Welcome Back To Cole Bay

Reading & Writing

‘What’s it like, being in a panto?’ Harry asked.
‘Widow Twankey went to prison for child molesting a few years back.’

Mayhap you recall Cole Bay, suicide capital of the UK? The crummy seaside town where Kay grows up (and from where he falls into Persia) in my novel ‘Calabash’? The book remains a personal favourite of mine. The town was a combination of Hastings and Herne Bay, with a few bits of other ugly-ass downmarket British seaside resorts thrown in.

Well, the town is back, and so is Dudley Salterton (yes, a shameful pun), the horrible old seaside entertainer who also gets a cameo in the upcoming Bryant & May novel ‘The Memory Of Blood’.

I’ve written an astonishingly bleak short story called ‘Oh We Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside’, which has been chosen to go into Ellen Datlow’s ‘The Best Horror Of The Year Volume Three’, and will soon be available from Night Shade books. The protagonist is a young man who turns out to be less lucky than Kay and suffers an Awful Fate in the town. As one does. It’s almost as much reusing locations as it is reusing characters.

4 comments on “Welcome Back To Cole Bay”

  1. Helen Martin says:

    Referring back a couple of entries, is Herne Bay named for Herne the Hunter? Downmarket. Does that mean a place where you can afford to holiday even if you haven’t much money? The idea of going away for a few days is relatively new and many are pleased with just a the change of venue. I must be a little down myself today.

  2. admin says:

    True, Helen – I think I wrote the story in a very dark mood indeed. I’ll have to post it sometime. It doesn’t paint a pretty picture of any place you’d want to visit. Even on a bad day.

  3. Mike Carrington says:

    Hello chaps!

    I know this has nothing to do with the blog – (although Helen – a lot of the south coast is linked to Pagan mythology, ie, Lewes after Lleu a Romano British Sun God, Herne Bay, the British order of Bards Ovates and Druids based at Lewes, etc..) but I have to share this with you:


    For those who have issues with The Floppy Fringed One (you know who you are!) it should make you smile. Enjoy!

  4. Alan Morgan says:

    Calabash is my favourite of your novels, all sorts of associations there. Mind, when it was read by my better half she thought it was very dark. Couldn’t see it myself. This tends to happen. I took her to see a production of the Wasp Factory in Hammersmith back in the 90s and it wasn’t the rollicking boys*-own tale of adventurous childhood that I remembered at all!

    *Yeah, I know.

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