I thought it would be fun between now and the new year to post some of my favourite seaside-themed books, music and poetry on my Facebook page.
The seaside has always had a hold on my imagination. I think when you grow up by the sea it stays with you. I spent much of my adult life in Leeds and although I loved the life of the city, I increasingly found myself wanting to get back to the coast. Now I’m living in South Devon, near the stunning Exe estuary.
When I wrote my second novel, Not the End, I set it in a fictional coastal town and I wanted to write about the whole seaside experience – not just the beautiful views and the holiday atmosphere but also the small-town culture, the high-cost, low-wage economy, the occasional sense that life is going on elsewhere…
One of the characters in Not the End feels nostalgic for childhood bucket-and-spade holidays despite never having been on one. I think the seaside is part of our collective memory. I feel it myself on a sunny day, seeing blue sky and golden sand and white yachts at sea with sails like a child would draw.