Thursday, December 15, 2022

Guest Post: "How Do You Think Up This Stuff?" by author Thomas White

An old mansion sits atop a cliff, overlooking the ocean, in Santa Cruz, CA. A young realtor, Darcy Wainwright, manages to sell the dilapidated old house to Henry Childs, an obese nebbish who is obsessed with the property. In the backyard is a pool. Not an ordinary pool but a giant tide pool. In the tide pool is a siren with an evil agenda for revenge.
The Thornton Mansion was a talisman for the death and mystery that surrounded it. Unoccupied for years until Henry Childs was summoned by the house. As directed, he reached out to unsuspecting, novice realtor Darcy Wainwright. Darcy finds herself intricately involved with the house, its history and the haunting tide pool that filled the backyard. It was the pool that beckoned her, and it was the pool that would decide if she lives or dies.


How Do You Think Up This Stuff?

As is true with many authors, the question I get most often is, “Where do you get your ideas?” And quite honestly, it is often the simplest of things that will set you off on a path. That was exactly the case with The Siren’s Scream. While sitting on a dock at a mountain cabin on a lake, I saw a small school of fish swimming beneath. A slight altercation between several of them caused one to flip over and scoot away. As the fish flipped, I saw the colors of its belly reflect in the sun and I was mesmerized. I’d seen this before, of course, most of us have, but the image of the colors flashing stayed with me.

The idea of a creature living in the water began to blossom. Now, there is nothing original there, the legend of the mermaid is long and fabled and I struggled with the concept of creating an original take on the creature, a viable storyline, and how to present it in an intriguing manner for a few years. I’d started and stopped writing it many times. Every once in a while, I’d pull it out and make another attempt at creating something that wasn’t ‘calling sailors to their death’. And as they say, write every day because you can change something, you can’t change nothing, and the process is what brings about results. Because of my many attempts I discovered that I had developed parameters outlining the kind of story I wanted to tell. I wanted it to be set in the present day, I didn’t necessarily want it to be about sailors or the sea, and I wanted a twist or two that would engage the reader. Other than that, I was floundering. Then, at a family gathering, dealing with a particularly challenging sister, it occurred to me these creatures had an origin, a family, a lineage, a past; they had to come from somewhere, right? Once I began to explore that concept, one thing led to the other and the story began to take shape. After working to create this story over many years, finally, The Siren’s Scream was born. 


About the Author: Thomas White began his career as an actor. Several years later he found himself as an Artistic Director for a theatre in Southern California and the winner of several Drama-Logue and Critics awards for directing. As Tom’s career grew, he directed and co-produced the world tour of “The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Coming Out Of Their Shells”. The show toured for over two years, was translated into seven different languages and seen by over a million children. Tom served as President and Creative Director for Maiden Lane Entertainment for 24 years and worked on many large-scale corporate event productions that included Harley Davidson, Microsoft, Medtronic Diabetes, and dozens of others. The Siren’s Scream is Tom’s second novel that follows up Justice Rules which was nominated as a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association 2010 Literary contest. Tom’s latest book is the mystery/horror, The Siren’s Scream. Visit his website at or connect with him at Twitter and Facebook.


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