turn on the light while I continue staring right at whatever/whomever it is that is in our room so that I can show him that *this time* there REALLY is something there. It feels like I'm awake but he'll swear that I'm sleeping. Happens to my sisters and a cousin too. If you figure out how to stop it, please share! I don't think I'd mind so much if I were seeing sweet or cuddly things like puppies or butterflies.

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    1. Well, that's fascinating. I bet there has to be some brain-function reason..your imagination is just spilling over!

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    2. Wouldn't you really like to know why it happens to some people and not to others? I've heard everything from experiencing childhood trauma, stress, sleep disorder,overactive brain/imagination, to eating spicy food before bed!

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    3. I would love to know why! There does seem to be some heredity--I think??--but other than that, it's a mystery to me!

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    4. Ah that makes sense, you're probably right about a neurological origin. I'd be curious to see what a scan would look like during the "event". My imagination is a blessing sometimes but it's also why I stopped watching Criminal Minds!

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  29. Wow, what a great premise for a book! I love it and I love the title 39 Winks. Clever! I do not sleepwalk or dream. As far as I know, I barely turn over - very deep sleeper here, which is probably why I only sleep 5-6 hours/night. Do you need more sleep after a somnambulant episode? Looking forward to reading the book. Happy Book Birthday!

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    1. Oh, great question--does it make you tired?

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  30. Thank you, Jen!

    Deep sleeping for fewer hours sounds far more efficient than the madness I have going on. Five hours a night! And you feel rested? That's wonderful!

    I only feel exhaustion if I've had multiple episodes in a night or several nights on end. Otherwise, I just feel...odd. It's definitely a strange experience.

    Thanks for the book birthday wishes!

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    1. SO envious..I am cranky with six..happy with 7, delighted with eight. Which could happen, someday.

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  31. I'm fascinated by sleep oddities, such as sleep walking, talking in your sleep, able to cook meals and murder people in your sleep. I had to throw in that last one, as I'm sure I either saw it on TV or read about it somewhere, a defense of being asleep. That's rather a hard one to believe though.

    I don't walk in my sleep, but I have had paralytic dreams. I think I've mentioned those before on here. I haven't had one for a long time (knock on wood), but they can be quite terrifying. You're asleep, but are certain that you're awake, and you cannot move or scream or talk. And, the situations you find yourself in are always ones that you want to be able to move or scream or talk. There's someone in the house or another type of danger, but you are paralyzed and unable to escape or call for help. The worst one was something at the end of the bed, and that's all I want to say about that, but I will swear to my dying day that it was real. So, you struggle to break the spell of paralysis, and after what seems like an eternity, you are able to wake out of the state. I'm hopeful that I have "outgrown" those dreams, not sure what causes them, although it would be interesting to hear what someone who works with the brain says. I do still dream, a lot, and I'm good at remembering what I dreamed when I wake up for a while. At this point today, I can still remember that someone was trying to kill me in a dream last night, but the other details are gone. It wasn't a particularly scary dream, but intense.

    Kathy, your new book certainly has my attention, with the sleep walking and murder. I've been seeing 39 Winks around the virtual water cooler, and it's going on my wish list and TBR list right away. Kathy, do you keep a journal of what you've done sleepwalking, what other people tell you that you've done? And, is it really true that one shouldn't wake a sleepwalker?

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    1. WOw, Kathy. That is scary. And as you say, intense.

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  32. Ohmygosh, Kathy, those paralytic dreams sound terrifying!! Intense is right! I sometimes have those, and they almost always involve giant spiders. (Thinking of you, Hank!) Why oh why can't these dreams be something wonderful that we don't want to escape from?!

    Thank you so much for putting 39 WINKS on your TBR!! That means the world. I should keep a sleepwalking journal. I guess my husband is my living journal. ;) I will say that my episodes tend to be variations on a theme: I'm late, someone's in the room, I need to cook/fold laundry/perform some chore. So far, nothing super-scary, although the man in the room probably qualifies!

    I've heard that the "never wake a sleepwalker" advice is a myth, but I don't know. In my experience, people try to wake me, but it just doesn't work.

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  33. AND THE WINNER IS: Hillary Ogg! YAY! And thank you so much..email me your address at hryan at whdh dot com

    Kathy, you are fabulous. Thank you for a wonderful day!

    And hurray! Tomorrow, another terrific guest author--and another wonderful book giveaway! LOVE you all. Now---get some sleep!

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  34. Yay! Thank you again for having me, for the warm welcome and kind words, and the great conversation about sleep-whatever-ing!

    HUGS!!

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  35. As always, I'm late to the game. I do not sleepwalk, but my closest work colleague used to. The last time he did, he walked down a full flight of stairs, across a hallway, opened a front door, and promptly fell down five outdoor steps. A roommate found him early the following morning and took him to the hospital. One wrist destroyed and needing emergency surgery. But he has never sleep walked again!

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    1. Oh no! How awful!! Interesting that he never sleepwalked again. Maybe the mind finds a way to protect.

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  36. Kathy, I struggle off and on with insomnia. It's my husband who "sleepwalks," in the sense he acts out his dreams. I've awakened to find him sitting on the edge of the bed, both feet on the wall, pulling an imaginary rope. When he involves me in his dream scenes, I slip out of bed to the bathroom and hope he's asleep when I return. I feel cheated he's never made Mac 'n cheese for me in his sleep. He needs to up his game! Congrats again on 39 Winks!

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    1. Maybe give him suggestions like making mac and cheese before he goes to bed and see if it inspires him to act it out! That kind of active dreaming is a parasomnia that's not a far walk (ha ha) from sleepwalking. My friend's husband does that, too. My favorite story was when he dreamed he was being pursued by bees. Her recreation of it was priceless.

      Hope you can catch some sleep tonight! And thanks for the congrats. HUGS!

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