Guest Blog Post – Thomas Taylor

As promised, a guest blog post from Thomas Taylor, whose new book is launched at Heffers Book Shop in Cambridge today, 24th May 2012…

“Eddie, Adam and David have the same gift. Using their dreams they can travel in time, appearing as ghosts wherever and whenever they want. But each of them wants something different…

Eddie, the genius who discovers dreamwalking, is sworn to protect the course of history. Adam wants to use terror to change it for his own ends. And David, the novice dreamwalker who is linked to them both, must find a way to keep them apart – and save the future of the world…”

When Penny invited me to write a guest post, the first thing I wondered was how on earth I was going to link my Young Adult supernatural thriller with needle-felting and those delightful crocheted mice! Writers are supposed to be able to accomplish anything with words, right? But, er…

Well, I’ve decided I’m not even going to try to link what I do with what she does, but the reason for that isn’t creative cowardice on my part. The reason is simply that the real link lies in who we are: mother and son.

I have been thinking about ghosts since childhood, mostly because I was terrified of them. So scared, in fact, that I honestly thought I saw them as a boy. Of course, I realise now that I never did – well, probably never did, anyway – but I have spent a lot of time wondering what they may be if they do exist. And I’m sure Penny (hello, mum!) can remember how wound-up I got about it all! Over-active imaginations are never easy to live with, and I doubt she’s surprised that a haunted childhood has resulted in a book called Haunters. Certainly, I won’t deny that this book may also be a way to deal with all that childhood fear, especially now I have become a parent myself. And perhaps that’s why, in the book, only children can dreamwalk. In any case, what if ghosts aren’t something to be scared of at all, but something to be really excited about? I’d much rather that! I certainly wish my terrified, 12-year-old self could have read a book like this.

So Haunters is dedicated to Penny, for all these reasons. But also for…

…making sure there were always books around when I was little; for teaching me to love stories, and – when reading didn’t come naturally – for showing me not be afraid of words; for pointing out that behind the sofa was the best place to hide when Dr Who got scary, and then hiding there with me; for fabulating birthday cakes that made the other kids go ‘WOW!’; for never laughing at my early artistic ambitions, even though they were often laughable; for being amazing when nothing else seemed to be; for tolerating teenage fury and adolescent gloom and not biting back; for — along with her husband, Tim — providing me with the means, both moral and financial, to get through art school; for reinventing herself whilst never changing toward me; for passing on some of the magic to my own children; for leaving room behind the sofa even now.

Mum, thank you for all that, and for so much more. And thank you for letting my spooky book onto your blog!

I feel much better now. Honest…

But how about you, dear reader? Would you like to win a signed copy of Haunters? Simply leave a comment here to be entered into a draw on the 1st of June. Add a scary ‘hiding behind the sofa’ anecdote to your comment, and get yourself entered twice. Good luck! And good reading….

Thank you, Thomas… I’m off to find the tissues….

Edited to Add:  Thanks so much for all the lovely comments – we’ve had so much fun reading them and some great trips down memory lane with your ‘behind the sofa moments’!   It was quite difficult to choose between them, but in the end it was KateUK‘s Aunty Betty who won through, making us snort with laughter with this story…

“The whole family used to hide behind the sofa when Aunty Betty came up the drive – not just us, my Aunt, Uncle and cousins would do it too at their house. If her car was spotted everyone just dropped like stones behind the nearest piece of large furniture until she went away. She was the sort of lady who, if the doorbell wasn’t answered, would peer in through windows, so we became REALLY good at hiding. Daleks? Pah! Small fry.”

 Anyway, anyone with a scary relative like that in their childhood deserves to win a prize!  

Thank you to all who took part, I’m sorry you couldn’t all win a copy of the book, but it should be available in most good bookshops or of course, Amazon.  (If your local bookshop doesn’t have a copy by the way, order it and create a demand! This is the pushy mother speaking here!) 

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24 thoughts on “Guest Blog Post – Thomas Taylor

  1. mary i

    You sound like a great writer,and a good read also. The way you put words to your feelings about you mom bought tears to my eyes and a big smile. Moms that read and pass it on are the best and more. Please enter me. I have no scareys at the moment..

  2. Mrs. Micawber

    Shall we be seeing some needlefelted ghost mice? Or a new white yarn (Ghost Blossom) added to the PPCC pack? 🙂

    One of the great terrors of my childhood was the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz film (which, in those days, was aired once a year on television). A sofa was no protection from her green evilness; I had to leave the room whenever she came on. I must have been ten or eleven before I could sit through the entire movie.

    Congratulations to you both, Penny and Thomas, on all you’ve accomplished.

