What would make a person want to sleep forever?
That’s the question Prince Kynan would risk his life to answer. In Everdream, my young adult fantasy novel, the queen has been sleeping for ten years and her son has set out to rescue her. But in the process he learns what sent her to the magical realm in the first place.
The idea for Queen Aderyn’s decade-long slumber had its source in my own struggles with mental illness.
There were days when I just wanted to escape. Sometimes that meant a good book or movie, but my usual choice was sleep.
See when I slept, life went on fast forward for a little while. I could bypass some of the pain and fear. Sometimes I thought about how nice it would be to sleep forever.
I’m thankful to say that the peace of sleep no longer tempts me more than it should. But I remember that time, and I know that so many others struggle with the same attraction to escape. That’s why I wrote Everdream. I wanted to explore mental illness and the effect it has on the people surrounding the sufferer.
For Queen Aderyn, the temptation to disappear into Everdream stemmed from her identity crisis. Once a commoner with the freedom to order her own days, she fell in love with a beggar lad in Everdream only to discover he was the king. The role of queen is not one that comes easily to her, and she longs for her carefree days. Everdream becomes the only place she can reclaim herself but, paradoxically, it is there that she loses herself.
That’s why I love Prince Kynan. He’s willing to go into her prison with her to bring her back out, no matter the stakes.
For those of us who suffer from mental illness, it’s crucial to have someone who will go into our prison with us and bring us back out. I’m grateful to my husband and a group of close friends who do that for me. What about you? Who would go to Everdream for you?
You may also like:
What if the princess wasn’t so charming?