What Scares YOU? by Slade Grayson

Hi. I'm Slade Grayson, author of the quirky spy novel, BLAKE TWENTY-THREE, the werewolf novel, AUTUMN MOON, and the forthcoming unauthorized sequel to AUTUMN MOON.

Being a self-proclaimed expert on werewolves (I've read many books, and have written one and three quarter novels about them), I had originally intended to write a blog post about what I think are the most influential werewolf movies. But I came across an interesting question the other day on Facebook (a.k.a. “time waster”). The question was:

What really scares you?

Actually, it wasn't really a question. It was a contest sponsored by Darkness Dwells that challenged everyone to fill in the blank: “The thing that scares me the most is ________.”

Not that it matters, but I won the challenge with a witty response. (Ha! In your face, other people that didn't win! Except for you, woman who said that she was most afraid of running out of batteries. Your answer was actually funnier than mine.) But it got me thinking... What scares me?

I mean, the things that scare you as a kid don't necessarily scare you as an adult. Right? Or at least, it shouldn't. If you're an adult and you're scared of vampires and ghosts and slimy aliens that burst out of your chest and grow to be seven feet tall... I don't know what to say to that.

Yeah, there are some things that can carry over into adulthood. If you're scared of spiders or snakes as a kid, there's a good chance you'll still be scared of them when you're an adult. That's understandable. And being scared of the dark? That's something that I think is hardwired into our brains from the days when our species lived under more primitive conditions, when the darkness meant we couldn't see the dangers around us. When you're a kid, you're scared of the dark because you think there's a monster using the darkness to hide themselves so they can get close enough to bite/eat/kill you. When you're an adult, you tell yourself you're cautious of the dark because you know it can cause you to hurt yourself by walking into a piece of furniture, or tripping over a throw rug, or putting your head down on top of that brown recluse spider that decided to perch on your pillow...

Admit it, though. As adults, we tell ourselves we're not afraid of the dark. Cautious, maybe. Wary, even. But not afraid. Except deep down in the primitive part of our brain, there is still that irrational fear. That feeling of, something is going to reach out of the blackness and bite/eat/kill me.

Okay, I'm digressing a bit. The question is, what scares me.

What scared me as a kid? Pretty much everything:

Monsters, ghosts, vampires, friends and family members being turned into vampires and coming after me, savage animals, rats (especially after my brother told me a story of a guy who got bit by a rat in a public restroom), werewolves, public restrooms (not just because of the rat story, but also because that's where the pedophiles tended to hang out), poisonous animals and insects, anything with really sharp teeth, drowning, being abandoned by my parents, my parents dying (related to being abandoned, I guess), falling, and of course, the dark.

As an adult? Well, I do still have a slight aversion to public restrooms

You grow up and realize that monsters don't exist like we thought. They aren't monstrous in appearance. They look like us. Sometimes they act like us. But then they plant bombs in a crowded area, or fly a plane into a building, or bring guns into a school or movie theater and open fire. Sometimes they travel the country and seek to lure victims into their car/truck/motel room. You grow up and realize that the real monsters - the human ones - can be anywhere. Sometimes you can spot them coming, and sometimes you can't.

But I'm not afraid of monsters, either.

I'm afraid of that scream that tells me my son has done something to hurt himself very, very badly. I'm afraid of that brief second that I lose sight of him in a crowded store or playground. I'm afraid of that phone call that might come, the one that tells me he's had an accident and that I need to come to the hospital immediately. I'm afraid of that other driver who is too busy looking at their phone and doesn't notice they're drifting into my lane. I'm afraid of an unusually shaped mole that seems to be getting bigger, or a persistent cough that lasts more than a few weeks, or a lump under my arm that is sore to the touch.

Sickness, death caused by another person's carelessness, and something bad happening to a loved one. Those are the things that scare me as an adult.

What about you? What scares you? Zombies? ISIS?

Hmm... Just got an idea for a new horror novel: Zombie ISIS.

* * *

About Slade Grayson

Slade Grayson first discovered a passion for writing at the tender age of...

Snore!

Okay, seriously, does anyone read these things? Does anyone read an author bio and say, "Wow, he attended Harvard. I'd like to read his werewolf novel." Would listing my work history inspire you, the unseen reader, to purchase my novels? I mean, it's all about the story, right? You read a blurb about a novel and you decide that it interests you.

Well, for those of you who require such things, I will do my best to oblige:

I had a difficult childhood that was brightened considerably by a weekly supply of comic books and Bugs Bunny cartoons. My education was unremarkable. I never attended Harvard, although I drove by it once. 

My work history was bleaker than a Russian winter: I sucked at just about every job I ever had, with the possible exception of when I worked in a video store. I excelled at that particular position because it consisted primarily of watching movies all day and pontificating to the customers on which ones were good and which ones were crap. 

There came a time in my life when I realized that I had to decide what I wanted to do: 

Should I aspire to become CEO of a major video rental company? Business stuff bored me, though. Should I become a lawyer? I did like wearing suits on occasion, but again, there's the boredom factor. Should I become a doctor? No, I didn't have enough patience (ha!).

I decided that I had been born with two talents in life, and after watching "American Gigolo," I realized there were some things I would not do for money. So I decided to utilize my OTHER talent and become a writer instead.

I've written for various publications over the years, some under my own name and some under a different name. Read into that what you will. 

I've written short stories, essays, news stories, and various criticisms of pop culture products and events. I've even delved into the ghostwriting field, but so far, the ghosts haven't written back.

I like writing novels. I think I'm good at it. Other people have told me I'm good at it. People not related to me have told me I'm good at it. 

Read the reviews of my books and check out sample pages here on Amazon and decide for yourself. Or just take a chance, what the hell. My books aren't priced that high, are they? You probably spend more than that at Starbucks every week. At least my books won't give you that jittery caffeine high afterwards. (Well, maybe a little...) 

Oh, one more thing:

I am well aware that there is a DC Comics villain who has the same first name. But I had it first. So nyah!