Monday, October 19, 2015

My Childhood Fears by Alicia Dean

As most who know me are aware, I am a bit twisted in that I like spooky, creepy stories, slasher movies, and the like. That's correct, I enjoy a good scare. I was that way as a child, although not much scared me. I was known as the brave one, to the point of doing foolish things to prove my bravery. For example... We used to visit my grandparents out in the country where the house was set way back from the road. In the city, my parents kept a watchful eye on us to ensure we didn't come to harm. But, out in the country, they gave us a bit more free reign. Not a lot, but a little. Had they known what I was up to, that freedom would have ended abruptly. And I would most likely have received a just punishment. They never knew, though, and I survived my dangerous and foolish game. I used to play 'chicken' while my siblings watched. When a car was coming, I would stand in the road until it was right upon me, then dash to safety. Granted, these were country folk on country roads and none were going very fast, but it still gave me an adrenalin rush, and my siblings were duly impressed.

Oddly, though, there were four things growing up that I was genuinely terrified of: Sharks, The Grand Canyon, The Wolfman (something about his torturous inability to resist the change, and his creeping around in the foggy forest...),

and The Wicked Witch of the East from The Wizard of Oz. That's not an error, I wasn't afraid of the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, but when the feet of her sister curled up beneath the house, it gave me the heebie jeebies. (Truth be told, it still does).

It's funny that the things I was frightened of were either fictitious or as unlikely as being hit by a meteor. After all, living in Oklahoma, I was probably not going to encounter many sharks. And, I'd only been to visit the Grand Canyon once. And that was when my fear took hold. It was so...huge, so deep, endless and rocky and... Shudder. When my dad leaned back against the rail to snap our picture, my legs shook and my heart jumped into my throat. I could just see him tumbling over the rail and plummeting to the bottom, never to be heard from again. Thankfully, that didn't happen. But, it seriously could have.

So...what are your fears, childhood and otherwise?

Since I love Halloween, it was a pleasure to participate in a Halloween Anthology of 6 stories by 6 authors. My contribution is Scarred, which is more a gothic-style romance than anything creepy. But, the others are a little more chill-inducing.

Six short stories -- some sweet romance, some steamy romance, some suspense. Throw in teen angst, adults behaving badly, and ghostly appearances. What could be more fun? 

Celebrate Halloween this year with MYSTERIES OF THE MACABRE, six brand-new stories by authors who know how to get the pulses racing, one way or another. 

Alicia Dean – SCARRED 
Gothic romance 
Sometimes, the most haunting scars are the ones beneath the skin. 
When Natalie Jayne moved away from her home town ten years earlier, she left behind painful memories, along with Simon, the man she loved. Now, she's back on Halloween night to attend a memorial marking the one-year anniversary of the tragic passing of her childhood friend, Jessica. Rumors that Simon was responsible for Jessica's death unnerve her. Even more disturbing is her unsettling attraction to a masked stranger she meets at the event. Her gift may be the key to unlocking the truth, but will it also lead to heartbreak? 

Erotic paranormal romance 
Deirdre lost her husband, Cameron, one long-ago Halloween night, but every Halloween night brings the chance to get him back. She just needs to find a man willing to … get between them. Trip seems like a perfect choice. With his hard body and open mind, surely he won’t mind letting Cam borrow him for a night. If he’s into it, they’re in for one mind-blowing reunion. But if he resists, will Cam’s spirit be strong enough to protect her from the man she chose for him? 

Elvy Howard – GRANDMA’S WAY 
General Fiction 
Fifteen-year-old Caroline has one wish—to go to the Halloween dance with beautiful Bobby Ray. Only one person stands in her way—Momma, who forces her to spend time in a smelly, hot attic, sorting and packing her deceased grandmother’s belongings. But the discovery of a shocking secret brings new hope. Will her grandmother's past lead to Caroline’s salvation or downfall? 

