Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

I’m Not Crazy, I’m A Writer!

That’s what I always told myself.

I can remember as far back as kindergarten when I would tell my fellow classmates on the playground about the creepy old man who lived next to the school and did sinister things in the old barn behind his house. I think I was inspired by the “Miner 49er” episode of Scooby Doo. I was 5.

That should have been the first indication I was not a normal child.

A couple of years later, when I’d stay with my great aunt after school sometimes, I would be enraptured watching “Dark Shadows” with her in the afternoon.  I loved the creepy aspects of the show.

A couple of years after I started watching Dark Shadows, my mother and grandmother went out of town for the day to visit relatives. I was an only child and opted to stay home with my father.  I had him wrapped around my little finger and somehow convinced him to take me to see “Theatre of Blood” starring Vincent Price.  I was 10.

To say my mother was angry when she arrived home and found out about our excursion is an understatement.

When I was in high school, I always made sure I got a seat in the back of the class by a window.  I would write cartoons about my fellow classmates and share them with my best friend, Diana.  Daydreaming was a normal activity for me.

When Diana and I graduated, we co-wrote a book entitled, “The Private School.” I will spare you the details of what transpired in that book, but Stephen King would have been proud.

At some point I was introduced to Alfred Hitchcock. “Rear Window” and “Psycho” were two of my favorite films. Hitchcock remains one of my favorite directors.

For as long as I remember, stories flashed in my mind like a movie distracting me from every day life. If you don’t experience this, it’s hard to explain. It is like watching an entire movie play out in my head over and over and over again until I write it down.

A few weeks ago, my daughter and I were driving around town running errands and she was telling me about a condition they talked about in Psychology. She said, “You know, some people have this condition known as Maladaptive Daydreaming.” Then she went on to describe me and what I thought of as just my overactive imagination.

Here’s part of the description from Wikipedia:

Maladaptive daydreamers can spend hours simply daydreaming. They may have elaborate fantasies within their minds, often comparable to a complete novel or movie. Many have more than one fantasy in their mind, each with its own characters, setting, plots, etc. Maladaptive daydreamers may become emotionally attached to their characters as well, though they know the characters are not real.

So, according to this guy, I’m not a writer, I have some kind of psychological disorder.

Maybe that’s true for all of us who are writers. We have some sort of psychological disorder and we deal with it by writing it down.

Who knew?

This brings me to the other part of my realization about myself. I have often had a push-the-envelope type of personality. I’ve never been a conformist. So much so that my mother would ask me from time to time, “Why do you have to be so different? Why can’t you just be normal?”

Normal is a relative thing. It’s also boring. Why would I want to be like everyone else?

Whenever my mother would bring this up, I would tell her, “You should be thankful I don’t want to be like everyone else. It’s because I’m not afraid to be different that I don’t drink, I don’t smoke and I don’t do drugs.”

But you know what I did like? I liked to do things like go the edge of a rock in the Great Smoky Mountains and sit on the edge with my feet dangling over (which scared my mother to death).

I would go boogie boarding on large waves out in the Pacific Ocean with surfers.

I would venture out over a bridge that was closed due to high flood waters, just get a better look.

I would ride the fastest, tallest and scariest roller coasters I could find.

I took chances.

A lot of that behavior changed once I married and had children. I didn’t want to leave them without their mother.

However, I still love to read, watch and write scary things.

When I was purging my boxes, I ran across a novel I was working on right before I got married and before I stopped writing for a while.

It’s called, “See No Evil.”

Some of the comments I had from my critique partners at the time were:

“I got so scared I almost peed my pants!”

“My husband was out of town and I had to check the locks three times and sleep with the lights on last night after I read this scene! So scary!”

That’s what I’m talking about.

All of my books have a romantic relationship in them; however, I like scary books. I have yet to read a romantic suspense book that made me want to sleep with the lights on.

I want the romance, but I also want to be scared out of my mind.

If you’re like me, and you like some romance with your suspense, watch for my book, “See No Evil” in May.

I hope you enjoy the ride.

About sherry

3 Replies

  1. You’re NOT crazy. You’re a writer. And a damn good one. I loved this post. Loved reading a little piece of your childhood and getting to know you a little better.
    I’m saddened because I can’t read scary stories or watch scary movies anymore. They stay with me and raise my anxiety. I used to love watching scary movies and reading vampire sorties which were my very favorite. Somehow my daughter has inherited this and loves watching scary movies too. She has a bit of a morbid side to her an dim hoping she will turn it into something creative. Lol. She likes to read scary stories as well and ride roller coasters (she’s 10) but even when she was younger. I tell people
    All the time that she’s fearless. Hmmm so alike you and her.

    1. Different people have different personalities and we should embrace them. It would be a very boring world if we were all alike!

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