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


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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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One Winter Morning.

Flash fiction from Electric Eclectic author, C.A. Keith

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The doughnuts sizzled as Kate lowered them into the fryer. This was her favourite time of the day. The quiet time before the door sprung open and those two angelic faces stared in at her.

She’d arose long before the sun peeked its head over the horizon. Cheery happy kids would bolt downstairs as soon as they smelled frying and heard the sizzling and crackling sound as Kate place the gooey dough balls into the fryer.

Today she would attempt Boston Cream with a chocolate topping. She spoilt her kids. They got tasty fresh doughnuts in their lunchboxes and another for breakfast before they made their way to school.

It wasn’t the healthiest of meals but money was tight and doughnuts were very filling. Kate also packed their lunch boxes with fresh veg and fruits to offset the sugary fattening dessert. A sort of culinary Ying and Yang. It might not work, but it made her feel a better parent.

The girls’ daddy left home a couple of years ago. It seemed he found more thrills with his young secretary than he did with his family. They flew away to get married on some sandy beach in the south. Now, with his two new kids, he didn’t attempt to see the angelic faces he left behind.

Kate picked up the thick syringe and squeezed the cream into the cooled doughnuts. Then she piped thick gobs of chocolate across the top of each one.

Two sweet faces stood at the counter. She hadn’t noticed them coming into the kitchen, their chins resting on the hard countertop, eyes wide, and smiling from ear to ear.

“Love you Mama,”  the youngest piped up.

Kate went to them and drew them close. She breathed in the love she held for her darling girls.

“Love you forever and ever sweet peas, never forget that.”

The door burst open and smashed against the counter.

Bang, bang, bang.

They never had a chance to run or hide. Their dead bodies simply slumped to the floor like a pack of rag dolls.

It was done. 

The masked man scurried back through the doorway, disappearing into the dullness of the early winter’s morning.


Find C A Keith’s books on Amazon, HERE

 

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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.

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

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The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold

The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold is a collection of short stories. This is the first story in the book. We hope your enjoy it.

