For a long time now, I've suffered through a love/hate relationship with clowns.
On the one hand, I have these remnants of fond memories from my early childhood: being pulled in a wagon by my dear mother, dressed as a cute, smiley clown. We were in a quaint local parade of some sort. But those warm memories are fleeting, because always on their tail intrudes the flashback of other clowns sticking their heads in my field of vision and grinning goofily at me as they made animal noises. Not nearly as cute as my mom. Weird freaks of nature. Yes, the stuff of nightmares.
For years, I thought I was alone in the cold, clammy depths of my coulrophobia, but alas, no. There are many folks out there who suffer to a far greater extent than I ever have. For you see, I've been able to overcome my fear to some degree. By writing, of course.
My story "The Unwelcome Clown Detective" appears in the Passion for Puns anthology, now available everywhere eBooks are sold. In this tale, I introduce readers to Hilarious Hal, a clown who solves crimes. That's right: he's the hero of the story. Yet he's also a clown. How's that for cognitive dissonance? I can only hope readers will love him and hate him as much as I do.