Jason Segel’s new audiobook NIGHTMARES! just came out and I had the chance to listen to him speak about this personal story, based on his own experience with night terrors, during Book Expo America.
NIGHTMARES! started out as the first script Jason Segel ever sold as a writer. He told the audience that as he became more successful in the comedy world, he knew that his script was sitting on a shelf somewhere, but he made a conscious decision not to remind anybody that it was there. He developed a plan to buy it back when it became available and turn it into a book. Luckily for Jason (and us!), he got the rights back and teamed up with New York Times bestselling author Kirsten Miller. Jason gave Kirsten the screenplay to read, and together they adapted it into a children’s book.
NIGHTMARES! is inspired by terrible night terrors Jason experienced as a kid. He told us that he’d have horrible nightmares and his parents would come in to find out why he was screaming. When they’d try to wake him, his body would wake up but his brain stayed in the nightmares. This very unpleasant and disconcerting experience stuck with him because his dreams at that time were so vivid.
Jason even described one very strange recurring nightmare, where witches would eat his toes — they didn’t want all of him, just his toes!
Jason also talked about children’s books as a collaboration between the writer and the reader/listener. He said, “I think books themselves are always a collaboration. They’re a collaboration between the words of the author and the imagination of the reader. There’s nothing more powerful than the imagination of a child…Kids are capable of creating a fantasy world of their own making that is more rich and complete than anything that I could hope to create on screen. And because every child is reading through the lens of their own imagination, each has an experience with a book that is entirely their own. And I knew that this was a collaboration that I needed to be a part of.”
NIGHTMARES! is a funny and heartwarming story that young listeners will easily connect with. The story teaches children that their biggest fears can give them their greatest strength, as long as they’re brave enough to face them.
Hear Jason’s full speech at BEA here.
View the creepy cartoon trailer:
Hear Jason’s voices for each of the fantastic characters.
Have fun facing your fears in the new You Snooze, You Lose! game.