#CoffinHop | Something creeps across the floor boards….

the gory details:

3) THIS TOUR STARTS: Monday, October 24, 2011 at Midnight (PST)
THIS TOUR ENDS: Monday, October 31, 2011 at Midnight (PST)
Winners will be drawn and posted November 1, 2011
***Authors have full discretion to choose an alternate winner in the event any winner fails to claim their prize(s) within 72 hours of their name being posted or after notification of win, whichever comes first. Anyone who participates in this tour is subject to these rules***

My Contest – Prize Time

My next WIP is a psychological thriller and it involves psychological twists and a cold-blooded killer. This killer curdles my blood. Already the killer haunts my dreams. But the worst thing about this character is that I am struggling to name him. He does have a moniker that he will be known by in the story but he does need a name.

Let me tell you a little bit about him. He is a psychopath. He is exceptionally cruel and sadistic. He is also a perfectionist who never leaves any trace of himself at the crime scene. He is fastidiously clean, almost surgically I would say. He preys on people that he feels are “fallen”. He is incredibly alluring and seductive. He is hard to say “no” to. By the time his victims realise he is the final person they will see, it is too late and they are taken by surprise. This man could be anyone. He might be your friend, your brother, your father, your lover, your husband or your colleague. He stalks you like a silent lioness. Do you know his name?

So…this is where you blog-hoppers come in. I need you to put your creative hats on and spin me a first name and surname for my sadistic killer.

The best name will win three ebooks by three phenomenal authors. (I will be announcing the names of the authors and their books closer to Halloween but believe me you will want these ebooks.) 

The best name will also become the name of my sadistic killer.

You need to be subscribed to this blog to enter (so join up if you are not already) as well as leave your best answer (along with your email address for winner notification) in the comments on any of this week’s posts on this blog. You also need to have visited and commented on at least 5 of the CoffinHop bloggers.

The winner will be announced on this blog on 5th November. Multiple entries are welcome.


Thursday = Terrifying Fears

Even the bravest of us have strong, irrational fears that are almost instinctive in nature. These are fears that literally petrify us to paralysis. They say facing you fears will conquer them but not these fears. These fears, however irrational, are the exception to that proverb. So I thought this hop was the perfect opportunity to explore those crazy phobias that paralyze us: Why are we scared of them? Is it a common fear? Where does the fear originate from in society? I am going to share my phobias with you – but only if you promise to not use them to paralyze me or cause me to have a heart attack. So this blog post is very much a trust issue. I trust you to go gently with my phobia and you trust me to not hit you with something if you do try to use these phobias against me. I am also going to share some common phobias and some very odd phobias. 

Firstly, here are a couple of my irrational fears:

My #1 Phobia = Scelerophibia

I battle this fear every night of my life. It is the fear of burglars or bad men.

This fear may be rational in some cases but in most cases it is irrational. But this fear can spin out not just from being scared at night but by being scared to be in a house by yourself during the day. I battle with both night and day.

My phobia stems from numerous brushes with armed house burglaries from the age of eight. I grew up in a country where burglary and armed break-ins are commonplace and barely feature as news. But that first attempted armed break-in when I was eight is the one that has stayed with me the longest. This phobia is so scary for me that I will not go into the details of the armed break-in. I am just thankful that nobody in my family was harmed in any of the armed break-ins we have endured. Now I live in a much safer country but I will still obsessively shut all windows and lock/double lock all doors. I will also check on those windows and doors at least three times in a short succession just to make absolutely sure they are locked. It has led me to years of insomnia. I am a very light sleeper and have a very acute sense of hearing so every noise at night makes me jump. I have called family members to drive in the middle of the night to my house because I heard what I thought was someone on the roof. This phobia is paralyzing and yes it is life altering. I never feel 100% safe in a house at night and never feel 100% in a house during the day if I am alone.

My #2 Phobia = Chiroptophobia

No, I am not afraid of Batman. I am terrified of Bats. That is why I put this image up. There are hundreds of images of bats to be found on google but I seriously want to throw up from fear if I see them. It was difficult enough to get this one. Luckily for me it was at the top of the gallery so I only caught glimpses of the horrid creatures….I actually just had all the hairs on the back of my neck raise at that.

The roots of this fear dates back centuries and they are fueled by the Dracula stories, Halloween and Hades. Which brings us of course to the legend of the Vampires. Undead men who are able to change into bats and feed on the blood of humans – usually beautiful young people.

