The works of Stephen King and the seaside town of Kiama were key inspirations for an author's new release.
Jamberoo horror/fantasy writer Alan Baxter this week released his self-published The Gulp (Tales From The Gulp #1) horror collection.
"It's like a novella collection - five long stories collected into a mosaic novel," he said.
"There's five long stories in it that are each their own story, but by the end of it you see how they all tie together."
Baxter, 50, said The Gulp was his 24th book, including novels, short story collections and novellas.
The Gulp follows the success of Baxter's recent work The Roo, which the author described as a "crazy, Gonzo horror novella about a killer kangaroo decimating an outback town".
"The Roo was a bit of a joke, but it went gangbusters and is probably my best-selling book," he said.
Embracing "that weird Australian isolated town vibe", The Gulp's tales are all set in the same fictional town. It's a setting he hopes to revisit in future books.
"Stephen King has Castle Rock, his fictitious town," Baxter said.
"So I wanted to develop my own Australian mythology, with my own fictional town.
"Readers will recognise the layout of the town is very similar to Kiama, although the location is described as much further south.
"It's this fictional harbour town surrounded by bush on the Far South Coast of NSW, called Gulpepper, but everyone calls it The Gulp because it has a habit of swallowing people."
Baxter will also host a short story workshop for young writers aged 13-17.
The COVID-safe event will take place at Kiama Library on Tuesday from 2pm-4pm.
It costs $5 per person. Bookings at https://library.kiama.nsw.gov.au.
"A lot of what I do is sitting at a desk on my own, making stuff up," Baxter laughed.
"So when I get to go to conventions, do book signings and workshops, and meet people, all that's great.
"I really enjoy doing workshops with young people. Watching people who have got this desire but no real direction, and helping them find a path forward is cool."
The Gulp is available as a paperback and e-book.
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