Tuesday 9 February 2016

Guest Post: ‘Am I scared to be alone in the dark�’: Karen Rose, on her fears.

‘Am I scared to be alone in the dark?’: Karen Rose, on her fears.

Five years ago I would have said, “No,” but then thieves tried to break into my home while I was there. Our dog was barking, so I investigated and saw my front door being pushed in! I always thought that in this situation I’d hit the intruder with a frying pan, but I didn’t. I just stood there and watched. The dog finally scared them away and I still stood there. I didn’t even call the police. I was in shock.

It wasn’t until the next night that the fright set in – the break-in and how I’d frozen.

Afterward, I didn’t sleep well in my own home and if my husband was gone, I couldn’t sleep at all without a light. I hid a long bread knife in my nightstand (although I’m still not certain what I’d have done with it). I got a high-security door, set in three inches of steel and “hurricane” windows, so no one can smash them. These helped calm my fears more than the bread knife, LOL.

(Side tidbit: Many of the security tools Clay installed in his parents’ house in WATCH YOUR BACK were precautions I’d taken.)

To address my fear of freezing, I started taking defence classes and practicing often. The muscle memory that you build when you’re not scared can save you.

Finally, we got a second dog. That helped me the most and gave me a loving canine companion, so there’s an HEA for me and the Giant Schnauzer we rescued. Freya is a 36-kg lap dog until someone comes to the door. Then she is very intimidating.

This experience – the break-in and the aftermath – was valuable as an author, but as a person it sucked. Being afraid to be alone in the dark in your own home is wrong.

Alone in the Dark will be published this Thursday.

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