Rob Sinclair's Favorite Christmas Stories
With Christmas around the corner I wanted to write a blog about my favourite Christmas stories, and whether and how they had influenced my own writing. The trouble was, as soon as I started pondering the question, I realised quite quickly that the stories dominating my mind weren’t books but TV and film. Even though I’m a writer, and even though this is a book blog, I have to stick to my guns though, so here they are:
1. The Snowman
Ok, so actually this one was a book originally, and it was one of my favourite as a kid, and I’m really pleased to say my own boys have not just this book (nearly 40 years after its release) but also a couple of more recent spin offs too. Yet it’s not the book that really captures my mind and sparks so many memories of Christmas as a child, but the infamous song from the TV adaption. I’m sure nearly every single child of my generation has magical festive memories associated with that song and the flying Snowman scene from the story, and now, as a parent myself and once again feeling the magic of Christmas through my children, I can only hope that they get to feel the same. Christmas is, after all, all about kids as far as I’m concerned, and that gleeful and entirely innocent feeling of absolute joy that comes with the festive period.
2. Home Alone
So here’s where we divert from books completely, but again, it’s a Christmas story from my childhood and one that has stayed with me over the years. As a young boy I thought Macaulay Caulkin was a legend, and this movie is a must see at Christmas time. I love the snowy Christmas scenes, the elaborate decorations in the houses and on the streets like you see in so many US-based Christmas movies. But the fact this isn’t a soppy story but one about a young boy wreaking havoc against two would-be thieves, in hilarious and often downright violent ways, is just brilliant. I’m not sure I could possibly say that Home Alone has in any way inspired my own writing, but I guess the fact that even as a ten year old I preferred violent slapstick where bad guys get their comeuppance, to say a wondrous movie like Miracle on 34th Street, says it all about my tastes and influences and how I ended up writing crime thrillers for a living!
3. Die Hard
Surely the greatest Christmas movie of all time?! Ok, so there’s no snow and there isn’t really a huge amount of festive cheer about the story, but it is set at Christmas time, with tough New York cop John McLane visiting his estranged family in LA, only to become embroiled in fighting a group of highly organised terrorists who have taken control of large office block.
McClane is a classic action hero to me, and I’m positive that the character has in part inspired many fiction heroes over the years. And, many people may not know this, but Die Hard was actually a film adaption of a 1970s novel; Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. I’ve never read the novel, and although there are some big differences (John McClane is Joe Leland for example), apparently the basic story set-up is very similar, and I’m led to believe some of the most famous action sequences of the movie (including McClane leaping from the exploding rooftop of a skyscraper with a fire hose tied around his waist) were in the original book version.
The movie also features one of the best screen baddies ever seen in Hans Gruber, portrayed by the late Alan Rickman, and his manner and his cold hearted-ness has absolutely served as inspiration for some of the bad guys in my writing.
As for my own books, none of them have been set at Christmas time, though books two and three in the Enemy series (Rise of the Enemy and Hunt for the Enemy) are both set during winter, and, being based in Siberia and the steppes of Kazakhstan, amongst other places, have plenty of snow and ice and otherwise chilling locations to make them perfect winter reads during those long cold nights snuggled near a log fire. And although I can’t promise Santa Claus or any flying snowmen, just like Home Alone and Die Hard there’s certainly plenty of bad guys getting their comeuppance, and really, what more can you ask for in a story than that?
About Rob Sinclair
Rob's first novel, Dance with the Enemy, was published in June 2014 and is the first in the bestselling Enemy Series following embattled intelligence agent Carl Logan. Rise of the Enemy, the second book in the series, was released in April 2015, with the third book, Hunt for the Enemy, being released in February 2016.
The Enemy series has received widespread critical acclaim with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob's work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.
Rob’s latest thriller, the pulsating Dark Fragments, was released by Bloodhound Books on 8th November 2016.
Rob worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. He now writes full time.
Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.
Rob's website is www.robsinclairauthor.com
He can be followed on social media at:
Dance With The Enemy – The Enemy Series Book 1
Dance with the Enemy is the explosive first chapter in the highly-acclaimed Enemy series of espionage thrillers featuring Carl Logan.
Rise of the Enemy – The Enemy Series Book 2
Redbrick "Carl Logan may be a battled hardened agent, but Rob Sinclair has managed to find his soul" - bestsellingcrimethrillers.com
Everyone has a breaking point. Carl Logan might just have found his. The Joint Intelligence Agency sends agent Carl Logan on a routine mission to Russia. It should have been simple. But when Logan's cover is blown, he's transported into a world of hell he thought he would never see again. Something is different this time, though, and before long doubts begin to surface in Logan's mind as to why the assignment went so wrong. Logan has never been short of enemies. And sometimes the enemy is closer to home than you think. Could his own people really have set him up?
Hunt For the Enemy – The Enemy Series Book 3
They've erased his past. Wiped out his very existence. But Carl Logan isn't finished yet. On the run in a harsh Russian winter, Logan - once an invaluable asset but now branded a traitor - has been framed for murder. His own firm, the secretive Joint Intelligence Agency, have labeled him a rogue operative after two decades of loyal service. The agency is hunting him down... and they're not the only ones. But there's much more at stake than just Logan's life. One by one, agents and informants from all sides, all allegiances, are dying. And Carl Logan is the only man who can put a stop to it, once and for all.