And now for something completely different... - ERYN SCOTT

And now for something completely different…

In my latest book, Settling Up, the main character, Lauren  loves to make lists. I do, too. Yep, percentage weighted, pretty-darn-detailed lists have helped me make some of my life-decisions (from the trivial to the quite important).

Now, while I don’t have a Perfect Guy List like Lauren (deciding to marry my husband was the easiest decision I’ve ever made), I do have a list that’s somewhat famous among my family and friends. Anyway, I thought I’d share it with you, readers. We could all use another list to carry around with us in our heads, right?

Those of you who know me, understand my inability to deal with scary things. Maybe it’s a sign that I was always meant to be a writer, but I’ve always possessed what some would call an overactive imagination. And while this wonderful imagination can help me picture scenes happening in my books, it  also “helps” me picture horrific what-ifs in all-too-much detail.


Because my brain already seems predisposed to this kind of thinking, I try to do as little as I can to fuel these scary images by avoiding all things horror: books, movies, pictures, etc.

To help me with this, I’ve cultivated (after years of hard work) a list of things to avoid. If any of these shows up in a movie, book, or otherwise, I stay far far away.

WARNING: if you are easily scared, you probably won’t want to read most of this list. Even writing it is giving me the willies.

The Things Eryn CANNOT Handle List:

  1. Fingernails. Not just people having them. That’s okay with me. But if ANYTHING happens to them during the course of a movie, I’m out. If they’re ripped or peeled or even removed (shudder). Done. Even if them just being really long and dirty can be enough to make me want to hurl. Intense scratching will often be a deal breaker as well. And let’s not even talk about people running them along some rough, noise-creating surface (ahem, chalkboards).
  2. Limbs doing things they most definitively should not do. If an arm or leg is facing an irregular direction, that’s enough. Heads (which I know are not limbs, but stay with me) rotating more than 180 degrees is also VERY BAD. People walking down the stairs (OR ON THE CEILING) with their arms and legs flipped all backwards is WRONG!
  3. Speaking of ceilings, things defying gravity when they’re not in either a space movie or a fantasy world where people have magical powers is next. If you can walk (or let’s be honest, you’re probably crawling… with your arms and legs in all the wrong places) on the ceiling because you’re some evil demon, I’m out. (Also, why do scary things always seem so sticky?)
  4. Masks. Um, really, do I need to say more?
  5. Dirty water. I honestly can’t explain this one. Pond water? Totally fine. Puddles on the street? I don’t really want to step in it, but it’s not scary in the least. But when these scary movie makers add dirty water into their movies, it pushes me OVER THE EDGE! There was even a movie called Dirty Water! When we saw the trailer for that one, Scott looked at me and said, “I think they read your list.”
  6. Inexplicable speed (or a lack of it). Zombies really shouldn’t be all that scary. They move SO SLOWLY that they honestly shouldn’t be much of a threat. “So you’re saying I just have to stay at a brisk walk and you can’t catch me?” Not scary. OR SO YOU WOULD THINK! But these amputated amblers, these drooling draggers never stop. They might be slow, but they’re going to catch up while you’re sleeping (because they don’t have to sleep and you do). As scary as zombies are with all of their molasses movement, even more terrifying is the opposite of the spectrum. Things that move super fast. Super quick evil things are so much scarier than regular-speed evil things (especially if they’re crawling across a ceiling super fast with their limbs all crazy — feel like there’s a theme here?). And who in their right mind decided it would be a good idea to make zombies fast??? Sweet Jesus, we can only handle SO MUCH.
  7. I don’t know how to label this one, but it’s that thing where the character is looking in a mirror and it’s just them, but then they look away and the next thing they know, there’s someone BEHIND them! I CAN’T EVEN!
  8. And my last one (for now) is that other thing when someone has a normal face, but then it flashes to some kind of demon face and then it switches back to normal again and it happens so fast that you’re not sure if IT EVEN HAPPENED. Did it? No one will believe you if it did. It is this exact reason that I only made it through not-even-one episode of Grimm.

Anyway, that’s where it stands right now. What would you have on your list? Or what other lists do you use to help you deal?