Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Frozen Gothic

A few weeks ago, I penned a short ghost story for Christmas, inspired by Hesketh Park, a Victorian gem in Southport.

A Walk in the Park features a sinister frozen lake ... Since then, I've been fixated on frozen lakes, rivers, canals ... The weather has been chilly, and every time I'm out with the dogs, I take my camera, in the hope of catching some more Gothic versions of a winter wonderland.

Today, I was up at Guy's Cliffe Walled Garden where I've joined the volunteers helping to restore the kitchen garden. On the way back, I dropped by Guy's Cliffe House, which was a monochrome marvel. (I'm more familiar with the place in summer, for it inspired another book, The Lost Orchid.)

It looks as if the photos are in black and white, but they're not. The chilly winter sun bleached out all the colour. I've already plotted out a sequel to the short story - and I'm busy working on the sequel to The Lost Orchid. As I crunch along the frozen paths in Warwickshire, in my mind I'm tackling mad pteridomaniacs and naughty anarchists in the deepest Trossachs ...

A Walk in the Park has been downloaded hundreds of times. Thanks! Find it free on Smashwords.

  By Pamela Kelt

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Festive writing

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Here's a quick glimpse of how I 'pimped' my desk in Yuletide fashion. The blue LEDs are particularly good fun.

I might just have to keep these lights after the festive season.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Ice Trekker - cover success!

The dazzling cover design for my YA fantasy Ice Trekker is in the top 20 of 2014 indie children’s covers. A big thank you to my cover designer, Marion Sipes.

It's is wild adventure in the frozen wastes of  Krönagar ... Monsters, myths and mayhem.

So, what's the story all about?

Ice Trekker is a teen fantasy, set in a far-off land, inhabited by friendly Grells and their not-so-friendly rivals, the ruthless Minax.

But the Grells of Hinderland are facing a bleak future.

Supplies of Blackfrost, their one remaining fuel source, have run out. Food is scarce, jobs are hard to find and worse … the greedy Minax are poised to invade from the south.

For the sake of his family, young Midge leaves home and treks north to the frozen wastes of Krønagar, an uncharted land to the north, in search of work. Set upon by thieves, he ends up as dogsbody on the Ice Trekker, a small, shabby cargo vessel that runs into trouble from the start.

Despite evil omens in the sky, monsters from the deep, desperate sea battles, treachery on board and a constant war with the worsening weather, the plucky crew members press north …

But Midge soon discovers that the Ice Trekker is not what it seems. The crew has a secret mission to save the Grells – and Hinderland – from doom.

Trapped by ruthless Minax, he and the crew end up risking all in a desperate battle for survival as they take on a mysterious quest in the icy wastes of Krønagar.
A great YA Winter Solstice read, just £1.21 on Amazon.co.uk. It’s also on Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and itunes.

By Pamela Kelt

Friday, 19 December 2014

Focus on a Victorian gem

See the photos of the real Victorian 'haunt' that inspired the book, A Walk in the Park. Hesketh Park is a gem.

I've put a selection of photos on Pinterest. Some are my own, but there are some fascinating scenes from Southport archives.

The supernatural Christmas ghost story is free on Smashwords.

By Pamela Kelt

Friday, 12 December 2014

Book trailer ... A Walk in the Park

Making book videos is fun. This time I had original material, for the story is set in Hesketh Park.

I've spent many a happy hour walking there in the past.

The music is from the brilliant Teknoaxe website.

Hope you like it ...


Thursday, 11 December 2014

A Walk in the Park – a Christmas ghost story

I love Christmas ghost stories. That festive frisson that makes you appreciate what you have – thank you, Mr Dickens.

Many years ago, a colleague suggested that I write one.

Great idea, but I simply never found the time. Two decades later, however, I suddenly found I had a week to myself. My daughter was busy with exams and my husband was conferencing in Australia.

The perfect time – and it beat the heck of out redecorating the bathroom.

So, what should I write about? It struck me that I should come up with a theme that personally frightened the socks off me. It has be said that I’m simply not that suggestible, so whatever actually scared little sanguine old me would hopefully chill the bejeebers out of everyone else. A good working hypothesis.

As I walked the dogs I came up with an idea ... And I have to admit, it sent a few shivers down my spine.

The story is based on a delightful Victorian park in Southport, a small seaside resort where I grew up. Hesketh Park is a vintage gem, full of twisting paths, glasshouses, crumbling archways, an observatory, a bandstand (where I experienced my first kiss), laurels galore – and a lake.

I took inspiration from the master of the horror anecdote, Guy de Maupassant. We studied his writing at school when I was doing my A-levels, in another universe when I was 17 and had no idea what the future held. My personal favourite was Une Vendetta. I can still remember the last chilling line. Elle dormit bien, cette nuit-là. I’ve just looked it up to check and I had it word perfect. ‘She slept well that night.’ A widow on Corsica gets her revenge in the most gruesome way. Marvellous stuff. Perfect horror in 1600 words.

So, the first version was brutally short with a macabre cliffhanger to die for (as it were). But something niggled.

A writery colleague once admitted she couldn’t write short stories because they turned into novels. Now I understand. After some thought, I decided I wanted to know more about the characters and expanded the tale into a supernatural romance. It has since become a virtual mini-screenplay that has taken up my every waking moment, and some moments beyond.

It’s been quite an experience. But the past two nights, the wind has been howling around the eaves and the dogs have been restless. Sudden bangs and rattles in the night have erupted just as I’m dozing off, but when I stir, I can find no explanation. This, of course, has absolutely nothing to do with the spooky story and the malevolent being that I created just to see if I could frighten myself to bits.

Absolutely nothing at all.

A Walk in the Park

By Pamela Kelt

Free in digital on Smashwords, and available to read online on my blo - see the tab above.


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Dark thoughts

It struck me today that if I sliced the first two chapters of the latest work, I'd have a nifty little short story premise.

As I trundled through Crackley Wood on a crisp, winter's day, the rest of the story just popped into my head. It is bonkers, macabre and deliciously Gothic.

Working title? Monsters in the Museum, or some such. This is a clue, but I reckon you won't get it - I'm giving nothing away yet!

I've also come up with another idea - Death in the Peach House.

You've heard of locked room mysteries? This is a locked garden mystery. It was inspired by my latest venture - volunteering to help restore Guy's Cliffe Walled Garden, just outside Warwick.

While others were digging for Britain last week, I adjusted my hard hat and carried on with clearing out the broken glass and other rubbish from said peach house. I even found a peach stone! Will they plant it? I hope so.

By Pamela Kelt