To write about the North West coast is to do battle with the tenacity of stereotype.
It is to dodge well-worn evocations of depressed, down-at-heel seaside towns, gaudy sea-front arcades, Ferris wheels, roller coasters and caravan parks and of past-their-best Lakeland towns with stunning views and grim prospects.
To write about these places is to somehow acknowledge a variety of well publicised truths about the social and economic struggles of neglected and disenfranchised populations and also to dig deeper - to find the views and perspectives that surprise and make strange.
No collection, even one including writers as varied and accomplished at the ones you'll meet in this anthology, could claim to provide a complete, exhaustive account of a region which encompasses hundreds of miles of coastline with centuries of complex history, a myriad of urban and natural habitats, and the entire available spectrum of human experience.
Under these grey skies and rain-spotted sands lurk teeming hidden myriad of secret wildlife.
Yet the stories included in Seaside Special succeed in gifting us readers with `postcards from the edge.' These ten writers, some of them established and some being published here for the first time, answer the challenge to `surprise and make strange' in an array of startling, often discomforting and most of all vivid glimpses of some of the lives and landscapes contained in this stretch of coast.