What Scares Me - Jenny O'Connell

1. Snakes.
Actually anything without fur - frogs, fish, turtles, you get the idea.

2. Top floors in highrise buildings.
I have dreams all the time about being in a building that is swaying in the wind and eventually topples over. Even though I know that buildings are built to sway on purpose so they can go with the flow, so to speak, I can't stand the idea.

3. Uncertainty.
I hate not having a plan. Just about every main character I've ever written has this same fear. There's a reason my first YA was named PLAN B.

4. Phone calls in the middle of the night.
Nothing good comes from a phone ringing at 3AM. Good news can wait until the sun is up, bad news cannot.

5. Writing.
When I write I'm always scared my words suck. My story sucks. My characters suck. When I get closer to finishing I fear people will hate it, but when I start I fear it will never be as good as I want it to be.

I have never touched a snake and I don't plan to if I can help it. But I will continue to write. It's scary but so worth it.


  1. I don't like phone calls in the middle of the night either. That's why I turn off my cell phone when I go to sleep and I no longer have a home phone. Not to mention I kept getting "wrong numbers" in the middle of the night, and not in a scary movie kind of way. It was more of a "Oops, I think I had too much to drink so I'm just going to dial some random numbers and hope I get one of my friends" kind of way.

  2. Living in MO, I've had quite a few run-ins with snakes. They don't get any LESS scarier after you've touched one. Believe me.

  3. I'm a planner, too, Jenny. Few situations make me more nervous than those where I'm not in control. And I love your line about writing being "scary but so worth it!"


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