To celebrate the upcoming release of my third novel, Driving in Neutral—a love story about claustrophobia—I am running the 75 Days of Phobia series. Today, Day 21, features my guest Anna Campbell. In the spirit of her courageous Regency era heroines, today Anna faces up to the fear that dares not speak its name, although it has the power to turn her blood to ice.
Hmm, this could be the start of a piece about the horror of writing an essay on Heart of Darkness for first year uni. But that was many years ago and I only have nightmares about it every second week these days…
When the gorgeous Sandra Antonelli (Aww, thank you, AC!) asked me to reveal my deepest phobia, the first thing I thought about was clowns. This is such a widely held fear that it even has an official name – coulrophobia (see Lisa Barry’s Day 7 post), which, on this list of phobias (http://phobialist.com/) comes right after consecotaleophobia, the fear of chopsticks. Who knew such a thing existed? Although given how often rice and indelible gloop have glumped from chopsticks onto my heaving bosom, perhaps it makes sense.
But even worse than my clown phobia is the nightmare I’m sharing with you today.
My name is Anna Campbell and I suffer from…nillustoreadusphobia. It’s the fear of a horrible condition called nillustoreadus that strikes when a person has a burning desire to read, she checks her towering To Be Read pile and she still can’t find anything she really feels like reading. And everyone needs something to read! It’s a basic human right.
I have good reason to fear NTR syndrome. Nillustoreadus is like being stricken with a particularly wicked form of blindness. Because, to paraphrase Coleridge (what a literary blog this is turning out to be), “Volumes, volumes everywhere, nor any book to read!”
Well, that’s not exactly true. There is a book to read. Obviously. In fact, if your TBR pile is like mine, there are LOTS of books to read. But nothing that quite strikes the right note. Leaving you prey to NTR and enduring the torments of the unbooked. All those pretty covers. All those come-and-get-me titles. All those beautiful white pages littered with little black marks. And none of them can save you.
In a desperate attempt to avoid the onset of this phobia, the sufferer is prone to mad behavior involving reckless acts with a credit card. The nillustoreadusphobic dashes madly to her nearest dealer…uh, bookshop and purchases large numbers of new books in the hope that she can stave off this horrible condition.
Sometimes this strategy works. Sometimes, tragically, it doesn’t.
Am I alone in suffering these vile tortures? Please, let me know that there are others out there who know this pain! Perhaps we can form a support group. Or at the least organise a field trip to the nearest library!
By the way, my physician’s advice to anyone suffering NTR phobia this September is to get to your nearest dealer…uh, bookseller and pick up a copy of WHAT A DUKE DARES, my latest book. It will soothe those pangs of NTR like a clown soothes… AAAARRRGGGGGHHHHH!
Despite today’s post, you can discover numerous sensible facts about my writing on my website: www.annacampbell.info