04 July, 2019

The Road to Cromer Pier by Martin Gore Blog Tour! @AuthorGore

The Road to Cromer Pier
Janet’s first love arrives out of the blue after forty years. Those were simpler times for them both. Sunny childhood beach holidays, fish and chips and big copper pennies clunking into one-armed bandits.

The Wells family has run the Cromer Pier Summertime Special Show for generations. But it’s now 2009 and the recession is biting hard. Owner Janet Wells and daughter Karen are facing an uncertain future. The show must go on, and Janet gambles on a fading talent show star. But both the star and the other cast members have their demons. This is a story of love, loyalty, and luvvies. The road to Cromer Pier might be the end of their careers, or it might just be a new beginning. 

Pre-order Links:
UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07R9XP3QM/ 
US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R9XP3QM/  

Read an Excerpt!
Paul Warren was standing on the pier next to the theatre. It was the late afternoon of what was probably the worst day of his life. He’d changed out of his tracksuit at the bed and breakfast having arrived with very little in the way of clothing; just an overnight bag he kept in the car through force of habit, his briefcase, and laptop. He’d bought a few essentials when he arrived, but his knees still felt like jelly. He wanted to rewrite the last few hours and pretend they hadn’t happened. He was still in shock. When he awoke that morning, things were normal, and by late afternoon, his world had more or less collapsed. He was still struggling with the new reality.  
When it happened, all he could think of was that he needed to go far away. Go as far away as was possible. He found himself heading down the motorway. Then he had a thought: Cromer. Why? Why not? He might as well. As good as anywhere to disappear to for a while.
Cromer had been the family holiday destination. Every factory holiday fortnight every bloody year. It’s what they did. It was here, or Skegness or Weston-Super-Mare. What a choice. They stayed at the same place every year, too. Mrs Bloomingdale’s. He checked in there for old time’s sake. It hadn’t changed much since the 70s, although it was now a bed and breakfast. The painted Anaglypta wallpaper was still on the walls. They’d also managed to wedge an en-suite into the corner of the bedroom. It was certainly an imaginative use of space. You had to laugh. He decided that the only way to use the loo was to reverse in.
What on earth was he doing here? He sat down on one of the benches as he pondered.
He was just feeling sorry for himself, he supposed. Wallowing in nostalgia for times when life wasn’t complicated. Family holidays of fish and chips, footy on the beach and amusement arcades. Big copper pennies clunking into the old one-armed bandits. Flashing lights, the bingo caller in the background, the smell of greasy hot dogs, and the rock with Cromer running through it.
As his mind drifted, he looked at a patch of sand some distance away. The old breakwater where it had happened was still there, he noted. Way back in the 60s. He became oblivious to the world as his mind retold events of happier times long ago.
I remember a warm early evening, and a game of beach football in full swing. It pitted my brothers – Tom and Mike – against Dad, me and my friend, Ian. It must have been the first year that I had been allowed to play – except in goal, of course. I was probably seven or eight. Tom and Mike, being older, didn’t like playing with the little brother and his mate, but Dad insisted, and his word was law. Four other kids were playing. I don’t remember their names – they just appeared, the way they do on holiday.
Dad was a good player. At another time, he might have played professionally, but too much beer and too many cigarettes didn’t help his cause. Anyway, this was a time when my elder brothers discovered that I could play a bit as well. I don’t remember the real score, but Dad had called it level and, as I said, his word was law.

The ball was out wide, with Dad. Tom went to tackle him. A typical Tom tackle, in football as in life. Just dive in. No messing around. But Dad nipped past him on the outside. He looked up and crossed. I was in the middle. The ball went over the head of Mike, and dropped ahead of me. I couldn’t head the ball then – some say I still can’t – but I knew that I just had to do this. I threw myself full length as the ball dropped. I felt a bump on the top of my head as I made contact, eyes closed. I saw stars and took a mouthful of sand as I hit the ground. I heard a whooping cheer, and felt myself being lifted from the sand. My dad whirled me around his shoulders, a broad grin on his face.

‘GOAAAAAAL!’ he cried. Tom and Mike looked aghast. They’d been beaten by the little brother for once.

Time plays tricks on the memory, but I remember Cromer for those warm summer days, yet I know that there were countless times when a raw east wind ripped across the beach, making any pretence at sunbathing ridiculous. Somehow though, it didn’t matter. As a growing child, what mattered was eating fish and chips and playing football, or cricket, or doing those countless other things that a beach and an imagination can create.

