23 July 2024

‘I want the whole world to know about Withernsea’

By Rebecca Hannant

Former Withernsea resident and award-winning author Adam Farrer will return to the town later this month to showcase his new book.

Titled Cold Fish Soup, the new book tells Adam’s accounts of Withernsea life and locals including the Ruby Reds, poet Dean Wilson and many more. His book also features stories of family (who still live in the town), friendship, male mental health, rapacious seagulls, interdimensional werewolves, burlesque dancing pensioners, and his compulsion towards the sea.

Adam said: “From the moment I moved to the town in 1992, I thought of Withernsea as special. It seemed to me that there was a quality to the place and its people that made it stand out. When I set about writing the book, I wanted to honour the town, in part because it’s often overlooked. But the more I wrote and researched, the more I realised that Withernsea was special in part because it was overlooked.

“If no one is paying attention to what you’re up to, you can do anything you like. I think that’s why my mum and sister joined the Ruby Red performers and ended up burlesque dancing on Britain’s Got Talent. Not sure that would have happened to them anywhere else. Dean Wilson also gets a few mentions, because how can you write a book about Withernsea and not mention Dean?

“Withernsea is also one of the most hopeful places I’ve ever known. I tried to be very honest in the way I wrote about Withernsea and its challenges, but my love for the place shone through and readers wanted to experience the town as a result.

“We’re building a pier here. No one else is building a pier, especially on an eroding coastline. That shows faith, determination, and a hope for better things. I fi nd that inspiring.”

Cold Fish Soup was published on August 4, and has won the NorthBound Book Award at the 2021 Northern Writers’ Awards. Adam told the Gazette that so far, the reaction to the book had been “overwhelmingly positive”.

The book is due to be published in the US on October 18 and is already making its mark on the market.

Adam added: “It’s been wonderful to learn that it’s already resonating with book lovers over there. It doesn’t matter that a reader in Seattle or Cincinnati may never have heard of Withernsea – stories about people and their experiences are universal. I hope it reaches more countries soon. I want the whole world to know about Withernsea.”

In the meantime, Adam will be bringing his book back home on Saturday, October 29, with a book signing at Ellis’ café at 2.30pm.

The book will be on sale at the event, and it will also be available from JE Books in Hull’s Hepworth’s Arcade. The book is also available from Amazon, Hive or Bookshop.org.

Adam said: “The brilliant Julie at JE Books in Hull has been especially supportive, posting photos on social media every time someone buys a copy. People like Julie are vital to writers and small publishers.”