As for my fear. It’s roots are from when I was six years old and my cousin and I were playing in our farm barn. She was a little older than me and a terrible tease. We were playing hide and seek amongst the hay bales. She was hiding and I was the seeker. I had been searching for her for close to half an hour – which for a little kid is like half a day – and was getting a little nervous as it was nearing dusk which made shadows creep across the floor and walls of the barn. I told her I had enough and was giving up. Still no answer. I was a little worried at this point. So I decided to leave the barn and walk back up to my house. As I left, I heard a sound that I could not quite place. Then just as I was hesitating on the threshold of the doorway, pebbles started flying in my direction. I thought it was my cousin until she came up behind me and tapped me on the shoulder. The pebbles now came at both of us. We were tripping over each other to get out of there and I fell. The next thing I knew I heard another sound, turned and it slammed into my face. A bat. It clung to my face. I was looking into its face and I thought it was looking into mine. I could not even scream. I was that petrified. I had never seen anything so horrendous in my worst imaginings at that point. (Nor since then, looking back in hindsight.) My cousin ran back and was screaming and trying to pull this bat off my face. It took her about ten minutes before the creature finally let go. Then she had to drag me up to the house as I was completely incapacitated from fear.

Ever since then I cannot even look at a picture of a bat. I hate going into caves and dark places where they may be resting. But now if I do come across a bat, I run like hell and do not look back until I am safe. That was actually horrible to write about. I can still see that bat. Now, I will probably have nightmares about bats tonight.

My #3 Phobia = Selachophobia

I am afraid of sharks in the dark patches of a swimming pool. This is one of the reasons I do not like aquariums. Strangely enough I am not afraid of sharks in the sea.

The roots of this phobia are psychological and are either linked to a fear of darkness or linked to a buried childhood trauma.

The roots of my fear is that a girl I knew drowned in a swimming pool when we were both three. For years I blocked all memory of her until years later when I was about sixteen I was talking to my parents about phobias. They had always known I was scared of swimming in a pool by myself. Although I loved swimming in the ocean I had never really enjoyed swimming in pools and would never swim by myself. I told them that for some reason my mind told me that sharks were in the dark patches in the pool and if I was swimming underwater, I would fear the same thing that there were sharks behind me just waiting to attack. Then they told me about my little friend and it all made sense where that fear came from.

So those are my top three phobias. I am sure if I went through a list of phobias I would find others but these are the three that I have had for most of my life stemming from roots in childhood.

So what petrifies you to a stand-still? What makes your hairs stand on end and your heart thunder in your chest? What is your irrational fear? What is your phobia and do you know the roots? 

Some fears seem funny to others and some seem downright strange but at the end of the day to the person who suffers from this phobia, there is nothing funny about it. As horror, thriller and suspense writers we often play on common phobias that are our own or those of people we know. But phobias are real fears. Who are we to judge a person’s bravery when we may suffer at least one phobia. Does that make a scared person a coward. To quote the great Mark Twain:

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.  Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave.  ~ Mark Twain,Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar, 1894

Here is a list of well-known phobias:

Arachnophobia = The fear of spiders.

Achluophobia = Fear of darkness.

Acrophobia- Fear of heights.

Aichmophobia- Fear of needles or pointed objects.

Agoraphobia – Fear of open or crowded spaces and fear of leaving a safe place.

 Aquaphobia – Fear of water or drowning.

Astraphobia or Astrapophobia- Fear of thunder and lightning.(Ceraunophobia, Keraunophobia)

Aviophobia or Aviatophobia- Fear of flying.

Claustrophobia- Fear of confined spaces.

Coulrophobia- Fear of clowns.

Dentophobia- Fear of dentists.

Hemophobia or Hemaphobia or Hematophobia- Fear of blood.

Misophobia or Mysophobia- Fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs.

Ophidiophobia- Fear of snakes.

These are some fears that would make what we as writers do very difficult:

Allodoxaphobia- Fear of opinions.

Atychiphobia- Fear of failure.

Bibliophobia- Fear of books.

Doxophobia- Fear of expressing opinions or of receiving praise.

Epistemophobia- Fear of knowledge.

Graphophobia- Fear of writing or handwriting.

Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words.

Ideophobia- Fear of ideas.

Logizomechanophobia- Fear of computers.

Logophobia- Fear of words.

Metrophobia- Fear or hatred of poetry.

Mythophobia- Fear of myths or stories or false statements.

Onomatophobia- Fear of hearing a certain word or of names.

Phronemophobia- Fear of thinking.

Verbophobia- Fear of words.

Lastly here are a few odd phobias:

Autodysomophobia- Fear of one that has a vile odor.

Basophobia or Basiphobia- Inability to stand. Fear of walking or falling.

Chromophobia or Chromatophobia- Fear of colors.

Ephebiphobia- Fear of teenagers.

Genuphobia- Fear of knees.

Koinoniphobia- Fear of rooms.

Lachanophobia- Fear of vegetables.

Linonophobia- Fear of string.

Octophobia – Fear of the figure 8.

Omphalophobia- Fear of belly buttons.

Panophobia or Pantophobia- Fear of everything.

For more on phobias, click on the Phobia List

Related posts in my hop