Good morning, bloggers!
Happy Tuesday to you.
Today, I am pleased to welcome Katherine Smits, author of WATER DREAMS. She is speaking to us about Phobias, Fears and Facing the Unknown. So, get ready to dive in to a very interesting post…
Phobias, Fears and Facing the Unknown
In graduate school, I learned phobias are a form of anxiety disorder, sometimes resulting from a bad experience, such as extreme fear of dogs after a bite, but sometimes arising with no known cause. Many different phobias exist, including fears of animals, insects, heights, flying and enclosed places.
When I started working with veterans, I expected to help patients overcome their phobias. However, over the course of twenty years as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, as well as with a number of other agencies, not many clients asked for help with this problem, although a lot of people told me they had phobias.
In my experience, many people with phobias don’t want to get rid of them. Instead, they want to avoid the things they fear. They are convinced everything will be fine as long as they stay away from dogs, bugs, tall buildings, airplanes or caves. When they find out most treatment involves interacting in some way with what they dread, they are usually even less inclined to seek help.
The only thing wrong with this solution is you can’t always avoid things that frighten you. You may encounter a loose dog on the street. Bugs will get in your house or yard. Sooner or later, flying may be the only feasible means of travel.
Maybe you can avoid tall buildings and caves. Or maybe you can keep your confrontations with your demons down to a few instances. It doesn’t seem worthwhile to endure treatment for something you don’t have to experience often. However, another problem with phobias is the anxiety a person feels when encountering the object tends to generalize over time to similar things. For example, if you’re horrified by palmetto bugs (giant cockroaches found in Florida and my personal phobia), and you successfully avoid them, someday you may find yourself breaking into a cold sweat when you run into small cockroaches, crickets and eventually all insects. This generalization of anxiety can become debilitating as you use more and more of your mental and physical energy on avoidance.
I believe phobias are similar to other fears. Everyone is afraid of something and that’s good for survival. Fear keeps us safe, but it can also keep us from living our lives fully. If we don’t learn to confront our fears, we may never take the job, move to the new city or start a new relationship after heartbreak. Somehow, we have to figure out when to protect ourselves and when to take a risk.
Nik, the heroine of my book, Water Dreams, is a young woman from the small, primarily Greek town, of Tarpon Springs, Florida. She is terrified of water. She’s barely able to look at it when she drives over bridges. This is a significant problem in a state surrounded by water on three sides and where rivers, lakes, canals and swimming pools abound. However, she doesn’t want to get over her phobia. She just doesn’t go near water, until she has no choice.
Throughout the book, Nik deals with her fear of water by gradually confronting it a little at a time. Her battle with her phobia is reflected in dreams that start out as nightmares and gradually change to messages from her subconscious, which help her overcome not only her phobia, but the other challenges she faces. Ultimately, conquering her phobia leads to solving her other problems.
Nik meets a merman, part of a race of creatures who call themselves Nerei and want humans to continue to believe they are only mythological creatures, not real. Since this is a romance, Nik and the Nerei, Bas, find themselves overwhelmingly attracted to each other, but they experience profound obstacles to their relationship.
Nightmares, phobias, tricky mermaids, drug dealers and human mages who control the elements, Water Dreams has them all. It includes romance, fantasy, suspense and mystery. If you’re interested in learning more, the e-book is 2.99 and is available from Amazon or any other on-line retail site. Soft or hard cover copies are also available from Foundations, LLC (my amazing publisher).
Do you have a phobia? I’d love to hear about it if you feel like sharing. What have you done to overcome or avoid your fears? If you have conquered a fear (doesn’t have to be a phobia), what did you do? Please answer in the comments below.
I’ll pick one person randomly from everyone who responds for a $5.00 Amazon card. It’s just a token of thanks for reading and responding to this blog, but it’s enough to buy a couple of e-books, if you use it wisely. I’ll announce the winner of the gift card in a day or two and I’ll need your e-mail address to send it to you, so please check back and contact me if you’re the winner.
If you’d like to sign up for my newsletter, there’s a Contact Form on my website. The newsletters are infrequent, but always include freebies and contests. I hope to hear from you.
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Katherine Eddinger Smits, Author
Katherine Eddinger Smits grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Although not from a Greek background, she fell in love with the Greek culture of the town and its close-knit families. She moved away years ago, but she still visits Tarpon Springs frequently to visit old friends and classmates, walk the beaches or shop and eat at the Sponge Docks.
She started writing stories in grade school and always intended to write novels someday. However, she put off writing fiction while she raised her family and worked as a clinical social worker at four different Veterans Affairs Medical Centers around the country. Although she was devastated to learn that her first career choice—mermaid, was not realistic, Katherine found helping veterans and their families fulfilling, and managed to squeeze writing into her life. Whether it was clinical assessments, creating brochures for social programs, or putting together newsletters for clubs and organizations, she always had a project in the works.
Katherine lives with her husband in Homosassa, Florida and Falling Waters, West Virginia. They have a daughter who resides in Alexandria, Virginia and a son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Water Dreams, Katherine’s debut novel, is a paranormal romance set in Tarpon Springs, Florida and is the first book in the Love’s Siren Song series. It is available from Foundations, LLC, Amazon, and other major on-line retailers. Please visit Katherine’s website for information about upcoming releases and sign up for her newsletter for contests, freebies and special announcements.
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Where to find me:
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Water Dreams Blurb:
Nik—an outwardly normal young woman terrified by water, living in the Greek-American town of Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Bas—a shapeshifter merman tasked with obtaining Nik’s help to gain what his species most desires.
The Nerei—a race of beings who want humans to continue to believe they are mythological but need independence from water.
What happens when Nik refuses to help Bas and the Nerei?
How will Nik and Bas save each other when they fall in love, against his people’s laws?
Thank you so much for joining us today. Please help in supporting today’s guest with likes, shares, and comments. Don’t forget that YOUR comments enter you for a chance an awesome prize from Katherine. 🙂
Until next time…………………Happy Reading & Reviewing!!!