Leah St. James – BLOOD MOON 
One Halloween night, a killer terrorized a strip of Virginia beachfront, murdering a dozen young women whose only crime was walking the beach with a lover. Now, fifty years later, book reviewer Ronnie can’t shake the feeling that another has come to take his place. Is her vivid imagination running wild, or are the spirits stirring, warning of approaching danger? 

Satire/General fiction 
Crystal and Roy never thought they could afford an all-inclusive seven-day trip to the tropics. After all, canned chili dinners and a wine cooler at the quick mart were the highlights of life in the trailer park. So what if the trip Crystal won required a time share presentation? It’s not like their credit would pass anyway. But is the resort everything the web page on the computer said it would be? 

Rohn Federbush – THE FARM STRAY 
General fiction 
The discovery of an abandoned farm in the Michigan countryside triggers a vision of the farmer’s past—or is it more?

Amazon Buy Page: Click here


Brenda Whiteside said...

The book sounds like creepy fun. How different we all hare when it comes to fear. Wolf men don't bother me but vampires definitely do. My mom used to take me and my sister to them as children. We'd ride the city but which was fun but I HATED the movies. Vampires totally creep me out. I'm also afraid of caves. Cannot go underground at all. And by the way, Alicia, you were kind of crazy as a kid!

Jannine Gallant said...

Seriously, your parents should have spanked some sense into you--which was okay to do back then! LOL Those flying monkeys were creepier than the witches...just saying. I'm not a fan of snakes. Spiders freak out my husband, but I smash them with an eye-roll. I'm fine with heights, as long as I have something to hold onto. If there's no railing, I'm totally freaked out. I was the one who wanted to lower the bar on the chairlift when we were skiing. My kids (who were under eight at the time) thought I was soooo lame! To each his (or her) own!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Heights of any kind, even ladders freak me out big time. Frankenstein and Dracula too. Michael Landon, my crush as Liitle Joe on Bonanza, once played the Wolfman. Couldn't freak over him. Snakes and lizards do me in too. For some reason spiders don't.

Barbara Edwards said...

I agree childhood fears can be weird. i was afraid of the dark and when my sister went to summer camp, I either kept the light on all night or stayed awake until dawn.
Love your anthology. I also like creepy stories.

Alicia Dean said...

Ha, Brenda. I love Vampires. Even though they're scary, they're sexy. :) Yes, I was a pretty weird kid.

Yes, Jannine, those flying monkeys were pretty scary. But those feet curling up...ugh. (I literally just now shuddered) Love that your husband is more afraid of spiders than you, LOL. Hehehe, yes, and that's exactly what my parents would have done had they known.

Hi Margo. Yeah, I remember Little Joe playing a wolfman. Wasn't it 'I was a Teenage Werewolf'? I could google it, I suppose. :) He was one of my crushes too. Spiders don't really bother me either. Snakes, depends on how close they are and if I see them first.

Yikes, being afraid of the dark is horrible. Thanks, Barbara, so glad you love our anthology!

Kathy L Wheeler said...

Guess I have to go with you know why!
I can't wait for your birthday. I'm buying red and white striped socks...

Susan Coryell said...

Ha! Made me remember as a child I was afraid a gorilla would creep up onto the roof and enter my room via the dormer window. How likely would that have been in rural Virginia?? Loved your post for reminding me!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Fun post, Alicia. Lots of our fears are kind of silly, aren't they? Mine is the fear of being alive when people think I'm know laying in a morgue, declared dead, but I'm not. Can't even shed a tear to show someone I'm still conscious. Yikes!

Diane Burton said...

Heights, creepy crawlies, and The Hand (an old B&W film about a disembodied hand that kills). Alien freaks me out.

Alison Henderson said...

I've gotten much better about bees (an early fear), but I've always had horrible claustrophobia. No danger of me becoming a cave explorer. LOL. Oh, and BTW, Jannine is completely right about those flying monkeys.

Alicia Dean said...