  3. knutty knitter

    I think the only thing I was ever really scared by was a tv show called Fireball xl5 (early Gerry Anderson). At the same time I couldn’t not watch it even in fuzzy black and white. I sat on a wasp on one occasion because I neglected to look where I was sitting. I was wearing shorts at the time. I think I was about 6 (circa 1964). That was the only episode I didn’t get to finish watching.

    Very painful!!!

    viv in nz

  4. Helen

    What a great post, Mum’s are fabulous aren’t they! I have to admit to a couple of things that used to frighten me as a child, one was a particular episode of Dr Who which had a scaly hand that walked(?) around minus a body. That one gave me nightmares. And then when I was in my late teens I scared myself silly doing a major piece of writing for English which was all about vampires. We had an outside toilet at the time and I couldn’t walk to the toilet at night for a good six months, I had to run! 🙂
    xXx Helen

  5. Maryom

    I don’t recall being frightened by Fireball XL5 but the green scaly underwater people in Stingray really freaked me out. I was older when I started watched Dr Who and considered the daleks rather cool. I remember rushing round the school playground, one arm out in front, chanting “I am a dalek. I will exterminate you” – it probably wouldn’t be allowed now.

    I just want to add how delighted I am to find this blog through Thomas on FB – signing up as a follower.

  6. Jane

    Sounds like my sort of book! I love Time Travel stories.

    I used to love scary stories and I was 15 when Dr Who started but my younger daughter used to get so scared even behind the sofa wasn’t enough and now although she is grown-up with children of her own her husband vets Dr Who episodes (and some other programmes) to see if they are suitable!

  7. melissa

    awww man! what a great tribute from a loving son! My youngest is graduating from high school tomorrow, and he said “mom, I could not have done this without you”. Made me cry too. *so…proud*

  8. Toffeeapple

    That made me all teary eyed too! Good luck with your book Thomas, I hope it is mightily successful.

  9. Ann Wright

    I can remember being scared by some Dr Who episodes though I can’t get behind our sofa to hide – I’d have a cushion on my lap to hide my eyes in when needed.
    Dr Who I can cope with now but there are many movies I leave the room for.

    Congrats on the book, Thomas. Sounds great, very intriguing.

  10. VirtualLintu

    I’d love to win a copy of your book – it sounds an exciting read ….
    You may not be old enough to remember Ghost Watch which was on BBC1 at least 15 years ago (I think) which completely and utterly terrified me – even towards the end when I realised it was a ‘drama’. I rang the BBC to complain (winces and laughs).

  11. kateuk

    The whole family used to hide behind the sofa when Aunty Betty came up the drive- not just us, my Aunt, Uncle and cousins would do it too at their house. If her car was spotted everyone just dropped like stones behind the nearest piece of large furniture until she went away. She was the sort of lady who, if the doorbell wasn’t answered, would peer in through windows, so we became REALLY good at hiding. Daleks? Pah! Small fry.

  12. Cazzie

    Love the sound of your book – will definitely consider buying it for my two children (and then I can read it too)

  13. cazzie

    I forgot to add a ‘scary behind the sofa’ comment – I too like others was scared of doctor who – it was the ‘giant spider’ one that I was really scared of – still hate spiders.

    A generation on – it was my daughter with the new doctor whos and the bin that ‘ate’ Ricky in the first one of the more recent series.

    My son cant get enough Doctor Who :0)

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  15. tammy algiere

    WOW! The book sounds great and so does your mum! Your a true tribute to her. Im sure she is extremely proud of you and probably misses those nights of hiding behind the couch! I hid under my bed covers. I didnt have a mum like yours and spent numerous nights awake and petrified after waking from a bad dream until I fell back asleep. Anyways…the books sounds really good and Id love to read it. Im curious as to why Eddie has to keep David and Adam apart.

  16. Lorraine

    I’d love to read the book, you’re a great credit to your mum. I think its lovely you have so much respect for her.
    As a child I couldn’t watch “Tales of the Unexpected” , even now the theme tune makes my skin crawl. I even had nightmares about the movie “The Fly” the when I re-watched it at a later age I felt silly for being so scared lol!

  17. Hilary

    Doh! Only just read this post and can sort of empathise here. I think because there were that many WW11 films on the tv back in the day I had a recurring dream of the Nazi’s marching down our road! I always analyse as I dream and so the dream revolved around the terror of the approaching army and how to escape them. The bathroom window seemed the only escape route but even that was scary. So it was a revolving terrifying dream of ghosts, I guess, relentlessly descending upon us and the, still to this day, unresolved panic about finding a safe escape route. Barmy!
    Off toot sweet to my LBS for a copy for Nathan. Thanks Thomas!x

  18. Thomas

    Thanks for all the great comments and good wishes, and congratulations to Kate UK and her Aunty Betty:-)

    I have your address now, Kate, and I’ll send a copy to you as soon as I receive some more.


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