What Scares You, K.L. Romo?

I know K.L. through her work with The Big Thrill magazine, where she is assistant editor and writes wonderful and thoughtful articles about crime fiction authors and new releases. (She even made me look good.) She also reviews books for the Washington Independent Review of Books and Library Journal, among other places. Because she’s so good at interviewing people, I wanted to turn the tables on her! So here we are—and here we go. What scares K.L.? Read on and find out…

Is there any fear you’ve overcome in your life? How has that changed you?

My five kids are grown now, but when they were teens, my greatest fear was that one of them would derail their lives by getting pregnant (or getting someone pregnant). It happened with two of my girls when they were 16. With the first one, the fear was visceral, like a huge fist had grabbed my insides and twisted, leaving me terrified of the future for my daughter and my family. But then something happened that was even worse than a teenager having a baby—the teenager losing the baby. My daughter had a stillbirth when she was about six months along. The experience brought our family closer together and taught us that as long as everyone is alive, we can figure out a way to get through anything. My grandson’s death gave us a unique perspective that we still hold on to.

What is your greatest bodily fear?

I am terrified of suffocating. My father choked to death, as did a young cousin, so I’m supersensitive to the danger of a clogged windpipe. Either choking to death or suffocation because of drowning are both right up there at the top of my fear-factor list.

What is your greatest fear as a writer?

I’m most fearful of writing something no one wants to read. Although writing is cathartic to “get things off my chest,” and it’s part of my DNA to put words on paper (or the computer screen), the main point of writing is to leave a mark on readers. If no one reads what I write, what’s the point?

“I’ve also developed a strong respect for Ouija boards.”

What are your phobias?

My main phobia is dirty bathrooms (weird, I know). Unfortunately, I dream about them all too often. (Spiders I can handle; dirty bathrooms I cannot). I’m also afraid of heights, if the area isn’t enclosed. I’m fine looking out the window of a high-rise building, but being outside on an observation deck unnerves me, especially if I have kids with me. The horror of them tumbling over the edge assaults my brain, and I have to go inside.

Add to my fear of heights the fact that I’m ultra-clumsy, so walking down a steep staircase or a set of bleachers is something I try to avoid at all costs.

Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes, I have a healthy respect for ghosts. Setting aside harm to my family and friends, the thing that most scares the bejezzus out of me is the paranormal visitation of unfriendly spirits. Watching the Dead Files series (on the DiscoveryPlus channel, with medium Amy Allan, former NYPD detective Steve DiSchiavi, and cameraman Matthew Anderson), I understand that spirits are everywhere. Although knowing ghosts hover around us, what really unnerves me are the entities with negative and demonic energies.

Although the only paranormal experiences I’ve ever had involved music boxes all playing spontaneously and a swinging chandelier in my home (I think the spirits were friendly), my husband experienced demonic visitations during a very low point in his life. His account is chilling—and I believe him!

I’ve also developed a strong respect for Ouija boards. I’m sorry to say we played with them as kids, never realizing they were a portal to the spirit world. Thank heaven we let nothing through (or at least, as far as I know).

K.L. Romo writes about life on the fringe: teetering dangerously on the edge is more interesting than standing safely in the middle. She is passionate about women’s issues, loves noisy clocks and fuzzy blankets, but HATES the word “normal.” She is also a book reviewer; her bylines include Library Journal, The Big Thrill, Washington Independent Review of Books, BookTrib, and Shondaland. Her reviews and articles appear at www.romosreadingroom.com, and you can find her on Twitter and Instagram.