ELIZABETH BRINGS NIGHT TERRORS TO BOOK; Novel helps author tackle her own dream demons.
A TEACHING assistant who has suffered from night terrors since she was a little girl has written a horror book to help alleviate her fearsome condition.
Elizabeth Earle is set to launch her first novel Tartarus, which reflects elements of her personal life, is about Diane Stillman who tracks down her sister's killer through her constant night terrors.
Elizabeth, 23, of Galley Common, Nuneaton, suffers from a condition known as Old Hag Syndrome, which leaves her temporarily paralysed after waking up suddenly in extreme terror.
She was just 11 when she started suffering from the sleep disorder which included hallucinations such as seeing monsters and demons.
Elizabeth believes the night terrors, which occurred every night, were triggered after her cousin Jonathon Roberts died in a tragic accident in 2000.
He was killed with four of his pals in a car crash, near Nuneaton, just hours before his 18th birthday party.
Elizabeth was hit by another blow when her grandad Jim Roberts, who she was very close to, died from cancer in February this year.
But she says writing the book has been therapeutic and helped reduce her night terrors to just once a month.
Speaking about the disorder, she said: "I've experienced quite a few family tragedies - when my cousin died I started to have bad nightmares about it. I was only 11 but it really affected me. I had loads of nightmares about Jonathon.
"My uncle died in a crash on the same road Jonathon was killed and he was also 17 - it happened about a month before his 18th birthday. "My family were quite religious and my night terrors were always quite Biblical. I would see malicious looking demons and there was a time I thought they were real. "When I woke up people would say it was just a dream but I had just gone through hell for eight hours. It affected me in a big way.
"The character also suffers night terrors - she was created to fight off my demons and I wanted her to triumph."
She added: "I was surprised that writing the book helped with my night terrors - it's helped me so much. The book is very much a part of myself.
I can't believe it will be on the shelves soon. I'm really excited."
Elizabeth, who works at North Warwickshire & Hinckley College, has high hopes of being an English teacher.
She also taught art and design to inmates at Norwich Prison.
Tartarus costs pounds 12.99 and will be on the shelves across book stores in the UK, America and Australia from August 12.
NEW BOOK: Elizabeth Earle, from Nuneaton, with her first novel Tartarus