5 things that terrify our authors

Scott Sigler, F.L. Fowler, Shani Boianjiu and others list 5 things that terrify them

To get in the Halloween spirit, we at Crown Publishing and our network of sister sites asked our authors to list 5 things that terrify them. You can go to each of our sister sites to read the individual author posts or check out the roundup below.

From us at Crown Publishing:

Author of Nocturnal

Spiders – Because they’re spiders, man.
Clowns – Who is the child-molesting sadist who invented these things, anyway?
Dancing With the Stars – People watch this? This is popular? Hold me, I am afraid.
Someone Pointing A Video Camera At Me – I’ve watched a lot of “found footage” horror films.
Death – Still #1 after all these millennia.

From our friends at Read It Forward:

Author of The People of Forever Are Not Afraid

Dead Fish – I love fish and am not at all scared of them–when they are alive. But I have never in my life eaten any type of fish or seafood and never will. I have a huge fear that I’ll accidentally eat something with fish or even eat food that touched fish. I have alot of explanations for what this stems from but I am not sure I believe any of them. I just know I will never willingly eat fish.
Military Police – Even five years after I finished my military service, I still panic when I see the blue berets of military police in train stations and bus stops. When I was a soldier I was always wearing forbidden makeup or jewelry or socks or hair ties and even now that I know they can’t do anything to me as a civilian I still panic when I see them and warn the soldiers I can see. I really shouldn’t be that scared because they never caught me when I was a soldier, even though I always had a burgundy hair tie.
Getting Old – I just can’t see myself being a real grown up, even though I am reaching the age where I am. This is VERY scary. In general people in their thirties confuse me–I just don’t get what makes them do the odd things they do.
Driving – I don’t have a licence to drive, and don’t think I’ll ever get one. I have never driven a car. I get scared when other people drive me. I get scared when people I love drive without me. I don’t get people who are scared of planes and snakes or snakes on planes but not of driving. Statistically driving is one of the most dangerous (and environmentally harmful) things anyone can do.
Unforgiving People – Because everyone will one day need a second chance. And we as people should give it much, much more often than we do now.

Author of The Innocent

Being asked to create content – Conjuring something out of nothing. Words onto the blank page. Like right now. Totally terrified.
Drunk people who think they’re interesting – Especially those who refuse to let their victims squirm away. It’s a special form of hell. Slightly eclipsed by when the person isn’t drunk and does the same thing.
Being one of those people – Sort of self-explanatory.
Suffocation – Whether it’s by being trapped under water, lost up in space, buried alive, it’s the same terror of being kidnapped by a drunken person, except without air.
Locked-in Syndrome – To spend life fully cognizant, unable to communicate, and written off by medical professionals as brain-dead, is about the most horrific thing I can imagine.

Author of Buddy

Camping – No running water, no refrigerator, no way. I once stayed in a hotel without room service; it should never get any rougher than that.
Another Red Sox season like the once we just had – It robbed the franchise of its dignity and my native city of its autumn soul.
Another presidential election decided by the Supreme Court – This race has all the makings of another trip before the nine justices, and that won’t go well for the US.
Men who exercise in lycra workout shorts – Guys, c’mon, no. Please. No.
Forgetting all my passwords. – , all of life would seize up in a whir of alpha and numeric digits, upper and lower case, remembered wrong.
Sharp knives – One quick misstep, a simple moment of distraction in the kitchen, and everything can forever change.

From our friends at The Recipe Club:

Author of 50 shades of Chicken

Angry Birds – People can sit around all day flicking birds at walls. I like my food handling rough, but I’m not at all sure this is consensual. The green pigs just sit there, they never really “participate”. And how many chicken breasts have dried out while Chef was trying to unlock Level 20?
Rotisseries – I realize, as Christian Grey says, that “denial is a standard tool,” but it can be taken too far. The birds just gyrate together all day like sad synchronized swimmers. You can make doneness take forever. Hour after hour, around and around…. No, no, baby, don’t make me wait for those juices to flow!
Breaking Bad – Every time Walter White growls, “Let’s cook,” I just about wet myself.
Forgetting my safeword – Kinky cookery is always on the edge, so it’s easy to cross the line and have it end in tears. One time the safeword was “Laters,” but I was sure it was supposed to be “Taters.” Hoo boy – awkward! Lucky for me it was braising night.
McNuggets – Off the top of my head I can name fifty delicious ways to cook a chicken, and McDonald’s doesn’t know any of them. Like Honey Boo Boo, we all “gotta stay away from those chicken nuggets.”

Author of Cook Like a Rock Star

Rats – I am deathly scared of them. If I see one, I have to cross the street. They have a paralyzing effect on me!
Failure – It terrifies me that everything that I have worked so hard for could go away. If that happened I would start over.
Drowning Under Ice – The thought of being stuck under ice and not being able to make your way out from under it and still being able to see above, is terrifying.
My skirt getting caught in my stockings – This would be horrifying walking out in public……no explanation needed there!
Not being taken seriously – Having people think that I’m a joke, professionally speaking. Nobody takes me seriously personally!

