Co-authors Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

Hollywood Funnyman Jason Segel Talks “Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic”

Young readers waiting with bated breath for the second installment of the bestselling Nightmares! trilogy can exhale: Charlie and Jack are back in action in Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic—and Target’s got the exclusive.  

Co-authors Kirsten Miller and Hollywood’s Jason Segel (for those who don’t already know, the big-screen funnyman also writes bestselling kids’ books) tell us Charlie and Jack are trying to find out what’s happening over in Orville Falls—rumor is there’s a zombie infestation!

“We’re very excited to have a special Target edition of the book,” says Jason. “It includes a poster of two of our heroes, Charlie Laird and his brother, Jack. While Jack is able to sleep through the night, Charlie is plagued by terrible nightmares. Our poster has some suggestions for how to avoid a nightmare, but as you can see from Charlie’s corrections, they’re all easier said than done!”

No spoilers ahead, so scroll on to read our exclusive interview with Jason Segel himself:

Why did you decide to write books for children?
I think I’ve always been drawn to those voices that whisper in your ear, “Don’t forget . . . there’s magic out there.” To share those whispers with a new generation is something that means a lot to me. I want young people to know that it’s okay to be afraid, that facing those fears is what allows us to achieve our dreams.

Tell us about the inspiration behind the sequel to Nightmares!
For me, the Nightmares! trilogy is about how we deal with our fears. In the first book, our heroes learn that they cannot run from their fears or their fears will only grow stronger. The second book explores a different tactic—numbing our fears. A mysterious shopkeeper has created a tonic that eliminates nightmares altogether. Sounds great, right? Don’t be so sure. Our heroes learn that numbing ourselves to our fears has some unexpected consequences, and before you know it, it’s up to them to save an entire town from the effects of the tonic.

What was different about writing the second book compared to the first?
I am very lucky to have such an amazing writer as a partner. Kirsten likes the same stuff I do—that special witches’ brew of spooky and funny that I think is what makes the Nightmares! series fun. Working with her is a great gift. We’re just starting to break ground on the final book in the Nightmares! series, out next year. It’s very exciting to see these characters get closer to solving the mystery of the purple mansion’s portal to the Netherworld!

What was your favorite part of working on Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic?
My favorite part of working on this book was imagining a kid carrying the book around in his or her backpack. That’s what I did with my favorite books as a kid. My books were my friends, my most prized possessions.

Any recent nightmares of your own?
As I’ve gotten older, my nightmares have become less fantastical. They used to be about fighting Dracula, or witches eating my toes. Now they’re mostly about losing my keys.

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