That’s right, ladies and gentlefreaks of the Jackverse, even the Zombie King can be sent shivering under his blankets. No! You say? Yes…I retort. But what in the world could frighten someone who spends his days and nights thinking of ways to set his readers skin crawling with undead and other frightening delights? Well, I’m going to play a rousing game of ‘fess up’, so you can know what haunts my nightmares.
Crowds: Crowd mentality is a very frightening thing, if you really think about it. This is especially true when you’re 5’4″ like me. All of a sudden you have a bunch of larger lunatics smashing and crushing you; you can’t breathe, you break out into a cold sweat…it’s all very, very bad. I avoid crowds at all costs.
Poverty: I know, I know…what a crazy thing to fear (especially when you know the only thing you have to fear, is fear itself). But I grew up poor and worked very hard to pull away from that frightening pit. But this isn’t a “I have to have my things fear”, this is the fear of not knowing where your next meal is coming from. I know people that are stuck in that minefield and wouldn’t wish it upon my worst of enemies.
Obscurity: I’m not one hundred percent sure I like the way this makes me come off, but ever since I realized I was an artist, the idea of falling into a black pit of obscurity frightens me. I’m not a fame whore, by any stretch of the imagination…I just want to be able to touch people (no, not in a good touch, bad touch way) with my work. Connecting with others, for me, is tantamount to being alive.
Drunks: Yeah, this is a big one. Being around drunks is akin to being around a ranging bull — you never know what they are going to do. I spent a good deal of my life around such people and know how dangerous they can become — especially when in a crowd (and ignoring you into poverty!)
Getting lost: Ask my wife about this one — she’ll vouch. Even the idea of getting lost kinda freaks me out. Why? I have no idea. It’s not that I don’t like new places — I do. And I love change. But getting lost only leads you into Texas Chainsaw or Wrong Detour territory and no one wants that.
Losing control: This isn’t what you think. I’m not a control freak by any stretch of the imagination. What I mean is losing control of my creations, my work. That is one of the reasons I shied away from the traditional publishing route. No one knows the worlds I’ve created better than me and I don’t want someone with the power of a checkbook to say they know best.
Losing my sense of self: Those that know me, understand that my own personal truth is crucial to my make up. I know who I am and I generally don’t allow anyone to strip me of what makes me…me. Losing my self would be tragic.
Suffocation: If there is one way of dying that shivers me timbers, it’d be suffocation. I even have trouble going to the dentist for fear of not being able to breathe when they have my jaw drifting off to no-pain-land.
Losing my wife: She is the single most important thing in my life. If the grim reaper were to take her away from me early, I don’t know what I would do. She is my soul mate, my best friend, my lover…everything.
Big Business: Color me crazy, but the shirttucker nation scares me. Why? It’s their mad desire to consume and have us consume…it’s the lack of empathy and respect for the individual. It’s the cold blooded way they destroy and devour. The idea of being just a cog in that machine…shudder.
Everyone is afraid of something. For some, it’s the threat of the monster under the bed. For others, it could be as banal as weather. It might be shocking to think that one who peddles fear for a living would be afraid of anything — but remember, even superheroes (like Shero) have their kryptonite.