Suppression… a short story.

 

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This is the shortest story from Tales of Crime & Violence, (Volume 1) which falls into the ‘Violence’ category… but not how you may initially think… which is all part of what these books are about.

Enjoy.


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Suppression

 

I pulled the car to a halt, two wheels on the grass verge and switched the engine off.

Immediately the engine died the radio seemed dreadfully loud. 

So strange the way you get used to the noise of a running engine. The way your mind cancels out the rhythmic growling.

I wondered if it was always that way, if we have the ability to disregard repetitive or intrusive sounds?

I mean, did the cavemen do such? Was there a need? Maybe during a storm or a gale, they could close their ears to the sound of the howling winds or the consistent noise of heavy rainfall, maybe?

Or it could be a newly acquired skill since… since when?

At first, I supposed it would be during the industrial revolution. The sound of looms, presses and steam engines; thumps, clashes and clanging’s, a metallic cacophony the likes of which had never been heard before.

But then, before then, there was war. Iron forges for portcullis and armour, stonemasons chasing rock into blocks for castle walls; the incessant repetitiveness of hammer, of chisel, of mallet.

Then the battle. Masses of men, horse and oxen meshing and mashing themselves into bloody quagmires of gritty bone and blood.

If ever there was a sound to blanket I believe I would choose to smother that one.

Especially after the events of this morning.

Those screams sent sensations tingling the entire length of my spine. I could not tell if they came from the nape of my neck and ran down, like a streak of lightning to the base of my back, or if they started there, at my coccyx and travelled upwards to strike my atlas bone.

You see, it was not the volume, the earth splitting frequency of those elongated screams which caused my vertebrae to quiver. It was the intensity of which they were emitted.

I actually felt them. Felt the full ferocity of their energy within every organ, every cell of my entire being.

That ferocity was only equalled by the way she fought. Limbs flailing like broken masts in a force ten gale. Vicious nails, the talons of werewolves, and sharp teeth with the uncanny ability to locate exposed skin without conscious effort, seeking to rent chunks of flesh from my arms and face.

It took me a long time to subdue her. My face was gashed, long rips of bloodied skin hung from my cheeks. My arms were cut, bitten and bruised, as was my ego.

It was during that process, while I was trying to overpower her, I could have done with the capability to eliminate noise. I am certain I could have restrained her far quicker had she not been screaming so loudly, so constantly.

Even now, as I sit in my car with the radio on, volume so low it is barely audible, I can hear her screams echoing in my ears, my bloodied hands still shake a little, the remnants of the violent trembling the episode left with me.

I know her screams shall be a sound I shall carry within my memory forever, carry to my grave.

Fortunately, before she could do further damage before she managed to totally dismember and disembowel me, other nurses came to my assistance. Together we were able to subdue and sedate her.

As I left the ward I looked to where she now lay, sedated and sleeping. She looked so calm and serene, so peaceful and content.

I cannot help but wonder what demons inhabit her tortured soul.

Tonight, I shall pray for her.

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You can find all three volumes of ‘Tales of Crime & Violence’ on Amazon and other good bookstores.

They are available as Paperbacks

https://mybook.to/CandVPaperV1

https://mybook.to/CandVPaperV2

https://mybook.to/CandVPaperV3

or ready to download eBooks/Kindle

https://mybook.to/CandVKindleV1

https://mybook.to/CandVKindleV2

https://mybook.to/CandVKindleV3

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The Dark Valley, the new release from Electric Eclectic

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Fantasy YA portraying a strong woman and a start to romance.

A dark fairy tale with some not very likeable creatures called Trolls who run mines to source precious gems.

The Crones are witch-like characters who want what every older woman wants – to be young and pretty.

The Crones have magical powers, and they take the soul of the young people to help them achieve this. That is until along came Clarissa who finally breaks the curse on their valley.

Excerpt

“Father,” he grinned. “What’s with the next valley over? It’s like winter over there, all cold and dark.”

“Evil is there, don’t say you…”

“No, I stayed in the forest father. I didn’t like the look of it.”

