A few days before Halloween, I bet you thought a blog with that title would be about ghosts or haunted houses.
I'm thinking about how the thing that terrifies one person can be no big deal to another. I love writing heroes who are confused about the vulnerability their heroines feel and who offer unconditional support--not grudging, not condescending, but wholehearted.
So what's an example of something that scares some people and not others?
My family is hosting an exchange student right now.
All of the extroverted readers are wondering when I'm going to get to the scary part. And all of the introverted readers are nodding their heads and shaking in their boots. That's right, fellow shy people, I invited a stranger to live in my house!
I have a lot of strategies that enable me to be a fake extrovert at my job and socially, but my home is my sanctuary where I retreat to recharge and recenter myself. I spent the summer worrying about how it would feel to share my home with and care for a teenager I didn't know.
There are folks reading this blog who can't comprehend being scared of a social situation. I personally have never been afraid of traveling alone. I'm irrationally afraid of fire, but I actually enjoy speaking in front of groups. I have a very difficult time breaking rules of any kind, but I am rarely intimidated by a challenge or steep odds of success.
The characters in our books all have that type of rich set of issues that informs their life choices. My first heroine was afraid to open herself up to love because so many of the people she loved had died. My second hero was terrified he didn't understand the rules of normal society and would never be worthy of love because of it. In my September book, Out of Bounds, Posy worries she's too big emotionally and physically for Wes to love, while he's carrying a burden of emotional debt to his brother.
The nice thing about writing romance novels is that I always know everything is going to be okay in the end. And you know what? The same is true in my life, too. Despite my fears, I've genuinely enjoyed our exchange student and I'm going to be sad when he
leaves next week. Hosting him has been a wonderful experience for our
entire family, and one I'd tackle again in a heartbeat.
What about you? What scares you? Have you ever had to confront a fear? What scares other people but isn't a big deal to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.