My name is Mark O’Bannon and I am an author of the fantasy novel,
SHADOWS & DREAMS.
SHADOWS & DREAMS
A fashion student discovers that she is a Faerie Changeling and fights a war over the power of dreams.
Have you ever had a dream slip away?
Imagine what it would be like to have all of your dreams, hopes, aspirations and desires dissolve before your eyes.
When your dreams fade, your soul withers. When your soul grows dim, they come for you. Always near, the Shadow People linger in the darkness, watching.
An ancient race of people, the Tuatha Dé Danaan have lost a war against the Milesians – the Celtic invaders of Ireland. They have been exiled to another world, Tír na nÓg – the Land of Eternal Youth, which lies behind our world. The Tuatha Dé are known as the Faeries, and they are the guardians of dreams.
The Shadow People are at war with the Faeries over the power of dreams. The Shadow People, full of pride & passion, cannot hold onto dreams. The Faeries, indifferent and frivolous, have forgotten how to dream without falling into shadow.
Aisling never thought that one day she would make dresses for the queen of the faeries, or that she would meet a cat librarian, or that she would learn to fly. She’s never known her true name, or the fact that she’s a Faerie Changeling.
When the Fashion Director at school complains that her designs are too enchanting, Aisling tells her, “I never listen to those with inferior ideas,” and she’s kicked out of college. Her life collapses, and her dreams fade away.
After encountering a glowing ball of light, she begins to see people lingering in the shadows, whispering about pride and freedom. They approach another girl, wrapped in the darkness of abandoned dreams, and she vanishes into thin air.
Wondering if she’s losing her mind, Aisling refuses to believe that the Shadow People are real until she feels a hand on her shoulder and the sharp edge of a knife is pressed against her throat.
SHADOWS & DREAMS – Excerpt
Fading dreams whispered from the darkness, like the last breath of a concerto, expiring with soft susurrations. Erin awoke, breathing in the aroma of lavender smoke from a pair of burning candles on the coffee table. The unmistakable presence of someone lurking close by pulled at her senses and she sat up to look around.
Faint illumination came through the closed curtains, blocking out whatever sunlight that still remained from the last embers of the day. She lay on Genevieve’s white couch, with her book of fashion illustrations clutched in her arms. An endless supply of books lined shelves on the walls – abandoned memories of forgotten times and places, books on the occult, and an occasional romance novel. A line of target shooting plaques and trophies stood on the mantelpiece.
The house seemed to be empty, but she couldn’t shake the idea that someone was there, watching her as she lay sleeping. Erin sat up quickly, nearly dropping her book of illustrations. Swinging her legs out onto the floor, she put the book down on the coffee table and raised her hand to her forehead. “I can’t believe I fell asleep,” she muttered. Brushing dark hair out of her face, she looked out into the hallway. Glancing up the stairs, she called out, “Gen?”
Sighing with black thoughts, a gentle breath of air blew across the side of her head, pushing hair into her face. Dark movements danced out of the corner of her eyes, and mingled with hateful malevolence.
Erin’s heart stopped.
Slowly, she turned her head around, scanning the room.
Under the archway leading into the hallway stood the shadow of a man, barely discernable. Silently, he watched her. Erin had the impression that he wanted to let her see him staring at her.
Jerking out her arm, she stood up, knocking one of the candles over. Narrowing her eyes, she looked at the shade. It was a tall, cloaked figure, with the shape of its head hidden in folds of the hood. Tingling sensations – pins and needles, like when an arm or leg had fallen asleep – dribbled over her entire body. For a heartbeat, she was unable to move. A pair of red eyes emerged, smoldering, from the darkness within the hood, and she heard the thing laughing.
With a whoosh, a wave of heat washed over her side, as the crackling sound of fire erupted. The shadow backed away, swirled into a blurry streak and then whisked out of sight down the hallway. Instantly, Erin was able to move. She looked down at the coffee table and saw her portfolio of fashion designs burning, ignited by the candle.
Cursing, she picked up her book of illustrations and rushed into the kitchen. Tossing it into the sink, she turned the water on. Smoke billowed up, filling the air, and she ran over to a window, opening it. A red sunset spilled into the kitchen, bathing the room in furious splendor. She whirled round in shock. All of her fashion designs were destroyed!
With a shout of rage, Erin ran out into the hallway, looking for the Shadow Person. But the house lay empty.
No one was there.
I am also writing a series of short stories about faeries, and these will all be available in the future here and on my website:
Better Storytelling Workshops
I’ve read over a hundred books on writing and have completed all of John Truby’s advanced writing courses (which are the best courses on writing).
I conduct storytelling workshops and have taught at UCSD’s Science Fiction writing class (taught by the fantasy author Nancy Holder). I’ve taught storytelling techniques at Origins Game Convention, and at the San Diego Game Developers Group.
I conducted two panels at the San Diego Comic Convention, including, “How to Tell a Story,” and “Humor in Science Fiction,” with famous authors George Clayton Johnson, William F. Nolan, Marc Scott Zicree, David Gerrold, Walter Koenig and John Truby.
I will be doing more panels and workshops in the future.
HOW TO TELL A STORY
I wrote HOW TO TELL A STORY, which is free to download when you subscribe to the Better Storytelling newsletter.
Subscribe to my newsletter, BETTER STORYTELLING <– Coming Soon!
Better Storytelling – The book.
I’m writing another book on writing techniques, which will be available for online download in the near future.
My brother, Charles Holloway and I published the book, SEVEN FOR SPACE, by William F. Nolan.
SEVEN FOR SPACE – A series of stories about the character, Sam Space, a private eye working on Mars. The book includes 5 short stories, and 2 short novels by William F. Nolan.
Here is a picture of George Clayton Johnson, Charles Holloway and William F. Nolan:
Since William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson are good friends with Ray Bradbury, I got to meet him!
Now, all I have to do is meet J.K. Rowling and my life will be complete. 🙂
Slán go fóill.
Bye for now.