I’ve been reading Stephen King as long as I can remember. From his very first story to his very last, and enjoyed ever single one. His last book, The Outsider, may have been my favorite. I say that and then I remember the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, and Dr. Sleep. Oh and then there are his novellas. His writing changed to suit the era, but I was drawn into every single book. When I read Stephen King I don’t open a book, I reconnect with old friends.
Why am I telling you this? Because I’ve been quiet for a while! My brain has been active though, and now, its ready to go. I’m writing for 1984, the era, the style, the times. My Dead of July sequel is progressing. You can’t rush, or force a good story. It needs to flow naturally. I want my readers to put it down, take a deep breath and think about me. I’m not Stephen King, I’m Sandra Thompson, but I want folks to remember what I’ve written, from Dead of July to….wherever it ends.
Stephen King, you had me at Carrie!
I suppose as a newbie writer, I have to take the good with the bad and learn from them. Bravely I post snippets of my first reviews.
Guy at the Bar
CreateSpace, 59 pages, (paperback) $9.99, 978-146-1038474 (Reviewed: May, 201l)
The suspense begins on page two of this novella-style mystery story as Sheila is being followed from an English pub by a menacing character she met at the bar. She dashes through her small country village on the banks of the river Swale and successfully escapes, only to learn the next day that the man, identified as Guy Davies, was found dead. That evening, Sheila starts to have night visions of the man, who tells her he’s not dead yet. His young widow is equally confused by what has happened, and the balance of the book explores the possibility that Guy’s twin, Gareth, is somehow involved with the man’s untimely demise. The twins’ mother claimed that Gareth, who would “have episodes” as a child, had disappeared some 15 years earlier at the beach in Scarborough while the family was vacationing. The police never found him, and it was presumed that he had drowned.
Girl on the Beach
CreateSpace, 74 pages, (paperback) $14.99, 9781456568900 Reviewed: June, 2011
In Girl on the Beach, Sandra Thompson has the makings of an eerie yet compelling tale of a little girl’s terrifying secret premonition.
Set in the summer of 1964, the novella opens on the final day of a beach holiday on the coast of England and is told in the voice of 7-year-old Sheila. This device is only partly successful. While the musings and ramblings of the little girl during the fateful few days could have been effective to better understand her confusion, here they become tiresome as readers wade through exhaustive detail to discern what is relevant to the story and what is not.
On the whole, Girl on the Beach is a near miss. It opens strong and pulls readers into what feels like an episode of Twilight Zone with evocative writing and good foreshadowing. As Sheila waits for ice cream, the sky goes dark, and a fireball crashes into the ocean. Chaos and sirens surround her, and she cannot find her mother. Somber people walk out of the water and begin to file past. At first, she thinks they are survivors but then fearfully wonders if they are actually dead. Then, just as suddenly as the horrifying scene appears, it vanishes and all in as before. The adults dismiss her story as sunstroke, but a sense of foreboding has been established and the stage is set.
For sale at last
Remember this story? Some of you may have read the unedited version a chapter at a time on my blog! Now, at last it is for sale.
You can buy it on ‘Smashwords‘ by clicking on the photo above.
I will add the link to my website too. It is currently available in several different formats for ebooks. Paperback version to follow soon!