I grew up in Hawaii. It really is paradise, guys. White, sandy beaches, swaying palms, et cetera. BUT it also has more than its share of “creepy crawlies.” Roaches, spiders, geckos, and my nemisis: the centipede. YES, they really are that big! And YES, they bite! And YES, they are PERVASIVE. Imagine those suckers crawling around in your house. Actually, don’t imagine it, because it’s just too disgusting/creepy.
Personal story time: I was ten years old. Sleeping peacefully in my bed. I felt a weird pain on my foot, and began to dream that someone was pounding a nail into my toes. But that didn’t wake me up. What woke me was the prickly, tickly feeling of sharp, little legs creeping up my arm.
I shot up in bed, swiping the feeling away. Weird, I thought. That felt like a bug crawling on me. Then I thought: Huh, why does my foot hurt so bad?
As the waves of sleep receded, I put two and two together.
As you can imagine, this event rather traumatized me. I still am. Even though it’s been over a decade since I left Hawaii, I still shake my blankets out every night before going to sleep. Just to make sure a centipede isn’t curled up somewhere in there.
So, how am I going to relate this to writing? Well, guess what kind of creatures show up in Searcher? Yep, centipedes. (BIG centipedes.) I’m not saying those are my best scenes in the book or anything, but they certainly were fun to write. It’s one of the joys of what we do. We take these poor characters and force them to face our fears for us. They may defeat them (Jetta cuts a centipede’s head off) or fall to them, it doesn’t matter. You can always tell when those obstacles come right from the author’s past.
How about you? Which of your fears have showed up in your stories?