Author Topic: Wake up call from Harry Patterson - Well, sort of. Weird but true.  (Read 255 times)

Offline Gyppo

  • Esteemed Contributor
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 72239
  • I've been writing ever since I realised I could.
Back in 2013 I shared this tale.  It might be worth repeating it here for the benefit of newcomers to writing who sometimes spend too long learning writing theory rather than by practising it as they go.

It's a lifelong apprenticeship.

=====

   Last night I dreamed I met Harry Patterson.  (aka Jack Higgins)  Author of The Eagle Has Landed and around sixty other thrillers.

   I was crossing a railway bridge in the dark and up ahead a face was suddenly pulled out of the darkness as someone lit up a cigarette.  It was Harry.  He looked just like the photo on the back of his books. He was smoking a Capstan full strength, un-tipped.  One of those old time cigarettes containing enough tar to surface a small car park.  I have no idea what or even if he smokes.  It just seemed appropriate.

   "You're Harry Patterson,"  I said, "And that's already enough clichés to sink a battleship."

   "I am, and one good cliché is worth a thousand empty words.  Do I know you?"  He was wearing a dark greatcoat and a hat.  Just like one of his own characters.

   "Not personally.  But I wrote to you about thirty years ago and you offered me some excellent advice for writers."

   "Sold much since?"

   "Quite a bit, here and there."

   "Made a fortune yet?"

   "No.  But I dare say I've helped a lot of others along the way."

   "That's good. So you've learned a bit.  But. . . "

   His face glowed again briefly as he took a drag, all dark lines and hollows with a red glow and a little glint in the eyes.

   "Knowledge is useless it's applied."

   He turned and walked down the steps whilst I digested this obvious but often overlooked fact.

   When I went to the top of the steps to call after him and ask another question he'd already gone, faded into the darkness as if he'd never been.

   That's what I've been telling myself for the last couple of months, but I wasn't listening.  We don't always listen to ourselves, do we?

   "Thanks, Harry."

   Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

JanTetstone

  • Guest
Re: Wake up call from Harry Patterson - Well, sort of. Weird but true.
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2018, 02:00:28 PM »
Back in 2013 I shared this tale.  It might be worth repeating it here for the benefit of newcomers to writing who sometimes spend too long learning writing theory rather than by practising it as they go.

It's a lifelong apprenticeship.

=====

   Last night I dreamed I met Harry Patterson.  (aka Jack Higgins)  Author of The Eagle Has Landed and around sixty other thrillers.

   I was crossing a railway bridge in the dark and up ahead a face was suddenly pulled out of the darkness as someone lit up a cigarette.  It was Harry.  He looked just like the photo on the back of his books. He was smoking a Capstan full strength, un-tipped.  One of those old time cigarettes containing enough tar to surface a small car park.  I have no idea what or even if he smokes.  It just seemed appropriate.

   "You're Harry Patterson,"  I said, "And that's already enough clichés to sink a battleship."

   "I am, and one good cliché is worth a thousand empty words.  Do I know you?"  He was wearing a dark greatcoat and a hat.  Just like one of his own characters.

   "Not personally.  But I wrote to you about thirty years ago and you offered me some excellent advice for writers."

   "Sold much since?"

   "Quite a bit, here and there."

   "Made a fortune yet?"

   "No.  But I dare say I've helped a lot of others along the way."

   "That's good. So you've learned a bit.  But. . . "

   His face glowed again briefly as he took a drag, all dark lines and hollows with a red glow and a little glint in the eyes.

   "Knowledge is useless it's applied."

   He turned and walked down the steps whilst I digested this obvious but often overlooked fact.

   When I went to the top of the steps to call after him and ask another question he'd already gone, faded into the darkness as if he'd never been.

   That's what I've been telling myself for the last couple of months, but I wasn't listening.  We don't always listen to ourselves, do we?

   "Thanks, Harry."

   Gyppo



Gyppo, An interesting read. Thank you for reposting.        jt