“Good, remember to stay away, too,” he scolded.

“Evil? What type of evil lives close to us?”

“Why so interested Caspian?”

“I – I heard a girl singing with such a pure voice, it was beautiful.”

“Pure evil,” he frowned. “Stay away, the witches don’t like strangers, most never come back.”

“Don’t worry father, I was only wondering.”

“Remember, curiosity killed the cat.”

They entered the house, grabbing a drink of ale each as they sat waiting for their dinner.

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The Dark Valley

You want to know who I am? Well, let’s see!

I’m British born and bred, although I have lived most of my life in New Zealand. Sweet as? (Kiwi Saying) I love New Zealand, best little country in the world today, though I’m sure others will have different opinions.

First and foremost, I am a wife and mother of four children, though we lost our youngest 17 years ago. My husband and I have been married for 28 years this year. Our two eldest daughters are in the UK having their OE (Overseas Experience as they call them in Kiwiland). My son is about to start university to study architecture.

This will be the first time my husband and I will have true freedom to do as we wish, when we wish, without the phrase “Get a room” from the kids with our reply of “Don’t need one. Got a house.” And that was just about kissing…lol. Kids these days!

I am a Family History Researcher and have been for the past twenty years. I fell into writing in 2012 and became a multi-genre author because the muses…yeah more than one…wouldn’t shut the up. I have published over thirty books and have over a hundred drafts on my computer. My main genres are Children’s Adventure Stories, Young Fantasy, Young Adult Fantasy, New Adult Murder Mystery Romance under my own name. Under my pen name of Beth Bayley, I write Contemporary Billionaire Romance (reverse aka the woman is the billionaire) as well as a set of Mythical Welsh stories. I also have one wayward muse who I call Chloe King who is an Erotic Author. Pain in the … and a nympho. Meanwhile, I’ll stay prudish, thanks.

In 2014 I set up my own Publishing Company called Plaisted Publishing House Ltd, which now runs an Author Assist program for Formatting, Editing and Book Covers. We’ve helped over 32 clients in various different ways. We also do Family History Books.

I join EE last year, though I have only recently found the time to get my first book sorted. It is called ‘The Dark Valley’ by Claire Plaisted and is about a young woman who is strong in nature.

You can contact me at:

http://www.claireplaisted.wordpress.com  and http://www.plaistedpublishinghouse.com  http://www.facebook.com/claireplaistedauthor

 

The Secret Entity

I first posted this in November 2014, (how time flies) on my writer’s blog, Ramblings from a Writers MindHowever, I am re-posting it here, on Electric Eclectic’s blog simply because I think you will find it enjoyably informative… at least I hope you do.


Books, novels, novellas, whatever term you use it does not really matter. Neither does it matter, in this instance, if you are reading a hardcover book, a paperback or even an e-reader. Because this post is about the story that lays within, not the format, the genre or classification of the book.

A story is a most wondrous gift which can be bestowed on anyone. It affords an avenue of escapism from life, from reality. A tale can whisk you away to worlds which do not exist but feel real, feel true as you read and absorb each word on each and every page.

A great story will draw you in, make you part of its netherworld, a place where you can battle the bad guys, or be the bad guy, or girl, or dog or horse… or simply watch, from your lofty viewpoint, all that transpires below.

No matter if you love a twisted plot of dirty deeds, or raunchy romance, fast action with death and destruction, a private detective prying into everyone’s business, or a love and betrayal saga of family and ever-changing fortunes;  as a reader, you must consider how the author weaves such magic, how they are able to draw you into their fiction, into their deep mindbending imagination.

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Whether you are laying on a recliner by the pool, soaking up the sun at the beach, or simply curled up in your armchair at home, a book is a magical portal, a gateway to another life, through which you can escape the humdrum of everyday tasks, at least for a while.

When you immerse yourself into a story the mundane evaporates, it disappears into the shadows of forgotten responsibilities, while you become absorbed into your own private world, a world that no other person can ever become part of.

