Darby Kane is a former divorce lawyer with a dual writing personality. Her debut thriller, PRETTY LITTLE WIFE, was a Book Of The Month pick, #1 international bestseller, and has been optioned by Amazon for a television series starring Gabrielle Union. Darby’s books have been featured in numerous venues, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and Cosmopolitan.
But what scares her? Read on to find out…
What is your earliest childhood memory of fear?
I grew up in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Our town was more idyllic farm country than anything else. The crime rate was not high. Kids stayed out playing until the streetlights came on. I walked to and from school by myself or with friends. Despite this cocoon of safety, I had an almost irrational fear that I was going to be attacked by a stranger in my house. Back then I didn’t consume true crime information like I do now, and I have no idea where the fear came from, but I do have specific memories of being alone in the house and walking down the hall with my back to the wall so no one could sneak up on me. Thinking about it now makes me anxious. I never told my parents until years later.
What is your weirdest fear?
These aren’t current fears, but I remember being bombarded with information about the Bermuda Triangle, nuclear annihilation, and quicksand growing up. I’d think about all three all the time and how to escape or survive each. It would have made more sense to be afraid of being run over by farm equipment, but no. I’ve heard this from other people my age, so I’m blaming adults in the ‘80s for this.
What are your phobias?
Heights and open water. The fear of heights kicked in when I was a little kid and my mom made one of my older brothers take me on a Ferris wheel. He didn’t want to go, so the whole time we were up there he told me scary stories about people falling and dying. I’ve never gone on a Ferris wheel again. The open water fear is relatively new. I love swimming. I went to the beach and swam in the ocean every summer. As an adult, I can’t tolerate the idea of being in water where I can’t see what’s happening below me.
Do you have a recurring nightmare?
I practiced family law for years. During that time, I had a recurring nightmare completely unrelated to being a lawyer about someone breaking into the house. One time the terror was so real I felt like I was being held down, trapped in my covers, suffocating, and unable to move. I woke up screaming. The interesting thing is that the nightmare went away when I left the full-time practice of law.
What’s something that most people are afraid of that you are not?
Tight spaces. I had a friend growing up who is now a scientist with the U.S. Forest Service. She loved doing anything outside that involved adrenaline and exertion, her favorite being caving. As a result of going in and out of caves and exploring with her, I’m fine being confined in a dark, small space.
What scares you most about the writing process?
There is a point during the writing of every book where I wonder how I’ve ever finished a book before. It’s paralyzing. I don’t think I can move forward, and I don’t really want to. I’d rather do anything else. Eventually the panic subsides, and I remember that this is, unfortunately, part of my process, then move forward. I worry that one day, while writing some future book, I will hit that point in writing and not be able to overcome it.
What is your greatest fear as a writer?
My greatest fear is that the book I just turned in will be the last one any publisher will ever buy from me.
What animal scares you the most?
Hippos. I read that hippos are the deadliest mammals on the planet. They are aggressive and territorial. They move fast. They can run 30 mph and they do this thing in the water where they go under and run on the bottom then pop up again. The videos of that are absolutely terrifying. I try very hard to never be in a position to meet a hippo.