Tales that Witness Madness Blog: The Watchers, Denzel Washington and A Christmas Carol

23rd December, 2021

So, Christmas is nearly here again and I tell you what, the older you get, the quicker it comes and goes. Anyway, If you’re still looking for a few gift ideas then I’ve got one for all you avid readers out there.

Last month I was gifted the book The Watchers (written by A.M. Shine) for my birthday. Now, first things first – I am really picky when it comes to reading new books I’ve not heard about. Most of the books I’ve read this year are ones that I’ve read before. And usually when I buy a book that I’m not familiar with it’s because I’ve spent a bit of time reading it in the book store prior to my purchase.

Now, I am not a book nerd – I don’t really know who’s trending in the book world, I don’t follow a lot of news about new writers etc. so that’s not to say that The Watchers was an unknown book. It was just unknown to me, is all.

When I was gifted the book there was a slight trepidation, but I liked the title and the fact that it was horror really got me stoked. The Horror genre is a very difficult genre to break into as a new writer. A literary agent told me on Twitter that it is not a popular genre for publishers or agents (unless you’re already established, like Stephen King) as it was oversaturated in the ’80s.

Every other genre apart from Horror is welcomed by the establishment. In a way he’s right, because every time I go to Waterstones and look at the Horror section it’s usually the same books by the same writers. Most of those shelves are filled with Stephen King’s entire catalogue, and there’s very few, if any, new additions that I haven’t seen before.

Now, I’m not going to spoil The Watchers for anyone here. I’ll give you the blurb from the sleeve and hopefully it’ll peak your interest. Let’s just say that I read it in about four days (which is fast for me) and it’s one of the best books I’ve read in years.

If you like dark, eerie stories set in the woods then THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU! I really loved it. Each chapter was gripping and kept me hooked for more. I learnt a lot from it in terms of pacing, plot and the way it stretches the suspense. I bookmarked a lot of pages for reference, for my own writing. It would not surprise me if it’s made into a film sometime soon.

Blurb from The Watchers:

You can’t see them. But they can see you.

This forest isn’t charted on any map. Every car breaks down at its treeline. Mina’s is no different. Left stranded, she is forced into the dark woodland only to find a woman shouting, urging Mina to run to a concrete bunker. As the door slams behind her, the building is besieged by screams.

Mina finds herself in a room with a wall of glass, and an electric light that activates at nightfall, when the Watchers come above ground. These creatures emerge to observe their captive humans and terrible things happen to anyone who doesn’t reach the bunker in time.

Afraid and trapped among strangers, Mina is desperate for answers. Who are the Watchers and why are these creatures keeping them imprisoned, keen to watch their every move?

Now, in my last blog I mentioned that I’m reading Shakespeare and how I’m getting through Richard III and then I’ll be moving on to reading Macbeth. Well, coincidentally, the film The Tragedy of Macbeth is being released next month. It’s directed by Joel Coen and Stars Denzel Washington in the titular role. It’s shot in black and white, and I tell you what, as soon as I saw the trailer I had goosebumps. It looks amazing. Denzel is one of my favourite actors of all time and he looks perfect for that role. Here’s the trailer for it.

As for my own writing, well, I’m trying to finish this short story I wrote in 2018. I went back to it a few months ago and I’m adding more to it, to ultimately turn it into a novella. I’m hoping this will have some appeal to someone out there. Novellas are not popular, but there are some publishers out there that do accept them, so we shall see.

Anyway, that’s about it for now. I hope you all have a good Christmas and New Year when it comes. As for myself getting into the festive spirit, well, I’ve got Gremlins and A Christmas Carol (starring George C Scott) to watch. Out of all the Christmas Carol films, that one is my favourite.

Stills from A Christmas Carol (1984)

Anyone got a favourite Christmas movie they watch? Or any book recommendations? Drop a comment below if so, otherwise, have a good one when it comes!


Ps…some old snaps from 1995 of the family cats, Abbey and Gabriel!

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