Now, you may find my last statement somewhat beguiling.

Why would I say no other person could possibly enter the same world as you? After all, you are reading just one copy, a single edition of a book. Many other people must read the same story? They too have visited this fantastical world you now find yourself in?

WRONG.

Unlike watching the television, a downloaded video, or visiting the cinema where you sit with family and friends watching precisely the same action, hearing the same sounds, the same voices, a book is a far more personal experience.

It is a unique individual encounter.

When you read a story your eyes will be scanning the chains of words which are sequenced by the author. Yet it is not the author who is telling you the story. It is not these chains of words, mere ink blobs on the pages which paint those pictures in your mind. It is not they which lead you from one scene to another.

You see, in between the words there lies an invisible entity.

It is this entity which connects your mind to the authors, no matter how far away they may be in distance or time. Alive or long dead… you will become connected.

It is this which is the true magic of a book.

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Wonderful plays and fantastic films work from the basis of good creative script writing, however, assisting the scriptwriters to deliver the words to an audience in a manner that will capture their attention are the actors and actresses. Their ability to deliver a speech or to convey dialogue convincingly is a wonderful skill.

Cameramen, directors, special effects, best boy’s and grips… and so on, produce the scenes and effects. But that vision, the moving images on the screen and the actor’s voices are not your story; they are the director’s interpretation of the screen-writers construal of the theatre play, which is based on the television series of the original book written by… whoever it may be.

Therefore, you are separated by degrees from the creators own thoughts.

I prefer a direct connection to the author, one without the intervention of another person, or persons, translation being foisted upon me.

Without becoming too technical, I am writing this post in a style far removed from the one I am using to write my novel. The way you are reading this is the way I have deliberately formatted my narration. In this instance as if I am speaking, talking directly to you personally. (Which I am)

In my fictional stories, the voice you hear is inside your head, may be omnipotent, or it may seem as if one of the characters is speaking, telling you the tale, it all depends on how I intend you to hear my story.

I hope I have explained that clearly?

The second reason reading a book is such a personal experience is, as you read, your mind creates a world so real and so detailed and in such a subjective form, it is only possible for it to exist in your own imagination.

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Take a simple statement:

“The long black sedan drew up to the pavement outside the hotel.”

Simple?

Yes?

No.

If it were a film I would agree because we would have both seen the same car, drive up to the same hotel, from the same direction, in the same weather conditions, at the same time of day….same….same…same.

However, when you are absorbed into the story of a book, you have to create the car yourself, imagine which direction it is driving, how the daylight reflects from its bodywork, or the lights glint on its polished paintwork as it drives under the portico of the main entrance… oh wait, your hotel did not have a portico? And it was not in the city centre… well, that’s ok, because this is your story and yours alone.

In mine it was night, the car was a dark blue stretched Bentley continental, what make was it in yours?  Was it a stretch, was it blue or black… or white? What time of day, or night did you create for your story? Was it Chauffeur driven?

This is the reason you cannot read the same story as your friends, your mother, sister, brother, uncle, aunt or Little Lord Fauntleroy. You can read the same book, but you can never experience the same story.

Ahh, now you are beginning to understand the true magic of a book, the amazing mystical power of narration.

It is something unique, something no other medium can offer.

Which is why I love the written word, why I love books above and beyond any other form of media for regaling a great story.

It is why I love to write.

Talking about writing… have you read any of my Electric Eclectic novelettes yet?

If not, you are missing a treat; each Electric Eclectic novelettes contain an amazing and captivating short story.

If you prefer paperbacks, I have now published several of my novelettes as Pocketbooks, smaller sized paperbacks which are perfect for slipping into a bag or, dare I say, a pocket. They will even fit into the back pocket of your denim jeans.

How’s that for convenience?

Visit @open24, Electric Eclectic’s Amazon store for readers and writers…

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The Mystery of Missing People

By Karen J Mossman

 

Like many people, I enjoy a good mystery. Stories where you need to know what happens next. Tales that pique your curiosity, and keep you turning the page to get to the end.