Steps of a Killer

Hampstead Heath is beautiful in the early morning sunlight. The dew sparkled on the grass giving it a magical appeal. Where I stood, the ground was elevated and I could see the city. People were waking or heading off to work. It was just a normal day for them.
For a moment, I looked over at the trees and breathed deeply. I could feel her. Exhaling, I took another breath and my feet moved in her footsteps. Briefly, my eyes closed as I advanced. This was where she was, where she walked, stumbled, and broke into a run. Her feet became mine as I moved with her towards the trees.
I entered a pathway surrounded by trees and knew beyond a doubt this is where she was killed.
My heart thumped. My breath was jagged and the adrenaline surged through my veins as I entered a pathway surrounded by trees. Beyond a doubt I knew this was where she was killed.
A sob escaped me as I became her. I could him following behind. Moving quickly, I stumbled. My head whipped around and his shadow attacked me. Crying out, I threw my arms forward hoping to knock him away. Instead we rolled together on the ground. Me and a shadow from the past.
We came to a stop having hit an obstacle. A shaft of sunlight hit the trees and a beam of light illuminated his face.
Later, I sat alone in the Dandelion café sipping my drink and staring out of the window. The high street is full of shoppers. They carried their bulging bags and have no idea a killer could be amongst them. He probably looked like an average man on his way to do his business, to the pub for a drink, or to meet friends. They don’t know what he did. Or the life he took for his personal gratification.
My fingers worked the fabric in my hand, a bit of cloth that came from an evidence bag.
I felt the girl in my core. Her hopes and dreams for a future she will never have. Poor girl. Poor, poor, girl.
Coldness enveloped me and for a second everything went silent. I took a sharp intake of breath – he was already here.
My mind returned to the café and the surrounding people come back into focus. “Excuse me? Is anyone using this chair?” My blood ran cold. It was the face of the man I grappled with in the forest.
I shook my head, too stunned to speak. He moved the chair to a different table and joined an older man. They chatted as I stared at his profile.
His forehead jutted out a little and his hair was side parted, his nose sharp and long, and he had a slight double chin.
How can he sit there looking like any normal guy?
Pulling out my phone, I selected Seb’s name and listened to it ring. Seb was my brother and a police detective.
“Cassie,” he answered.
“I’ve got him,” I stated.
“What? Where?”
“Right here. I’m looking at him.” I was staring at the side of his head, unable to take my eyes from him, unable to fathom how normal he looked when he carried such a terrible secret. I suppose I expected him to look the monster he is.
“Where Cassie? Where are you?” Seb asked.
“The Dandelion café,” I told him. A place I could often be found.
“Okay, I’m on my way.” The phone went dead. He had a habit of doing that.
The man’s companion got up, “Thanks for the coffee.” My eyes burned into the side of the killer’s head. He glanced around as he raised the cup to his mouth.
My blood boiled. How dare he just sit there and act normally. He probably thinks s no one knows what he’d done but he was wrong. I knew. I couldn’t help myself as I stood and moved over to his table to sat in the empty seat. He looked surprised amd I didn’t speak. The words were bubbling inside but I couldn’t bring myself to ytter them.
“Can I help you?” he asked sounding like a regular guy. Normal voice open expression, friendly even.
Seb would to be annoyed. He says I’m a loose cannon and unable to contain my feelings. He’s probably right. I shouldn’t be taking risks and often unable to help myself.
“I know,” I said quietly.
He stared at me, then said, “I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.”
I wanted to throw the fabric I still clutched at him, asking if he remembered it. Because of where it came from, I couldn’t.
“Yes, you do.” I spoke calmly. I can see it in your eyes.”
He continued to stare, and I could hear the sound of his breath. “I think you’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
“No, I haven’t. I know who you are, or rather what you are.”
His Adam’s apple bobbed. “And what’s that?”
I looked around. “Do you want me to say it out loud?”
He leaned forward and I flinched as my back pressed into the chair. In a whisper, he said, “You’re crazy, I don’t know you.”
As his breath washed over me, I suddenly realised she wasn’t the first one he’d killed.
The shock of his evil breath made me rise to my feet. I knewe then I shouldn’t confronted him. He stood up too, scraping his chair on the floor.
Glancing out of the window I urged Seb to hurry. The man gave me a hard stare and strode out the door.
Damn! I rushed after him while putting the phone to my ear pressing redial.
Seb’s voice came through and I heard he was on hands-free. His blues and twos echoed down the phone and in the distance, as he approached.
“Can you still see him?” he asked after I explained.
“No, he’s gone. Where are you?”
“Two minutes. I’ll be two minutes. Stay there,” he said urgently before hanging up.
Moving away from the doorway, I looked up and down the high street, stopping sideways to look at the reflections in the shop window hoping to spot him.
I could feel his presence.
Spinning around, he was suddenly right behind me. Something sharp pressed against my skin.
“Keep walking,” he commanded. His touch consumed me. My psyche flooded and I saw everything he had done. How those poor girls suffered! I couldn’t do anything except walk with him. I knew beyond a doubt he would plunge the knife without conscience and disappear into the crowd before I even hit the floor.
Where the hell was Seb?
He walked me into an alleyway, and out of sight behind a large dustbin.
Seb! The sirens approached.
The blade was against my throat and his other hand was pulling at my skirt and underwear.
“How did you know?” His fetid breath covered my face.
“I know everything,” I told him as the blade broke my skin. I panicked.
“You know nothing!” he hissed.
“I know if you don’t let go, that man over there will kill you,” playing my trump card at last.
He laughed, but he still checked. Seb came skidding over, grabbing him by the neck of his jacket. He threw him to the floor. With a knee in his back, Seb cuffed him.
“Are you all right?” he asked staring hard at me.
I pushed my clothes back into position and wiped the trickle of blood from my neck, Seb yelled at me again.
“Yes!” I retorted. He turned away and spoke into his radio.
People gathered, wondering what was going on. They shouted in our direction, aiming their phones. I tried to keep my face hidden. Seb yelled at them to stay back.
The man, the killer, struggled on the ground trying to break loose. Seb had trouble holding on to him. I couldn’t do anything to help as the guy swung round and pulling Seb with him. More sirens got louder as Seb fought to keep a hold on him.
Relief flooded through me as cops spilled into the alleyway. As soon as they relieved Seb of his prisoner, he strode towards me.
“You bloody fool!” he said moving my hand towards my neck and shook his head. “Get that looked at. God, Cass, what the hell were you thinking?”
“I’m sorry,” I said, feeling shaken.
The killer threw us a strange look as they carted him off. My brother, Seb, and I are used to those looks. People often look at us strangely because we look so alike.
“At least you’ve got him,” I said. as we walked back up to the road.
“Have to link him with the crime yet.”
“Him attacking me will give you time to do that.”
“Don’t tell me my job,” he snapped, and I knew I wasn’t off the hook yet. He rarely stayed mad for long.
An ambulance pulled up and I was glad to get inside, away from the curious eyes and stares. It is just a scratch and a plaster was all that was needed.
Seb drove me home and I took the tongue-lashing, as was par for the course. You see, Seb and I are twins, almost identical. Opposite genders can’t be identical and we aren’t, but we’re as much alike that as a brother and sister can be. People always look at us twice.
Seb was a seeker, which means he always finds what he’s looking for, especially when it’s me. He can zone in on where I am, so I never get lost. Seb has no psychic power, but together we work well as a team.
Want to read more?
The Adventures of Cassidy Newbold is free to download from most booksellers.
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Behind the Paint

