Friday, 30 December 2011

PAT NEWCOMBE, Thriller Writer's blog, (aka writing saved my life): The Last Post!

PAT NEWCOMBE, Thriller Writer's blog, (aka writing saved my life): The Last Post!: So - here we are - at the end of another sometimes great and sometimes not so great year! And this will be my last blog post of 2011! I want...

The Last Post!

So - here we are - at the end of another sometimes great and sometimes not so great year! And this will be my last blog post of 2011! I want to thank everyone who has followed me, read and commented on my thoughts and ruminations - and occasional ranty bits - and also to say how much I have enjoyed my first year of blogging. Reading all the other blogs I suscribe to has been an education and I can now state I am officially hooked on blogging! I hope my followers will continue to read my musings in 2012 as I develop my blog further...
However, I will say to all and sundry, that I intend to keep my postings relatively short as I know how precious time is to all of us. One of my bug bears in 2011 was trying to keep up with blogs I have said I would follow, only to discover that some wrote such long missives that I could not devote the time reading to the end! I hated this as the blogger concerned had probably worked long and hard on their post... But time is precious when you have a million things to do and WIP demanding time and attention.
May I make a plea to all bloggers - KISS - 'keep it simple and short'??? I, for one, will then come back frequently...
So grumps done - bring on 2012 and let the blogging world rock and roll!

Happy New Year to all fellow Bloggers!

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Best Lie Ever told to Children!

The best lie ever...
The origins of Santa and the stories surrounding Christmas are buried beneath layers of popular cultural belief. I am, of course, for the moment, putting aside the religious meanings of Christmas – it’s not that I am anti Christian or anything, simply that the notion of telling children the story of Santa and his reindeer has got to be one of the greatest and most enduring stories of all time ( next to the bible and religious teachings). It is also the biggest lie that parents happily enthral their children with.
I mean, when you think about it the image of a big fat man in a bright red suit sliding down your chimney (breaking into your house), eating your food and drinking your wine and then going into a child’s bedroom when they are asleep, ought to be pretty scary for most children. But, hey, it’s okay for this intruder because he’s bringing a sack full of presents! Right!
It just struck me that in other circumstances you could possible write a reasonable paranormal thriller story around the notion of this superman character who can get his reindeer to pull a sledge around the heavens and visit every child in the world in the space of just one night!
But hey, who am I to spoil the kiddies’ fun? I believed it myself for a fair few years… And enduring and endearing it still is – especially when you watch their little faces light up with the wonder and the thrill of it all because they’ve listened hard on Christmas Eve and heard the sleighbells…
A very Merry Christmas to one and all and here’s hoping we all have a peaceful 2012!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Inspiration From a Master

Every now and then I am reminded why I love reading so much and why I still aspire to being a better writer than I am!
One of my all time favourite horror writers is Stephen King and I am sure there is not a single person who loves books who has not at least heard of him. Dennis Wheatly before him and then Mr. King were the two authors (in my misspent youth) responsible for my fascination with tales of the supernatural and paranormal. Later I also became a huge fan of many of Dean Koontz’s books too. Ah, but that was when I was younger and more impressionable…
No, wait, I am still impressionable if the right kind of story comes along!
The reason I am reminiscing about my early sojourns with Stephen King and horror writing is that I am at present reading his latest offering. And what a delight it is too. I have to admit that one or two of his books over the last few years have been rather too rambling for me and did wonder if this would be the same. But, no – this is King at his best! The main thing for me is the absolute attention to detail and the quirky bits of imagery that transport the reader back to an age that has long since gone. I was around in the late fifties and sixties but only as a child so the detail has me totally hooked.  For those not familiar with this book it is all about time travel and changing the course of history. Fascinating stuff, anyway, but Mr King handles it so well… But then he would – he has many years of successful writing under his belt and the largest number of best sellers so he should know what he is talking about.
I only wish I could write the same!!
Oh well, onwards and upwards!
Who do you aspire to as a writer?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A ghostly Christmas...

Bah Humbug!
Christmas is almost upon us and the frenzy of shopping and socialising is building day to day like a good, page turning, suspense novel!
But before I get into my post proper I need to apologise for my ‘no show’. My blog has been on hold for the last two weeks because I have been away on holiday and not within reach of a decent internet connection. BUT now I’m back - so it’s full steam ahead from here on in!
So, back to a Christmas Carol, of sorts…
At this time of year I always enjoy reading (or watching an adaptation) of Dickens Christmas Carol. As ghost stories go, it’s got to be THE classic. I often wonder if writers like Dickens ever had any idea just how time-honoured their writing would become. Every school child has heard of the story and most have watched a version of it on TV. If you ask people who Bob Cratchett was, I think most would associate the name as synonymous with a poor working class family man who was bullied mercilessly by his penny-pinching employer. And the word ‘scrooge’ (from Ebenezer Scrooge) came into common parlance after Dickens wrote his story. The word has come to be used to describe someone who is mean and miserly.
The story is of course a morality tale and Dickens meant it as such. But the scenes with the ghosts must have been pretty scary to readers and listeners of the day and even today it ranks with many as an all time favourite and goes with Christmas tide nicely as we should all be more aware of those less fortunate than ourselves. I know it made a lasting impression on me when I first heard it as a child and alongside believing in Santa Claus, I also believed in the ghosts of Dickens tale.
Since Dickens’s time many have tried to write similar stories but none, in my opinion, come close to capturing the sense of fear about the hereafter that “A Christmas Carol” did.
Happy Christmas and happy writing everyone!
Do you have a favourite Christmas story?