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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Interview With Author Bethany Straker On Fear


1.      What inspired you to write your book? A couple of years ago, I suffered from anxiety, and I felt that I didn’t want to spend time dwelling on what was happening to my mind and body by reading all these self-help books. I found myself watching comedies, surrounding myself with comfort. I wanted anything I read to make me laugh, and make me feel less alone, maybe even laugh at myself. ‘Why Am I Scared of Everything?’ was a reaction to that.

2.      What message do you want to leave people with? I’d like the reader to take comfort from the universal themes of being nervous about the bigger and smaller things we all deal with, but also to leave people with a smile, realizing how these things just don’t matter. Our heroine, Regina, often paints the ‘worst case scenario’ in the book, and we can laugh at the improbability of this. It’s a message to tell people to just go for it. The inspiring quotes at the bottom of each page can act as a mantra for those tackling that particular anxiety.

3.      What do most people fear most often? We always hear about people fearing the big things: death and illness for example. ‘Why Am I Scared of Everything?’ looks at this, but the common everyday fears as well. So many of us fear just being in a room making small-talk with strangers. We fear flying, how we look, how we behave, driving. Almost anything can be a fear – and they’re all far more common than people think.

4.      What do people with anxiety fear that most don't concern themselves with? I remember not wanting to leave the house. I’d imagine all the things that could possibly go wrong. It’s the details that most without anxiety don’t think about. Thoughts like, ‘If I wear that, people will laugh at me.’ ‘I won’t be able to park, and people will watch me and judge me.’ ‘I’ll say something stupid to someone and look foolish.’ If you’re a confident person without anxiety, these are things that barely cross your mind. But with anxiety, just a trip to buy a newspaper can be a source of worry.

5.      Do people fail to take steps to prevent things that could go wrong? A lot of people with anxiety can do exactly the opposite. They take steps to avoid anything going wrong. Avoiding going out or not pushing themselves to achieve their ambitions.

6.      How can one be more optimistic and less anxiousThe knowledge that other people have the same issues, that anxiety is so common, can give people strength. For me it was a gradual process. I tried to look at my fears and dissect them, and I realized none of them were important. Practical things for me were listening to uplifting music, watching really funny films, getting exercise and not beating myself up if I didn’t do what I thought ‘I should’ do that day. If people stop pressuring themselves to do something they might end up doing it through wanting to anyway. 

      For more information, please read this:
      More than forty million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety disorders, and women are twice as likely as men to be riddled with unfettered anxiety.

      Author and illustrator Bethany Straker has had personal experience dealing with anxiety, and wanted to adopt a humorous approach at addressing our common fears. In her new book, Why Am I Scared of Everything?: A Diary of Our Greatest Worries and Inspirational Quotes to Remember, she highlights a selection of common anxiety-inducing fears such as:
    
      Being a failure
     Aging
     Changing jobs
     Having children
     Flying
     Becoming a bag lady
     And many more!


      With witty illustrations and inspirational quotes on each spread to help any anxiety sufferer get through the tough times, Why Am I Scared of Everything? promises to make the reader laugh at his or her own worries while feeling as if they aren’t alone in their fears. Available for pre-order now @ Amazon. The book debuts in February from Skyhorse Publishing.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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