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Behind the paint, a ‘flash reality’ from Paul White.

Hands behind her back, the zipper hisses as a snake disturbed. Black gown slithering to the floor; a crumpled heap of diamantes and silk.

No more the filaments of fabric obscuring flesh blemished from the harshness of years.

Sitting at her dresser she stares into the mirror.

Lies.

Green flecked eyes reflecting paradoxical enigmas; Alice looking through the glass.

A thousand personas. Fractured self-refracted by perception. Splintered shards of being, gathered within feeble parchment.

Each is distinct; each is separate yet conjoined.

She wipes away the waxen red of her lips. Fullness fading; now smudges of sallow cracked pink, pastel shadows echo a thousand falsehoods spoken.

Fake eyelashes flutter, black spiders spiralling earthwards. Dead expectations. Used. Discarded.

Cotton wool pads smear shimmering sparkles of promises lost away from tired eyes.

Colours of dreams imagined, merge into streaks of disarray as hope and prospect mingle, as indistinct as soft falsehoods once whispered with bated breath.

Cleanser washes the city dirt, the dry cream and cracking powder from skin too long expose to fret and frown. Crow’s feet creep, long tendrils reaching out towards throbbing temples of greying hair.

Solitaire earrings, diamonds of love, earlier given, long past. Another life, still worn in optimistic anticipation that futures destiny may yet smile once more, gently set upon the shelf, a symbol of remembrance and hope alike.

Both to be cherished.

Now naked faced, laid bare, open, soul exposed. Shadows of age, ravages of time, wisps of days past disclosed. The harsh light revealing honesty.

Nothing now hidden, concealed, camouflaged.

Life exposed, fortitude eternal.

© Paul White 2015


Find Paul’s Electric Eclectic books on @open24  by Amazon

Visit Electric Eclectic’s blog, https://electriceclecticsblog.wordpress.com/

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A river, a walk & a Blue Horse.

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Often people ask how writers find the ideas for stories.

The answer is not a difficult one; it only takes a few overheard words from a conversation, a comment, an image on the news, hearing a song’s lyric or even watching the antics of people interacting, say with children, or arguing; perhaps meeting, or saying goodbye, at a railway station or airport.

Such moments stimulate the writer, wake up their ‘muse’, cause a string of possibilities run amok, often uncontrollably, through the author’s mind. Thus, sowing of the seeds of literary creativity.

This morning, I returned to the river to take further photographs. This time from the opposite side of the bridge from where I took the shots from two days ago. A short walk from where I parked my car, I came across a child’s rocking horse washed onto the shore.

This bright blue plastic object looked incongruous in such stark, open, natural surroundings. To me, the rocking horse appeared sad and forlorn, rather than bright and joyful as I imagined it should. I could not help myself but capture an image or two of the toy.

As I took the pictures my mind began racing, conjuring up a thousand and one possibilities of why, where and how the horse became washed up here. About whom owned it, the family, the child, the situation which led to the toy being lost or disposed of. Was it to hide a secret, as a punishment, cover up a crime, or lost in a storm, washed overboard from a family sailing trip that turned to disaster?

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I intend to write my story of this little blue rocking horse at some point in the future.

Maybe you will take up my challenge and write your own story?

Then, please share it with us so we can post it on the Electric Eclectic blog? https://electriceclecticsblog.wordpress.com/

Email your ‘Blue Rocking Horse story’ to, TheElectricpress@mail.com

Have fun.


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Check out ‘Tales of Crime and Violence’, a three-volume collection of short stories by Paul White.

Available as paperbacks or Electric Eclectic eBooks/Kindle on Amazon and all good online bookstores

Volume 1:  Paperback Kindle

Volume 2:  PaperbackKindle

Volume 3:  Paperback Kindle