I don’t really know why it was Cromer every year. There are hundreds of alternatives on offer. I know that Mum came to hate the place, but Dad wanted to go, and Mum put up with it. I suspect that Dad never actually realised how much Mum wanted to go somewhere else. It’s funny how you can live with someone for years and still not fully understand them.

We stayed in the same flat every year, overlooking the pier. Mrs Bloomingdale’s Holiday Flatlets. Red flock wallpaper, polished oak staircase, hot water of variable temperature from scalding to lukewarm, antique gas cooker, and exactly six of everything in the kitchen – no two items of the same brand. Oh, and the electricity meter that required the endless supply of shillings.

The front bedroom had a stunning view of the sea, and the kitchen a not so stunning view of the bingo hall. Two bedrooms. Mum and Dad had the bedroom with the sea view, and we had the other one, without a view at all. A set of bunk beds and a single bed with an iron frame filled the room.  

We didn’t cook much. I seem to remember it was fish and chips most days, except Sunday, of course. On Sunday, it was the cafĂ© in the High Street for Sunday lunch. It seems funny, looking back, that the only apparent difference between the roast beef, pork or chicken was the colour. It was all thinly machine-sliced and tasted of virtually nothing. Still, the spotted dick and custard (all in the price, along with the pot of tea) made up for the mediocrity of the offering.

What was he going to do? Doubtless, people would want to speak to him. He just needed a day or two to think. Give it a few days and the whole thing would be yesterday’s news. Seven missed calls on his mobile. But he didn’t want to talk to her or to anybody else for that matter. Not yet. He needed time.
Paul Warren
Paul Warren is  the mysterious outsider who arrives in Cromer after a gap of thirty plus years. Why has he come back? What has happened to him on that fateful day? Well forgive me but if I go further it will amount to a spoiler.
This excerpt draws on my childhood holidays in Cromer, with my three brothers. It was Cromer for us virtually every year, as my father was from Norwich, and Cromer was the nearest seaside to Coventry, where I was born. We came by bus though. No car. Seven hours on Premier Travel by bus. Mum sent a trunk full of clothes on ahead, so I didn’t have much to wear the week before we went!
Much of the nostalgia I feel for Cromer comes out in Paul Warren’s character, but not much else in him is biographical to me. One facet of the story in the book is the highs and lows of life. Paul has ridden the rollercoaster, as has a number of other characters in the book. These ups and downs come together as the story unfolds.
Author Bio

I am a 61-year-old Accountant who semi-retired to explore my love of creative writing. In my career, I held Board level jobs for over twenty-five years, in private, public and third sector organisations. I was born in Coventry, a city then dominated by the car industry and high volume manufacturing. Jaguar, Triumph, Talbot, Rolls Royce, Courtaulds, Massey Ferguson were the major employers, to name but a few.

When I was nine year’s old I told my long-suffering mother that as I liked English composition and drama I was going to be a Playwright. She told me that I should work hard at school and get a proper job. She was right of course.

I started as an Office Junior at Jaguar in 1973 at eleven pounds sixty-four a week. I thus grew up in the strike-torn, a class divided the seventies. My first career ended in 2015 when I semi-retired as Director of Corporate services at Humberside Probation. My second career, as a Non-Executive Director, is great as it has allowed me free time to travel and indulge my passion for writing, both in novels and for theatre.

The opportunity to rekindle my interest in writing came in 2009 when I wrote my first pantomime, Cinderella, for my home group, the Walkington Pantomime Players. I have now written eight. I love theatre, particularly musical theatre, and completed the Hull Truck Theatre Playwrite course in 2010. My first play, a comedy called He's Behind You, had its first highly successful showing in January 2016, so I intend to move forward in all three creative areas.

Pen Pals was my first novel, but a second, The Road to Cromer Pier, will be released in the Summer of 2019.  

I’m an old fashioned writer I guess. I want you to laugh and to cry. I want you to believe in my characters and feel that my stories have a beginning, a middle, and a satisfactory ending.
Social Media Links
Twitter - https://twitter.com/AuthorGore  
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/Martin-Gore-Author-1237780169706466/

No comments:

Post a Comment


Pin it!

Google Adsense

Google Analytics

Please Share!


View My Stats!

View My Stats

Pageviews past week