Over the years, I’ve found missing people intriguing. Why did they disappear in the first place? Was it an accident or something more sinister? Is there a happy ending or does it end in tragedy? Also, just as importantly, how does it effect those left behind?

Before I thought about becoming a published author, many of the stories I’d written over the years involved this mystery.

Did you know there are 300,000 people reported missing each year in the UK alone? That works out at almost 900 a day.

The first high profile case I recall was that of Lord Lucan in 1974. His wife claimed her husband had attacked her, and murdered their nanny. The police investigated but Lucan was never found and to this day it remains a mystery.  Journalist Amelia Hill wrote a fascinating article in The Guardian about a girl who became pregnant. Her boyfriend didn’t want to know, and her parents told her to get an abortion. She felt she had no option but to run away. She had her baby and said her life had been a lie ever since.

As part of my research I went onto the missing person’s website. There were many stories about people who had disappeared, and those left behind. One mum showed the bedroom of her son left just as it was in 2006 when he disappeared. The torment she must live with wondering whether he is still alive is hard to imagine.

Another high profile case was that of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh who disappeared in 1985. An attractive young woman who had pencilled in her diary she was meeting a Mr Kipper. She was never seen again, her remains never found, and they didn’t trace Mr Kipper. As a result estate agents changed the way they worked and Suzy’s mother founded a Trust in the name of her daughter to deal with personal safety.

Not all cases are as high profile, and in 2012 an appeal was launched for a missing woman who had not long given birth. She was already suffering from anxiety and depression. It could have gone either way and for a few days, everyone lived in hope until they found her body.

Ben Needham was aged just 21 months when he disappeared in 1991. He was on holiday on the Greek Island of Kos with his family. He was being looking after by his grandparents at their farmhouse when he vanished. It made the news all over the world and it finally looks like the boy wandered onto a nearby building site and died as the result of an accident.

Madeline McCann is one of the most famous stories. In 2007, the four-year-old girl was abducted while on holiday with her family. She was a beautiful little thing with blonde hair and big blue eyes. She captured everyone’s hearts. Despite a massive investigation and search. The police had no viable leads and no trace of her was ever found. Twelve years on, the story still hits the headlines occasionally.

There are many more stories with no conclusions offered and it’s frustrating not to have an ending. I’ve always wondered what makes people want to disappear in the first place. What are their stories?

One day watching a television programme that searches for missing people, I had an idea for a story. What if you were the missing person, and your face suddenly appears on the screen? The secret you had been trying to keep was now out.

perf4.000x6.000.inddFinding Amanda tells the story of a girl who had problems with her brothers. She takes off to Scotland and creates a new life for herself. When she and her boyfriend are watching television, it is her face that comes up on screen and Jamie, her boyfriend is shocked by what he hears.

The people left behind don’t always know the reasons their loved ones leave. It affects them in difference ways and many suffer for years as a result. So in this story, I’ve included the bewildered family and how they dealt with her disappearance.

Some stories do not have endings and we are not always given that neatly wrapped up conclusion. With Finding Amanda I wanted to round it up and conclude it, so get your tissues ready for a sweet ending!

Why not add it to your Goodreads shelf?
Or find out more.

 

 

 

 

Railways, nostalgia, memories and time travel.

I first published this post, in June 2015, on a blog called Ramblings from a Writers Mind where I ‘write about writing for writers’.

The subject, one of memory and nostalgia is, I feel, equally important to the readers among us as it is to those who write. It is on that premise I now re-publish this post here, on Electric’s Eclectic’s blog.

Enjoy.

I am sure I am not alone when I say stations and trains hold countless evocative memories for me. Many of these recollections are from my childhood, others from my adolescence and beyond. But most are essentially pure nostalgic longing.

I say nostalgic longing rather than reminiscent memory because most of the evocative scenes which play within my mind, when I contemplate railway carriages and station platforms, are false recollections. They are simply wistful yearnings for a time and place I have never been privy to.

