Sam
Sam asked Jeff VanderMeer:

Jeff, do you have any phobias and do you ever incorporate them into your writing?

Jeff VanderMeer My real phobia is cockroaches. Growing up in Fiji, I would sometimes wake up and hear this crackling, shifting sound in my ears. These small cockroaches would burrow in there and I'd have to fish them out. So I come by my phobia honestly. Also, I should note that it extends to professional cockroaches, not just amateur ones. We were on a claustrophobic boat trip once in Romania (eventually cut off by the Romanian navy and a man in a dinghy, but that's another story0 and there were rustling boxes under each of the bench seats in the passenger area (which didn't have windows you could open). The translation came back as "professional cockroaches." Boxes and boxes of professional cockroaches, to be used as bait by fishermen. I was as phobic about them as any number of amateur cockroaches. When it comes to cockroaches, I treat all equally. (Except, I really hate the flying ones.)

As for using them in my writing, I did once write a children's story called Erin & the Roach, but it has never been published, and probably shouldn't be published...by anyone.

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