Taphephobia, Hadephobia and Jenni L. Walsh’s Other Halloween-Related Publishing Fears

This week, in prep for Halloween, the Debs are writing about their biggest fears about publishing.  It’s no surprise, with all its spookiness, that Halloween comes with its own list of fears. Wiccaphobia (witches), Formidophobia (scarecrows), Coimetrophobia (cemeteries), and well, Samhainophobia (Halloween itself). It’s also no surprise that publishing a book shares some of these same…
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It’s the Little Fears that Gnaw on Deb Linda

I’m pretty good at handling big fears. I tend to face them head on, stare them down, and dare them to try and crush me. Marshall my inner forces, and defeat them with the mighty force of my indomitable will.

But those little things…they get to me. The crazy things, the things no sensible person would waste precious worry-time on, nibble away at my psyche and tie my stomach in knots.

It’s like this — I’d much rather face one big shark than a school of piranhas. At least with a shark you have a chance. You hit its nose hard enough, and you might just convince it you wouldn’t make a tasty tidbit to eat. But piranhas? Slap one away, and ten more will be biting chunks out of various parts of your body before you take your next breath.


Linda’s Little List of Writing Piranhas


What if I get carpal tunnel syndrome so bad I’m forced to type with my toes? Or worse, have to train a parakeet to take dictation for me?

(No, those aren’t my feet. Not my parakeet, either. And is anyone else wondering if that bird pooped on the keyboard? Because cleaning bird poop out of the keyboard would be one more thing to worry about. Just sayin’.)



What if I tweet something SO STUPID all my followers dump me en masse?


What if that Mayan Calendar end-of-the-world thing is true, and the world will end in 2012? (It would be just my luck to finally get a book deal, and then have the whole world end before the first one hits the shelves.)



What if I get hit by a bus the day before my book is released?


What if my husband’s boss reads my book and fires him for being married to someone who could write a book “like that”?


What if my cover sucks?


What if one of my former English teachers reads my book and is compelled to take out a full-page ad in my hometown newspaper disclaiming any responsibility for my mangling of the English language?


What if my publisher has a “What were we thinking?!” moment and decides it would be better to buy out my contract than go though with publishing my book?


What if Sweden sues me? (Um, you’ll understand that better after you read the book. If, yanno, the publisher goes through with publishing it.)


What if I gain fifty pounds from eating all the leftover Halloween candy, and then can’t lose it before my book is released?


What if the (NYT bestselling, way-too-cool-for-newbie-me) authors* who agreed to read my ms and give blurbs for it HATE it with such passion they can’t think of one positive thing to say about it? (Seriously, this one is killing me right now.)

*I can’t tell you who they are, because it would be too humiliating if they decide it sucks and they can’t blurb it without risking their professional integrity.


What if my computer crashes at the same time my house burns down, destroying all backups of my books?


What if the brilliant idea for my WIP that came to me in the middle of the night, and disappeared with the dawn, never, ever comes back to me again?


What if In A Fix turns out to be just a flash in the pan, and never hits its target?



Honestly, I could go on and on. But I’m also *cough* afraid of boring you to death.


So, are your fears sharks or piranhas? What’s the silliest fear you have?


Have a great weekend! If you can find a spare minute, please stop by tomorrow and meet Joanna Bourne, author of the popular Spymaster series. You might even win her latest, The Black Hawk. I just got my hands on it, and it is delicious! (Of course, now I can add another piranha to my list — I’ll never write anything as half as good as this book.)