Yes, Kathy, I do know why...ouch! Ha! If you do, I'll buy a brown recluse for yours! :)

LOL, Susan. Uhm, probably not all that likely. But, our fears, especially as children, are seldom reasonable. Thanks for popping in!

Eeewwww, Rolynn. That's eerie. Sounds like something I might want to put in a book, though.

Diane, I thought you loved aliens? Yeah, The Hand sounds pretty scary!

Claustrophobia is a little too real, and I know it affects some people deeply. In my latest WIP, my heroine is claustrophobic. Maybe I should pick your brain... LOL. Sheesh, flying monkeys weren't all that harmful unless you are stuffed with straw. :D

Leah St. James said...

Those curling toes freaked me out, too, but I was far more terrified of her evil sister from the East...and the flying monkeys. I just now got the image of Dorothy running through the field (of poppies? something), being snatched up by those awful creatures!

What scares me now? I'm terrified of insects crawling on me. They're bad enough to look at (I know, I know...eye of the beholder and all that), but I can't stand them coming in my direction. I frequently have visions of spiders hanging over me just as I'm drifting off to sleep. I blame Girl Scout camping trips way out in the woods for that!

Leah St. James said...

I mean west...the wicked sister from the west! (Argh. Need a do-over button.)

Maureen said...

As a mother- the playing chicken with cars terrified me just reading it- yikes!

Alicia Dean said...

Dorothy fell asleep in the field of poppies, but it was a different scene when the monkeys grabbed her and her friends. It kind of freaked me out when they jumped on the scarecrow and literally knocked the stuffing out of him. :)

Alicia Dean said...

Ha, Maureen! YES, me too. And, actually, I didn't wait until the cars got all that close because my sisters would be screaming like mad for me to get out of the road when the cars were a safe distance away. I still felt pretty brave (although in actuality, I was very stupid!)

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Cute post Alicia!
Sorry I'm late visiting.

My biggest fear... Snakes.

I don't like to watch or read horror novels though...too tough on my soul. Heck even Law & Order SVU shows bother me!

Good luck and God's Blessings.

Ashantay said...

The flying monkeys still creep me out. And I noticed Psycho is coming to the big screen next week, but I decided not to see it - even though I know how the twists...well, the thought of a large Norman Bates in a wig makes me shiver. Yeah, I'm not one who likes scary movies anymore.

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

I'm late, as usual. I have fears of crawly objects and insects on me. Mice and rats. I can't stand to see them in movies, much less in real life. I fear knives being used on people, although I can write about it...and yes, I know that makes no sense. But what did you expect from me?

MJ Schiller said...

It would seem I am the biggest scaredy cat here. I don't like being scared, don't like scary movies or haunted houses. I recently stayed in a castle and freaked myself out thinking of ghosts. I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and when the bathroom door swung shut and creaked I ran the rest of the way to the bed and vaulted over my husband. Mice are utterly terrifying to me. I know, logically, that they can't hurt me, but the way they scurry is creepy and if they come toward me, forget it! I've actually injured myself running away from a mouse before. Bridges scare me to death and heights. Some bridges are scarier than others. If they are steep and you can't see the other side, *shiver*, wires criss-crossing are no-nos as well as any kind of suspension, or appearance of being a suspension bridge. I'm certain there are more...and now I'm thinking I sound a bit crazy... Loved your post!

Alicia Dean said...

Thanks, Pamela. I'm probably a little more interested in murder than I should be...

Hi Ashantay...Psycho coming to the big screen? Woohoo...I haven't seen anything about it. I'll have to check that out.

LOL, Vonnie. That's exactly what I expect from you. UGH...I can't stand to see rats in movies. Freaks me out. And, yes, being stabbed is so much scarier than being shot for some reason. Thanks for stopping by!

Haha, MJ. Yes, you are a bit of a scaredy cat. But, without people like you in the world, twisted people like me wouldn't have as much fun. (I never mentioned the way I used to scare my siblings when I was younger, other than the playing chicken part. I also was the victim of a few paybacks though :)). Thanks for stopping by!