“I am the stuff of your nightmares . . . you have been writing my name on the walls of your fear your entire life.”
When seven-year-old Jamie falls down a very long hill, he finds himself trapped in a world of strange creatures, harsh landscapes, and near-perpetual darkness. Lost and confused, Jamie is desperate to get home. The nightmares, fears, and all manner of what-ifs that inhabit this shadow world are unfamiliar to him–all except one: the Lairdbalor, Jamie’s personal nightmare, once relegated to his dreams. In this fantastical land, however, the Lairdbalor and all the fears and nightmares of children are very real.
But Jamie’s nightmare is different. It is the sum total of the anger and anxiety that imprisoned him in his former life, and it threatens to consume and rule the nightmare realm, a place where time passes differently. With each slumber, Jamie finds himself inexorably changed. The farther he travels through this terrifying world, the better he understands the one he left behind.
Crossing genres of folklore, horror, fantasy, and magical realism, The Lairdbalor is about a child, but it’s not meant for children. It’s a story for anyone who lives with anxiety and fear and has ever wondered “what if” and a darkly imaginative meditation on life, death, fear, and the nature of reality.
Kathleen Kaufman is a native Coloradan and long-time resident of Los Angeles, California. She is a University of Southern California alum, teaches high school English, and is a writing and composition adjunct professor at Santa Monica College. In addition to writing, Kathleen is an avid amateur photographer and has published work in The Huffington Post and other publications. When not writing, she probably has a camera in hand or is curled up with a good horror novel. Kathleen currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, terrier, and a pack of cats.