Author of Ten Dollar Dinners

Hotel room floors without my slippers – I once considered getting one of those night vision ultra-violet whatever contraptions they use on 20/20 to scout out gross germy fluids. But then I realized that I’m not twelve, and I don’t shop at Spencer Gifts anymore.
Artificial sweeteners and fake fats – I can’t stand artificial sugars of any kind, and fats that “don’t absorb” into the system and require labeling about “leakage” scare me.
Flying – Years ago, I actually took a class on Fear of Flying (I had to FLY to New York to do it. Frankly, under the circumstances, it would have been nice if they’d come to me!) I still don’t love it. But I have my strategies for managing.
Mandolines – I sliced off a small corner of my finger once while shooting an episode of Ten Dollar Dinners (making the Spanish Tortilla, if you must know). I was never able to watch that episode (even writing about it years later gives my stomach the willies). And my mandoline has been sitting untouched in my garage since that day. Handguards, people, handguards!
Parenting – If having the well-being of moldable young children (not to mention the world’s future) in your hands doesn’t scare you, then you aren’t paying attention. Parenting is hard, and my decisions are purposeful, deliberate, and well-thought-out. But I might find out in fifteen years that I did it all wrong. Here’s to crossing fingers…

Author of The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking

Gummie Worms & Snakes – Whose twisted mind came up with this gross idea? Not only are worms & snakes terrifying — but why would anyone want to eat them? Freaks me out!!! My nephew put one of the gummie snakes in my bed and when I turned the covers down I screamed so loud it woke up everyone in the house. NOT FUNNY !! I hate snakes!!!!!
Pepperoni – This is not a food to me. It could survive the apocalypse. Really really weird. The ingredients alone are …. what exactly — ???? BHA, BHT, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Oleoresin of Paprika, Sodium Nitrite, BHA, BHT, Citric Acid… Anything that has a “Starter Culture” in it sounds like a laboratory experiment to me. How gross!!
Sushi – Okay I know a lot of people like this stuff – even my husband, but this is just the yuckiest thing to me. It’s raw and they put all kinds of weird raw fish eggs and sea urchants on top and them wrap it in seaweed and people eat it. I just gag thinking about it. Fire was discovered for a reason people – to COOK our food. Disgusting…..
Cow’s Tongue – Totally scared the wits out of me. I saw one in the butcher’s shop and I almost screamed when I realized what it was. I do not get this at all. I thought I was gonna loose my lunch right on the spot. Oh sooooo …. not right!!!
Chicken Feet – Saw these in the butcher’s shop too. I cringed and felt sick to my stomach. I just don’t get it — what could anyone possibly do with these, besides the fact they are completely disgusting!!! Really freaked me out! Still think about it and get chills.

From our friends at Books for Better Living:

Author of Yoga Cures

Seeing things that “aren’t there” – I’ve always seen colors and energy since my earliest memories, and I know it’s interesting, OK, and a part of our cosmos. Every once in a while, though, I get freaked out if I see something scary that isn’t really there, and I have to calm myself down with some deep breaths.
Flying – This comes and goes, and I fly a ton! My next two months are all travel, stopping home only for a couple of days here and there. I am scared, specifically, of the take-off and landing, and I’m getting a lot better, but sometimes I have to hold strangers’ hands at take-off and landing. Thankfully, I have gotten good at sleeping on planes, so this helps a lot!
Snakes – I get this from my Mom. She and I aren’t very fond of snakes. They scare the pants off both of us, and we scream like little girls when we see them. I just think they move incredibly fast, and I can’t tell which way they are going to go and what they are going to do.
Cats – I know this is strange, to be afraid of cats, but I grew up in the woods and cats were not friendly. I tried to be friendly with several and got attacked, sort of…poor scared kitties, they were the ones who were afraid, but again, I don’t trust cats. You never know what they are going to do, and forget about inviting one into your home, it becomes their home with their rules!
The Wicked Witch of the West – She freaked me out when I was a little kid and still does now. Every once in a while I feel like she manifests in a person I meet, and that freaks me out too. I’ll get you my pretty!!! Scary!

Author of Finding Ultra

Regret – I don’t ever want to look back on my life and wonder what might have happened. Never let fear paralyze your hopes and dreams.
Packaged Food – Behemoth corporate interests have conspired to prevent all of us from discovering the truth about the unhealthy foods they try to convince us to eat. Due to chemical preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and GMO’s, we suffer unnecessarily from a wide array of diseases and have never been more unhealthy, sick, obese and diseased as a society. Educate yourself. Eat real food. And if you live in California, vote yes on Prop. 37.
Faith – Trusting in your path is easy when things are going your way. But having faith – true belief — that you are walking the correct path for yourself, particularly when things are not going your way, is as terrifying as it is comforting. It remains the true test of real faith — the warrior path. Embracing your higher self, trusting in your heart and taking action based on this to unlock your more authentic self is probably the scariest thing you can ever do. And the most important and self-fulfilling.
Big Corporate Law Firms – : I worked as and attorney at a big firm for years before breaking out. I still have nightmares that I am back working in that environment.
Texting Drivers – Cycling is dangerous enough as it is. But the idea that I could bee side swiped by a driver momentarily distracted by his or her Twitter feed is pretty darn scary.

From our friends at CrafterNews:

Author of Super-Scary Mochimochis

Roller coasters
Driving in England
Formal Dinners
Dreams about my teeth falling out
The Large Marge scene in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Co-author of Geek Mom

Siri – Sure, the technology section of the Geek Mom book is entitled “Resistance is Futile,” but Siri already tells me she doesn’t want to talk about Hal. I have no doubt the i*Cloud* is just one step removed from *Sky*net.
Shaky Cam – All the most horrible events seemed to be filmed by shaky cams. If you see one of those, run off-screen quick or become part of the death toll.
Being a parent in a Disney movie – Dead or evil. Pick one! Neither is very appealing.
Geeky Embarrassment – For instance, when you wear your Gotham Central Police Department t-shirt at school event and other parents mistake you for a real police officer.
Clowns – They are terrifying and that includes Krusty and Ronald McDonald. There could be nothing worse than a house built on top of an ancient clown burial ground.

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