Those of you who may not have a creative bent, those who are not writers, poets or lyricists may not, as yet, comprehend my words. So I shall, in my usual arbitrary, chaotic and irregular manner, begin to ramble away and hopefully elucidate you all too where my thoughts have wandered regarding this subject.

If you will humour me, I shall ask you to close your eyes for a moment or two and imagine you are on a station platform in the nineteen forties or fifties.

casablanca04Hear the sounds of the locomotive hissing steam as it waits for the passengers to disembark. See the porters as they wheel loaded wooden carts to the goods wagon, while others push handcarts laden with passenger’s luggage to the coach doorway where they assist the people to board.

In the waiting room, a small coal fire burns filling the air with a sooty but homely scent, a scent of warmth and comfort. From a small kiosk, a man wearing a scarf and flat cap sells newspapers to the passengers waiting on the platform.

All around, a cacophony of sound melds into this concert of life, whistles blow, milk churns clank, You can hear the ‘thunk’ as reams of newspapers are plonked on the platform ready for collection. Passenger’s voices are a constant murmur, a backdrop to the stationmaster’s call of “All aboard”. Doors slam shut, the train huffs and puffs as it pulls away. A metallic squeal pierces the air as the wheels begin to turn.

Those remaining on the platform wave off their loved ones who, leaning out of the windows, blow kisses back.

The pervading smell is of coal, steam, hot metal, wood, newspaper and soot.bacio in treno grande

This is how I remember railway stations. Or at least this is how my selective and partially false memories cause my mind to create this evocative picture in my head.

I am not quite old enough to had such an experience. I was not born into that era. My time came a little later. Perhaps I do have just enough knowledge, enough memory to blend some truth into this fantasy.

As a young child, maybe six or seven years old, I regularly watched the last few operational steam trains as they rattled over the railway bridge in Penge.

I remember ‘platform tickets’, tickets which allowed non-passengers access onto the platforms to say goodbye and wave off their loved ones, or to meet them on their return. I have sat in the comforting warmth of a British Rail waiting room which was heated by an open coal fire, the smell of which I shall never forget. I also recall when the green liveried trains had first, second and third-class carriages, as well as a goods wagon and guards van at the rear.

Some may say they were the ‘good old day’s’ and in many ways, I agree. But historical conclusion is not the topic of today’s rambling.

I was not born early enough to have encountered life in the forties, not early enough to truly know the scents, sounds and feel of travelling by train in ‘those days’. Yet I do have the ability to create with my pen an acceptable and, this is the important bit, believable account of ‘being there’.

This is where ‘false memory’ becomes a friend and not the enemy.

downloadMixed with the few true memories I have are the perceptions of what life was like during such times. I have absorbed and pooled many of these ideas by reading books and watching films from that era, such as Brief Encounter (1945), or The Lady Eve (1941) and many other such scenes from plays and television programmes.

If, as a writer, I do my job well I can utilise both the true, the false and the acquired to create a world which shall captivate the consciousness of the reader, draw them into my fantasy world as their eyes traverse the page. I want to fascinate and enthral the reader, not only with my characters and their antics but also by lending to them an illusory world where they can escape the mundane and humdrum of life, at least for the moment.

This is where nostalgia, or at least nostalgic imagery features. I believe it is something we all have a longing for. Who, for instance, would not wish to travel back, to at least one certain point in time, if they were able?

I know it is something I would do if it were at all possible.

So why, I hear you ask, have I focused on railways as a topic to discuss the past. The answer is simple. Trains were ‘the’ mode of transport for the majority of people ‘way back when’, when few owned a car, less could afford to board a ship and air travel was just an aviators dream, accessible to only the very wealthy. Most towns and cities, other than one’s own home town, were too far away to cycle and horses were all but history.

How many of us have not said at least one goodbye, waved off a loved one or shed a tear on a railway platform. Who has not been be45a6b16e065833331925e08c5acb93bursting with excitement and anticipation while awaiting the arrival of a train returning a family member, a friend or a lover home?

It is fact stations are a place many hold dear because this is where we have experienced numerous emotions, countless times.

