Scarborough hotel at heart of short story

Former Scarborough student Alex Willmott.
Former Scarborough student Alex Willmott.

A former Scarborough student has received national praise after publishing a new series of short stories.

Alex Willmott, 32, who moved to Scarborough from South Wales in 2002, has based one of the stories within a fictional Scarborough hotel called Wishing Waters.

The writer, who attended Hull University, Scarborough Campus, has been likened to literary giant Stephen King for his dark new work called Boxman.

The series consists of three short stories that have received critical acclaim, crossing the separate genres of horror, sci-fi and historical fiction.

He said: “It’s important not to limit where you get inspiration, and that goes for everyone.

“North Yorkshire, particularly Scarborough, has some of the most beautiful landscapes and interesting people, all of which influence the stories.

“I often visit Scarborough for new ideas. The first book in the new series was actually written at the Spa during a storm. The view of the North Sea in winter had a huge impact on the work.”

The first short story, called Don’t let the Minchman In, which has been described as ‘A homage to Stephen King’s The Shining, terrifying in the best possible way’ explores dark, spiritual realms and violent retribution as former journalist Jon Deacon comes face to face with death incarnate.

The second instalment, Samuel the Adjacent, is a story of an elite assassin hunting criminal scientist Fredrik Su.

As unanswered questions begin to torment Samuel, he stumbles into a revolution in which he is expected to play a big part.

Boxman series one concludes with Kaleb and the Dreamcatcher, a moving, fictional account of one man’s revenge against Roman occupancy and the death of his brother.

Receiving glowing reviews for originality and poignancy, it has been described as ‘A fresh approach to the greatest story ever told’.

Mr Willmott said: “It’s really exciting to see people reading Boxman series one. I’m a firm believer of crossing the genre lines when the story demands it, and I’m really looking forward to hearing what the readers think. It’s been a fantastic journey for me personally.

“Ten years ago I was told by a retired businessman that I shouldn’t bother putting pen to paper, because boys from my sort of background didn’t make good writers. I’m glad I didn’t listen to that fella.”

Boxman series one is available on Amazon in both print and eBook and has been published by McKnight and Bishop.