What scares you?

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As a thriller writer, it is my job to try and keep my readers on the edge of their seats by building scenes of fear and tension through my novels. To try and do this well, I take a keen interest in what scares people. Most of us share the same basic fears – death, illness, loss of loved ones and darkness, but we also have more personal phobias scaring us, ranging from things that can actually hurt us, such as wasps, knives or thunderstorms to more innocuous things like clowns or creepy looking dolls.

My biggest fear is heights and even standing on a chair makes my legs go wobbly. I have tried to do high stuff before – castle battlements, top of windmills, ladders, etc, but soon as I’m a metre off the ground I start having palpitations and feeling all faint and sick, and then start to panic that a gust of wind is going to blow me off whatever I am standing on, which is hilarious as I have two great sandbags attached to my chest and it would take a bloody hurricane to blow me off anything.

Fear of heights is a fairly rational one, but others I have are just plain stupid. Can anyone else relate to these?

Being hit by a plane. Yup. Not too keen on being in them either, but my real fear is actually having one crash into me. Cars, motorbikes, trains and buses I am fine with, but whenever I hear that low roar of an engine flying overhead, I practically crap my pants and say my last goodbyes.

Having a wasp fly up my nose and accidentally sniffing. Cos that could happen.. right?

Getting trapped in my house – either by a freak snow storm or a nuclear disaster and not having a completely full wine rack and fridge. This would explain why I always overbuy in the supermarket. If I run low on a particular product, I start hyperventilating.

Having a rat crawl up the toilet bowl when I am sitting on the loo. Now this one might sound a lot crazy people, but you Google it. IT HAS HAPPENED. The thought of suddenly feeling the twitch of whiskers against my bum cheek scares the bejesus out of me.

Since the publication of Dead Letter Day, I have been dreaming that one day someone will snap up the movie rights and make it into a film – because biased as I may be, I honestly think it would it would be great on the big screen. So add to my list a new fear.

Casting.

What if terrible actors such as Paris Hilton and David Hasselhoff were brought in to play Rebecca Angell and Rodney Boone?

The thought is enough to make me break out into a cold sweat. Yup, the thought of the vacuous Miss Hilton playing my sassy, butt kicking heroine is the stuff nightmares are truly made of. I will take a wasp up the nose any day, thank you.

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