The station, the train, the railway is a place indelibly ingrained, permanently embedded and entwined with both our memory and emotion, however true or however false those evocative recollections might be will still hold them close, we still cherish them.

We all carry within ourselves a simple wistful yearning for a time and place we have never been. If I can re-create that place in your mind, stimulate your emotions, have you feel the air, taste the scents of my imaginings as you read my stories then know I have done a good job.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope these few randomly scribbled words give you food for thought or simply entertained you for a short while, Paul.


 To browse my books please feel free to visit my website, https://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white

If you would like to read a shorter book, say as an introduction to my writings, then check out my novelettes and ‘Pocketbooks’ on @open24, the Amazon store for readers by Electric Eclectic.

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Readers; important dates for your diary.

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Are you planning to buy more books this year, or do you simply tend to grab one when it catches your eye?

Whichever you do, it is worth considering when to buy your books because, at certain times, authors and publishers run special promotions.

These promotions can include discounts, new releases, posting of excerpts or sample chapters, reveals of covers and a whole host of exciting stuff not usually seen at other times.

Electric Eclectic suggest the following are dates worth putting into your diary and even setting an alarm to jog your memory. (We’ll post further dates for your diary later in the year.)

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March 5

Marked in over 100 countries across the globe, World Book Day is a UNESCO initiative which aims to celebrate books and reading, especially among younger members of our societies. In the UK and Ireland, National Book Tokens are given to children so they can find books of their own choice, something to unlock the power of their minds in a way the increasing prevalence of digital screens may not provide.

For what it’s worth, World Book Day falls on the same date every year as St David’s Day, so, if you read a Welsh book on the first day of March every year, you are doing justice to two great causes!

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March 21

Poetry reaffirms our common humanity in revealing everybody in the world shares the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

The observance of World Poetry Day also encourages the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

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APRIL

April 1 to May 10

National Pet Month is back, and it is even better than ever, attracting thousands of animal lovers to celebrate the value of pet ownership. Every year National Pet Month brings together animal welfare charities, professional bodies, businesses, and schools to promote good pet ownership, raise funds for good causes and have fun.

We love to shout about the rewards and benefits of owning a pet whilst encouraging responsibility, increasing awareness of pet care specialists, and promoting the value of assistance and companion animals.

What has this, you may ask, got to do with books. The answer is simple, writers and authors love their pets too, so to share stories and images of them while talking a bout their books is something many do. Check out social during these dates.

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April 23

World Book and Copyright Day is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, worldwide celebrations take place to recognise the magical power of books; a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures.

23 April is a symbolic date in world literature. It is the date on which several prominent authors, William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. It is the natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, first held in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors, and to encouraging everyone to access books, which are the most beautiful invention for sharing ideas beyond the boundaries of humanity, space and time, as well as being a most powerful force of poverty eradication and peacebuilding.

By championing books and copyright, UNESCO stands up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge. With active involvement of stakeholders: authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media, and all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors, World Book and Copyright Day has become a platform to rally together millions of people all around the world.

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May 1 to May 31

National Share A Story Month 2020

Celebrate the Power of Storytelling with National Share-a-Story Month

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups is an organisation started in the 1960s. It was created in response to parents’ desires to learn more about children’s books and how to encourage their own children to read more.

Children’s Book Groups were created in throughout the UK, the Federation served to link them together. The Federation is responsible for several initiatives including National Share-a-Story Month.

The celebration takes place annually throughout the month of May. It has proved to be an excellent way to celebrate the power of storytelling. Children and stories are brought together in a variety of events which take place across the UK.

Each year the event has a general theme, for 2020 it is Folk tales, fairy lore, figments, phantoms, dragons, serpents, storms at sea.

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Browse Electric Eclectic’s books, for adults and children of all ages. You can find them on our website at http://bit.ly/visitEEbooks

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Where did Wally Twitchett come from?

The following article is from a wonderful author whom I am lucky to count amongst my friends.

