Monday, October 22, 2012

Peeking Through My Fingers Scary!

by Jerie Clowes

What frightens me?

This question has been on my mind for more than a month. Then two days ago I started reading Wendy Corsi-Staub’s Nightwatcher and suddenly I knew what frightens and scars me – knowing something’s coming, knowing someone’s going to get it and not knowing who or what it is. Or I know who but not what; or I know what but not who. It’s exciting, scary, white knuckle, edge-of-my-seat thrilling, and I’m freaking out. That’s what a thriller is isn’t it? Abject terror in a situation that’s just plausible enough to possibly really happen and maybe could happen to me.

It’s at this point in a movie that I clamp my hands over my face and peek between my fingers with one eye, while the other eye is squeezed tight shut behind the other protective hand shielding my poor sensibilities from the inevitable murder and mayhem. If it’s really scary I may just walk out of the room, let the horrible thing happen on screen, come back, rewind and watch the scene like a normal person.

That’s scary on screen.

But with a novel when the scary stuff begins I can’t put the book down. I can’t read fast enough or turn the pages quickly enough. The ultimate is hiding my iPhone under the desk at work while reading a book, that’s when I’m in heaven and completely transported to the world of the novel, real time fades away and I hardly know where I am. Hiding a book or e-reader under my desk, sneaking glances while trying to appear casual and busy only adds to the excitement. Taking the risk, knowing I could get caught, but feeding that guilty pleasure of being inside a thriller – that is the best.

Jerie Clowes is currently working on several projects. She is the Secretary of the RWA/NYC Chapter.


  1. Hi, Jerie. I thought I was the only one who peeked through her fingers during a scary movie. I even went through a period where I sat on the floor of the movie theatre because I didn't want to watch but I had to hear. Thanks for sharing with us. --maria

  2. I know exactly how you feel, Jerie. I find myself reading faster and faster and that sensation when you close the last page and look up - and night has fallen, or dawn has arrived, and you simply didn't notice time passing or your surroundings because you were so THERE.