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"Dream" novel benefits horses (buffy mention)

Denise Linke

Saturday 4 February 2006, by Webmaster

NORTH AURORA — North Aurora resident Rebecca Kohles describes her first novel as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"—with horses.

And she said she literally dreamed up the plot of "The Ghosts of Grand Detour."

"It really did come to me in a dream," Kohles said. "I know that sounds cliche, but I kept dreaming about this sacrificial ritual and some other aspects of the story. When I decided to do some research, I found out that the ritual was real and a lot of the details in my dreams were true."

All of Kohles’ net profits from the self-published "pop culture" horror novel go to Field of Dreams, a non-profit group that takes in unwanted horses that would otherwise be slaughtered for meat or other byproducts.

"It’s a horrible thing to do to a horse that’s got nothing wrong with it except that some family didn’t want it anymore. I hope that I can help make a difference by doing this," she said.

So far, the book has earned about $2,000 for Field of Dreams.

"It’s very generous of Becky to give us some of the proceeds," said Sue Balla, the group’s president. "I’m thrilled about the whole project."

A graphic designer, Kohles also volunteers with the group and boards her horse, Terpsichore, at its barn just west of Geneva.

Kohles attributes the book’s spiritualism to the fact that she’s of Cherokee descent, like her heroine, Olympic equestrian and psychic Alexandra Markum.

"There are a lot of metaphysical aspects to the book because I have one leg in each world," Kohles explained.

Kohles said she drew heavily on her lifelong love of horses and her own amateur career as a dressage rider and trainer. Kohles also included Grand Detour, a small, unincorporated community near Oregon, Ill., in her book. "We went there on a vacation when I was 10, and it always stuck in my mind as being a great place to have horses," she said.