Julia Blake is warm-hearted, funny and straight-talking; her words dance across the page, keeping you entertainingly captivated from start to finish.

In this guest post for Electric Eclectic, Julia addresses a question many authors are asked.

Author Julia Blake

One of the questions readers ask me the most is, where do you get your ideas from? The honest answer is most of the time I have absolutely no idea. I’ll be going about my daily life and suddenly a scene, or a name, or a scrap of dialogue will float into my brain. For a few days, weeks, months or even years, it will simply sit there, putting out little tendrils of ideas that twist and grow and take root in my imagination, until suddenly, bam, I have a complete plot in my head, fully formed, as if from nowhere.

Occasionally though, I can pinpoint the exact moment when a book was conceived and can say “there, that was when it all started.” It was like that for The Forest ~ a tale of old magic ~ my most popular book to date. Over a decade ago I was at a family party. It was one of those parties where ages ranged from babes in arms up to great-grandfathers ensconced in the corner with a glass of sherry. It was getting late, the party was winding down, parents of very young children had taken them home and I was sitting on a chair sharing the dregs of a bottle of wine with my brother. Behind us, a group of elderly gentlemen were reminiscing about the good old days. Only half-listening, my attention was abruptly grabbed when one of them came out with the best line ever. Leaning towards the other gents, he enquired…

“Whatever happened, to old Wally Twitchett?”

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Wally Twitchett? What an amazing name. My imagination started humming. By the time I went to bed that night I could “see” Wally in my mind right down to his patched but clean clothes, his beak of a nose and protruding Adam’s apple. I could imagine him rattling around the village where he lived on his old boneshaker bike, because, of course, he had to live in a village. An old, isolated, insular village in a forgotten corner of Britain. A village that appears suspended in time and peopled with quirky characters all with names as odd and memorable as Wally’s. Maybe, the residents of this village never leave, ever. My, that is interesting. Why do they never leave? Because the village is slap bang next to a big old creepy forest with something evil at its core that’s placed a curse on the village and its people. Ooh, a curse! I love it. What type of curse? And so on…

You can see from this process how one simple name can spark a chain reaction in an author’s brain, where one idea tumbles onto the next and the next and so on until the whole plot lies before you. Rather like those domino effects where one tap sends the first domino falling onto the next and it’s only when the whole lot has fallen the picture is revealed.

I wrote the book.

Over a decade later, I published it.

To my joy, others loved the village and its characters as much as I did, and even though Wally ended up a minor character, he still finally found his voice in my story.

A sweet postscript to this story happened last year. I work part-time for a mattress and bed retailer and was one day putting through an order for a lovely young girl and her husband. They wanted to finance the purchase so in the course of completing the form I asked her for her maiden name. Twitchett, she replied.

I stared at her in disbelief.

“No relation to Wally Twitchett?” I tentatively enquired.

“Oh yes,” she replied, he was my great-uncle.

I couldn’t help the smile of disbelief that spread over my face and explained to her the significance of that name. Intrigued, she ordered the book there and then, wanting to share it with the rest of her family. It is touching to think that even though the real Wally Twitchett died childless many years ago, some small part of him will live on forever in The Forest.

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“I met a man made of leaves, with roots for hair, who looked at me with eyes that burnt like fire.”

An impenetrable forest that denies entry to all but a select few. A strange and isolated village, whose residents never leave. A curse that reappears every generation, leaving death and despair in its wake.

What is lurking at the heart of the Forest?

When the White Hind of legend is seen, the villagers know three of its young people will be left dead, victims of a triangle of love, murder and suicide. This time, Sally, Jack and Reuben have been selected, and it’s their turn to be tormented by long-buried jealousies, aroused by the dark entity existing within its shadowy glades. Only by confronting the Forest’s secrets, can they hope to break the curse and change their destinies – if they have the courage.

Keeper of secrets. Taker of souls. Defender of innocence. Existing on the very edge of believing, there is the Forest.

This is its story


Love reading, find Electric Eclectic books on Amazon’s @open24, the store for bookworms, readers and writers.

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