Seventy-five Days of Phobias Day 1: Introduction

What are you afraid of?



I’ll be asking that a lot in the next 75 days leading up to the release of Driving in Neutral. I’ll be asking that kids, because everybody, rationally or irrationally, is afraid of something, be it hairy objects (chaetophobia), small things (mycrophobia) or your basic you-know-IT-wants-to-kill-you-because-Stephen-King-said-so clown (coulrophobia).

So here’s how it works. Every day for the next 75 days A different phobia will guest star. Some days the phobia will be presented by a special guest on a very special blog post — and it’ all because of Driving in Neutral.Driving_Final[3] 12.45.14 pm

If you didn’t know, Driving in Neutral is another smart-assed romance novel. I like to think of Driving in Neutral as a love story about claustrophobia. So gear up your fear. This one’s an all play. Tell me. What are YOU afraid of?

27 thoughts on “Seventy-five Days of Phobias Day 1: Introduction

  1. Ainslie, I had a fear of my mum’s apron. She used to wear it often, particularly when we had visitors. As a young’n it made me cringe because it had ‘I’m a Virgin….but this is an old apron’ splashed across it in large, lurid yellow letters. I’ve never gotten over my fear of that apron.


  2. Heights ( being above the rooftops of other buildings,I can handle up to 30 floors in an elevator), enclosed spaces ( St Louis Arch cable cars), and driving over long bridges (Mackinac bridge. You can see through to the water 500 ft below from the inner 2 lanes)


  3. Slugs & snails… I’ve been known to walk into the garden clutching a large cannister of salt.
    And rodents…any & all rodents….Including the battery powered hamster I bought for my godson years ago. My lovely boy had a bad track record with hamsters( all 5 died in suspicious circumstances) so I bought him a toy one that went in a ball & whizzed around the floor like the real thing. So being the super duper aunt that I am, I put in the batteries, and the bloody thing started vibrating ! I started screaming, it flew out of my hands and hit the wall…still vibrating furiously. Cue one of “those” looks from the other half, followed by muffled snorts/ sniggering & outright guffawing as he removed it to the kitchen.
    …… Now a family story…but I still hate all rodents ( guinea pigs & rabbits included)


  4. Slugs & snails…& rodents….any rodent…Even the clockwork kind, as demonstrated by the clockwork hamster I bought for my godson years ago…the thing went in a plastic ball & was supposed to whiz around the floor like a real hamster ( My lovely boy had a bad track record with hamsters – they kept dying !)
    Well, I put in the batteries & the bloody thing started vibrating & I started screaming and it promptly hit the wall as it flew out of my hands. Cue one of “those” looks from the other half, followed by muffled snorting/ sniggering & then outright hysterics as he picked it up,switched it off & escaped to the kitchen, where he continued to laugh his socks off.
    It’s now a family joke, …but don’t ever come near me with any form of rodent ever !


  5. I actually have mild claustrophobia. I was fine until I was trapped in a lift once. I can still go in lifts but would probably have a fit of hysteria if it stopped unexpectedly.


  6. Grasshoppers! Evil little things that have spiky legs that like to stick to you.

    But worse than grasshoppers…Scorpions. I’ve never been able to get over the sound of their horrible legs scratching against the glass wall of the tank that several hundred were stored in at the Butterfly Park in Kuala Lumpur. Urgh! Terrifying little black and shiny things with stingers for a tail end…scary as all hell. Sends my heart rate up and shivers down my spine just thinking about them.

    Please don’t have any scorpions in Driving in Neutral. Sob.


    • Mishka, I hate grasshoppers. The little blighters eat my basil!
      Fear of scorpions is arachnophobia,since scorpions are all arachnids. QUICK GETS A SHOE!!
      The only scorpion I like looking at is the CGI James Bond/Daniel Craig has on his hand in Skyfall–because a) he traps in under a glass and b) it’s fake.
      Thank you for sharing!


  7. Aprons. I have a deep and abiding fear of aprons. And household chores. I’m not that friendly with them either. Cooktops, total phobia, cooking, extreme allergy. Oxford commas, aversion therapy seems to be having an impact. I wrote a character who was scared of heights. Jake in Getting Real. Give me narrow ledges on tall buildings, ugly spiders, rodents, wide open spaces or tiny rooms and I’m totally competent, unless there’s a apron near by.

    Do you happen to know where you can buy a fear of procrastination?


    • Ainslie,
      You are suffering from Vestiphobia. I suggest a cleaning service. Your terror regarding the Oxford comma…well, And cue Vampire Weekend and “who gives a fuck about and Oxford Comma?” Fear of procrastination is…well. I’ll get back to you on this…as soon as I get around to it.

      Meanwhile, phobias make character whole. I think. You?


  8. Oh, dear, what aren’t I afraid of? Nothing dramatically clinical, but still persistently embarrassing. Small furry animals, small wet animals, crustaceans, insects, driving on highways and bridges, enclosed spaces, heights, water, and social events exceeding six people. Surprisingly, I am not afraid of public speaking.


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