They say, “Write what you know.”
For someone who considers themselves a fantasy writer at heart, that’s pretty easy. But to truly write about what I know? Tough call.
I’d often meant to write a book or a series set in my hometown, but nothing ever grabbed me before. As with any place that you call home, there are the good and bad bits, but where I live – mostly bad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still home, but some areas have fallen into disrepair and as the fishing industry slowed and sputtered, so did the heartbeat of the town.
It’s the same old story: no jobs, no investment, no future, no hope.
And with desperation comes desperate measures…
What better place to set a series of crime novels?
Follow me through ‘Wonderland’.
The old rides on Cleethorpes beach still stand. Battered by the relentless North sea wind, salt-scarred and rusted they creak and groan like an old Trawlerman’s bones but they still elicit excited squeals from many a child that skips by…
Not this kid, not anymore.
Where once stood thrilling roller-coasters and a never-ending helter-skelter, now dark-hearted dragons loom.
The smell still lingers, it’s unmistakable. The spray from the sea still stings your eyes and assaults your senses. You can taste the metallic breeze on your tongue, almost hear the distant tinkle of donkey bells and carousel tunes on it as it steals its way down the unloved promenade like a mischievous sprite, whispering stories from the lips of ancient mariners and knicker-bockered holiday makers long-since gone.
This town has lost its way. Directionless. Only those with nowhere else to go, stay.
And those that stay, tire like the buoy that bobs and lists endlessly as the ceaseless tide crashes in and crawls out, staining the steps and rotting the wood of once-defiant defences.
It’s mercenary, this sea. It sweeps in with a promise of a watery embrace, teasing with salty kisses and a momentary respite from drought, then creeps away as we sleep, stealing souls and pulling them back to the inky black depths to drown, only to return again when light, with more false hope. Yet we still trust.
It hasn’t always been this way.
Once, there was light and a sideshow clown’s tin-can laughter here. City-dwellers made it their destination of choice for well-earned breaks. Wandering along today, there are glimmers of hope that we can re-start the heart of this resort, breathe energy and life back into a town still gasping for air.
A virgin artist mixes colours on a palette to paint this place onto a fresh canvas and draw new lines. But he is young and inexperienced, his selection yet-pale, but he does grow and if he’s brave, so his hues and his brushstrokes will become more bold. And as he learns, then we might shine once more. In time.
Don’t leave. Come back another day. Stroll with me some more through ‘WONDERLAND‘. You never know, you might just like it here.