Bay inspiration for scary new children’s novel

Author William Coniston
Author William Coniston

A scary new novel for children aged eight or nine upwards has been inspired by the coastal beauty of Robin Hood’s Bay.

Speaking about M.I.C.E and the Stone, author William Coniston said: “It’s set in a fictitious seaside village near Whitby called Scar Bay but really it’s Robin Hood’s Bay – a place I love and where I go to write.

“Like many before me, I’ve found the Whitby area to be full of inspiration and readers will recognise descriptions of local landmarks.

“The front cover is based on an iconic view that will be familiar to many.”

Although the story is frightening and sad in places, there are laughs too.

It came out as a Kindle ebook last year and good feedback from readers – both children and adults – in the UK, USA and Australia has encouraged the author to publish it as a paperback. It is also available in Whitby Bookshop for £6.99.

William Coniston has been writing all his life but mainly “boring” legal documents and he has found his first novel M.I.C.E. and the Stone to be much more fun.

In the story, two children are given a mysterious black stone by their grandfather. It enables them to understand what animals and birds say and to use telepathy but it leads them into dangerous adventures.

Along with two friends, a faithful dog, three technologically gifted mice and some other talented animals and birds they face a life-and-death struggle against wicked enemies they did not know they had.

Also available in Whitby Bookshop is Whitby author Jon Horne’s collection of short stories, My Swimming Days.

The book has been available on Amazon for a few weeks, but Jon believes that sales through a real shop are important.

“It’s one thing buying the book because you know me, or know my name,” he said.

“It’s another to pick it up, read a page or two, and decide to buy it on its own merits. I love bookshops, and it’s great that Whitby still has one.”

Some of the 13 stories are set in Whitby; the rest are set in Grimsby, where Jon grew up, Nottingham, London and Edinburgh.

Characters include a conniving politician, a football-loving murderer and a haunted cleaning lady.

Jon added: “I like the characters to be believable, so that if anything happens to them – even if they end up as ghosts, which one of them does – you care about it.

“I feel very close to them.”

My Swimming Days, by Pre-Release Books, is only available in paperback.

Whitby is a beautiful fishing town on the North Yorkshire coast, best known for its fish and chip restaurants and its connections with Dracula.

But, did you know that the town has more secrets locked away among the narrow streets and beneath the tall cliffs?

Why are Easter celebrations a result of a meeting in Whitby? What Whitby innovation kept people safe at sea until the invention of radar?

Who or what is buried in the mysterious grave with the skulls and crossbones? And whatsecrets lurk beneath the waves off its coast?

A new book, Secret Whitby, by Ian Thompson and Roger Frost, has the answers to these questions and many more.

It is available from publishers Amberley, priced £14.99.

Another new book, The History of the Universe, explains both cosmology and the underlying physics, and is aimed at the general reader, assuming no knowledge of mathematics or physics.

Written by Whitby man David H Lyth, who is part of a long-standing Whitby family, the book is out now, published by Springer. It features a detailed account of the “almost imperceptible structure” of the early universe.

Buy the ebook for £12.99.