*Snare drum, long hook drags me offstage so Ms. James can take the spotlight*
So, how does fear influence our daily lives? It influences it in several ways. For some people fear is a huge part of their daily routine. But what happens when the daytime fear turns into a night time fear, creeping in as darkness begins to slink its way over the daylight?
As a writer, fear influences me in different ways, as do the different degrees. There is fear for our life, fear of success, fear of death. . . I think you get the point. I can use the fear of loss to create an argument between my hero and heroine. I can use the fear of death to create a completely involved story about overcoming death, because let's face it, who really stays dead in the literary world anymore? People are coming back to life left and right. Fear is a necessary tool for writing.
What am I scared of? Well, I have an aversions to certain things. My son and husband find it hilarious to show me pictures of clowns or make sure I walk/bump into one on Halloween or when we go to the circus. Yeah, so not amused and I'm fairly certain someone is going to get grounded for that and the other someone is likely to be sleeping on the couch for the next week.
I don't plan on writing about killer clowns or zombified vampire clowns any time soon so that aversion doesn't really help with my writing. There are, however, a few that actually help when I am writing an intense scene. One of those being the sound of a creaking door. Holy cats, that sends shivers racing from the tips of my toes to the very end of the hair on my head. I can't really explain how or even why it bothers me, but it does. It is this aversion (I prefer calling it that because I want to sound brave lol) that allows me to describe a scene with accuracy. I believe fe-ahem- aversions help us connect with our characters on a level that is basically indescribable. I can go to that place, and pull it out and push it onto the pages, willing my readers to feel what I feel when I hear a door swinging in the wind or what's worse, moving on its own.
Now, that being said, I do fear being kidnapped or anything so horrible or worse. Being able to put myself in the moment, or allowing my imagination get the better of me, helps fuel my writing. Seriously now, can you tell me what would scarier than being kidnapped, tortured, injected with a drug that allows you to feel but leaves you completely immobile and fed to alligators?
***Holy crap a picture just fell of my wall as I was typing that and I nearly jumped off the couch! ***
Phew. Anyhow, back to fear. I went to that place on a new project I am working on. It was a scary place to be. I am prone to having an active imagination anyhow, as do most writers.
There was one night, a few years ago, I was working on my thriller. At the time I lived out in the country. I did have neighbors but it was generally quiet at midnight. I conserve energy when I'm at home so the only light on was my laptop. I'm getting with it, man, my fingers are typing away. . . click click click. . . only wait a minute. I stop typing but the click click clicking is still going. Ummmm, what the heck. Before I know it my chest is hurting and I finally breathe, completely unaware that I was holding my breath.
Okay after sitting statue still for at last five minutes the clicking stopped and I resumed work but not too long after that I heard the sounds of footsteps. Holy cripes, man. Keep in mind I am writing a freaking intense murder/kidnap scene. My mind is already on overdrive.
Being the genius that I am, I close my computer, casting everything in complete and utter darkness. I slink over to the windows, yeah I did, I tiptoed like my life depended on it and for all I knew it did. Taking a deep breath I hold it, yeah like that's really going to do any good, but heck if it's good enough for those dumb broads in the movies that run up stairs in high heels when a killer is chasing them, it's good enough for me, right?
Carefully, I pull back one of the slats in the blinds and I promise I am not too proud to say I nearly peed down both legs. There was someone standing on the road directly in front of my house, probably fifty feet or so. He was just standing there staring (at least my mind told me he was staring) in my direction. So much for sneaking around. I sounded like an elephant stomping around on cats as I fell over the chair, stubbed my toe on the baby's playpen and about broke my neck getting to the light switch. Heck I didn't care which switch it was as long as I got to it. By golly conserving energy was the last thing on my mind. I was done with that. There wasn't a single light in my house that I didn't turn on that night. I'm pretty sure the space shuttle could have seen me for outer space.
What happened after that? Well, of course, when I went back he was gone but I could see him walking away. His face was glowing from the use of a cell phone. I'm not sure if he had that the whole time but I didn't really care. Needless to say. I don't write thrillers with my lights completely off anymore. Call me a chicken if you will. I'll show you the yellow streak running right down the middle of my belly.
Just like love fuels the passion in my story, fear (ok, ok I said it, fear) fuels my imagination into creating intense scenes. Fear is an intense emotion. It pushes us and takes us to places that no one wants to visit. I have an advantage over my fear though. I can write about it and make it go away, or bring it to life for readers. It is one of the best parts of my jobs, it helps me to face it head on. Even if you're not a writer, facing your fears is good therapy. If you can't physically face it, face it with a pen and a piece of paper. Embrace it, kill it, make it your slave but don't let it make you weak!
A fun night in a small town carnival will change Erin’s life forever with a simple visit to a bizarre and mysterious fortune teller. Scared to death by what the haggard woman reveals, Erin quickly flees and quite literally collides with Angelo, a mysterious and captivating carnival worker. Later that night, he appears in her dreams but he’s not the only one visiting her slumber. Evil is lurking on the edge of the shadows and it's coming for her. Angelo is not what he seems, but then again no one ever is. Not even Erin.
Loyalties are tested and the lines of friendship begin to blur as long hidden truths come to light and fate bears down upon them all. Everyone has secrets but when some turn out to be more than heart wrenching, Erin has to decide who she can trust.
Can Erin deal with the harsh past that Angelo has been harboring or will it prevent her from doing what she's been chosen to do?
About Christine James:
Her husband has been her cheerleader as she strives to achieve her writing goals; he's helped pick her up and dusted her off when she went through rejections; he laughs with her, and more times than not he laughs AT her. But more importantly he's there to lend her a shoulder for her to cry on. He's her rock but more importantly she considers him her best friend. Together they have two beautiful son's ages 8 and 2. She considers them her angels and by becoming an author she wants to show them that their dreams can come true.
You can find her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.