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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My Poem for Valentine’s Day

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It depends on which cards land, ‘cos the devils in the deal,

The King and Queen of Hearts are what you wish to feel,

So, pick them up, fan them out, take a look and see,

There’s the Jack of Clubs, his grinning back with glee,

And sitting just behind him is the ace of spades, bad luck,

Like the hand life’s dealt you; they don’t give a flying fuck.

 

The King and Queen will only be in your nightly dreams

And the Heart you so desire is much father than it seems.

“I’ll raise you ten,” he says, with an evil sneer,

You want to tear his face off, rip it from ear to ear,

Your watch your last silver dollar as it rattles into the pot

That’s it, your all up, it’s the last you’ve got.

 

Just one slender chance, you willingly embrace

Because nothing can now fill what is an empty space.

And nothing will leave you just about level,

Until you sell your vacant soul to Beelzebub the Devil.

You lose again, just like every fucking day,

So get up from the table, again you walk away.

 

Tomorrow is Valentines, a day of true romance,

When lovers reveal their passions, hoping for a chance.

Where wine and chocolates and bouquets of red flowers bloom,

And a thousand pairs of feet scuttle off to some hotel bedroom.

Where the lost and lonely sit and weep, in darkened empty homes

And stare at the blank glass screens of their silent mobile phones.

 

Where your life’s gambles lay in ruins upon the green baize

And those who’ve lost wander the streets in a lonesome daze.

When love is some distant recall which is hard to find,

Something fleeting, passing, just escaping your mind,

Where the fallen Jack of Hearts lays upon the floor

With one arm raised, finger-pointing, showing you the door.

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© Paul White 2015

Hey, why not check out ‘Teardrops and White Doves’ a collection of my poetry. Available in a fully illustrated, full colour, Hardcover book direct from my printers, or as a standard Paperback from Amazon

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FREE books…

Did you know…

We have three Electric Eclectic anthologies you can read FREE of charge.

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We published this trio of ebooks to give you an opportunity to read some of our authors works, so you can get to know their writing style and narrative voice, before committing to buy their books.

We think that’s pretty fair.

The books are, Moth Balls which has five stories, Butterfly Bats with six, and Mayfly Recitals, with a massive twelve free reads.

You can find these books in the UK at Amazon UK 

In the USA, and other countries serviced by Amazon.com

The following are direct links for downloading, but these only work with Amazon UK. Use the links above for any other country

Moth Balls.                 Mayfly Recitals,               Butterfly Bats,  

Whichever links you use, you will get ebooks packed with various genres and styles to enjoy and all for FREE.

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Creepy Things

by Karen J Mossman

I‘m not a fan of horror or paranormal. I get spooked easily and have a very active imagination. As I teenager I would be plagued by nightmares for weeks. As I grew up I knew to stay away from anything like that. Recently, I was watching Gogglebox, a TV programme that features people watching television, their reactions and discussions. It showed them watching The Haunting of Hill House. It was terrifying and I only saw bits of it!

There are lots of scary and horror books on the market, and plenty of people who love a good horror film. Why would a perfectly sensible and normal human being enjoy being scared? If that’s you, perhaps you could comment below and tell me what it does for you. I would really like to know!

I once wrote a story called Embers of Webster Street and it was about a girl dealing with her mum who suffers from dementia. It’s heart-breaking seeing someone you love forgetting things, and not recognising you.

My Nana showed signs of it for years before we recognised what was happening. We thought she was just a bit batty. Because Nana was always a little eccentric, forever the joker, and kept us entertained with her antics. I remember the turning point when we finally knew something had changed. She was getting out of the car one day, and struggled, stumbling a little. We laughed, as we normally did, and instead of making a joke about it, she asked if we were laughing at her.

My Auntie Mavis took her in when she could no longer care for herself. She looked after her for years and it became more and more difficult. Being a carer is very much in the media spotlight now but back in the eighties, we didn’t understand what it really meant and all that Mavis did. Occasionally stories came back through mum after her phone calls to her sister. Nana had blurted out swear words or refused to get dressed.  It was a very difficult time. Eventually Mavis had no choice but to let her go into hospital and by this time Nana had stopped talking altogether.

My sister and I went to visit. She was no longer the Nana we knew. She was just a shell of a person. She had no idea who we were, and I don’t think she knew where she was either. It was the strangest thing because although she looked like Nana, she had the same face and body, the Nana who was funny, who never stopped talking, and yet the woman in front of us stared at us with blank eyes. It was heart-breaking, it really was.

I wrote a story called Embers of Webster Street, dementia was the main topic.  Only, something happened as I was writing, my pen took on a life of its own. It was supposed to tell the story of Jen, who felt tremendous guilt having to put her mum in a home. Instead it introduced the ghosts of all the people who had lived in the family home before them. It brought in a twin twin sister with problems of her own.  Their mum could never accept that her daughter saw things and was was the undoing of her.

This turned out to be the first of paranormal stories that I suddenly found I loved writing.

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It features in The Magic of Stories is a collection of short stories, articles, poetry, flash fiction, and shorts.

I found my pen wandered in all sorts of directions as I wrote, and this book turned into an eclectic collection of different genres. Like Embers of Webster Street, many of the stories were taken from real life situations.

You know the saying you shouldn’t tell a writer your secrets? Well, I used something my sister told me. When I showed it her she loved it saying she hadn’t expected me to turn a serious situation into something very humorous story!

One more thing, before I sign off. There is a another short story book offered for free by author Karina Kantas, should you choose to buy this book. You will find the details in the introduction. Two for the price of one!

Happy reading!

Link to book

MoS Ian
One of the fun poems featured in The Magic of Stories