Author Archives: tthurai

Bulls, Bears, Tippling and Lewder Places: The Thames Frost Fair of 1684

Over a period of 250 years, the River Thames froze so hard that its icy expanse provided the venue for a special festival: the Frost Fair. The reason for the big freeze was a combination of exceptionally hard winters and … Continue reading

Posted in 17th century, Diarists, Frost Fair, History, John Evelyn, London, London Bridge, Pepys, River Thames, Royal Society, Sayes Court, Southwark | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 Creepy Choices for a Rattling Good Read (+ 4 great films)

While not all the books on my top 10 Creepy Choices are ghost stories,  I think you’ll agree that they all deliver a certain frisson. For good measure, I’ve also added four films that never cease to get my heart racing, … Continue reading

Posted in Angela Carter, Books, Charles Dickens, Donna Tartt, Fiction, ghost stories, Halloween, Henry James, John Wyndham, M. R. James, M.R. James, Mary Shelley, Myth, Peter Ackroyd, Seamus Heaney, Short stories, Susan Hill, Vampires | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Vampires, Witches, Myths and Magical Realism

For readers and writers of supernatural stories who are weary of the well-trodden themes of the genre, research can provide new material and a fresh approach. It will help you to understand how some of the common elements of supernatural … Continue reading

Posted in Angela Carter, Daniel Defoe, Eleanor of Cobham, Fiction, ghost stories, Grease Devils, Halloween, Henry IV, Henry V, History, Italy, Jack the Ripper, Law, Leeds Castle, Magic, Magical Realism, Myth, Plague, Plantagenets, Spring-Heeled Jack, Sri Lanka, The Devil Dancers, Travel, Vampires, Venice, Witches | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Raid on the Medway: an eyewitness account

While most of us are familiar with stories of the Plague (1665) and the Great Fire of London (1666), few are acquainted with the third catastrophe that hit England in 1667. On 9 June, the Dutch fleet led by the … Continue reading

Posted in Charles II, History, John Evelyn, Kent, Medway, Raid on the Medway, Thames, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inspiration and Writers’ Block: Fact or Fallacy?

The tags ‘inspiration’ and ‘writers’ block’ strike terror into the hearts of writers. However, it is possible to debunk these myths with a little common sense. It is a fallacy that you sit around waiting for inspiration. If we all … Continue reading

Posted in Editing, Fiction, writing, Writing Advice, Writing Tips | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Makes a Great Ghost Story? 10 Tips for a Rattling Good Read

Introducing the story: Ghost stories often begin as a fireside entertainment, usually in winter at Christmas or New Year. The narrator is sometimes reluctant to tell his/her story because it is not mere light-hearted entertainment, but the account of a … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Charles Dickens, ghost stories, Halloween, Henry James, M.R. James, Susan Hill, Writing Tips | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Leeds Castle: the tragic romance of a medieval duchess

Leeds Castle has been linked with a number of royal love-affairs, most notably that of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. But there is another tale – less well-known, but equally poignant. The marriage of Henry V’s brother, Duke Humphrey of … Continue reading

Posted in Castles, Eleanor of Cobham, Henry V, Henry VI, History, Kent, Leeds Castle, Plantagenets, Shakespeare, Wars of the Roses, Witches | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment