An author from Weymouth has penned a spooky children's book inspired by the town.

Liam R. Findlay is due to release an illustrated adventure novel aimed at children aged eight and above.

The Doom Town Dummies follows the story of 11-year-old Colette Planchette, who can communicate with the dead through her supernatural sense of smell.

When she, and best friend Lucian - who is a ghost - find themselves in a village full of eerie shop window dummies, it quickly becomes clear someone, or something, is watching.

Although the tale is full of fantastical turns that may not scream 'Weymouth,' the town is a big influence, Mr Findlay said. His idea for the creepy mannequins was inspired by exhibits at the former Timewalk museum in Brewer's Quay.

"So many locals have strong memories of visiting the old Timewalk, or the Nothe Fort - or even passing the former Meech's Menswear shop window - and getting the feeling of being watched by dummies," Liam said.

"Those glassy eyes, those not-quite-realistic yet spine-tingling expressions gave me nightmares that the mannequins might come to life and make their way to my house in the night.

"The silly scariness of these childhood memories is very much to blame for the dummy part of The Doom Town Dummies."

In the book, Colette lives with her uncle in a "grimy" lake house perched upon a platform - inspired by the platforms jutting over Radipole Lake - although the house is located in the fictional town of Fogharbour, which takes its name from Coldharbour: "only, Fogharbour is foggier than it is cold," according to the author.

Other local inspiration comes from the cliffs at Lyme Regis.

Dorset Echo: The book cover has just been revealed - illustration by Milena BraginaThe book cover has just been revealed - illustration by Milena Bragina (Image: Liam Findlay)

Mr Findlay now works for AromaPrime, which once supplied the macabre 'black death' scents for the Timewalk museum. He has created similarly strange smells for Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Madame Tussauds, among others, and his olfactory experimentations are another influence behind his protagonists' special powers in the forthcoming title.

Much of the book was penned in Weymouth Library. Mr Findlay gave thanks to the library and said it is "brilliant" that the town has access to the facilities there. 

The Doom Town Dummies will be available to buy from September 19, 2023.

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