‘Another cracker from the pen of Dean Bryant’: Writer’s debut horror novel is set in Plaistow

Dean Bryant's first published work is set in Plaistow where he grew up. Picture: Dean Bryant

Dean Bryant's first published work is set in Plaistow where he grew up. Picture: Dean Bryant - Credit: Archant

An estate agent is publishing his debut horror story which is set in Plaistow.

The Stairwell is set in Plaistow where Dean grew up. Picture: Darkstroke

The Stairwell is set in Plaistow where Dean grew up. Picture: Darkstroke - Credit: Archant

Dean Bryant now lives in Stratford but grew up in Plaistow which provides the setting for his first novel, The Stairwell, which is due to be published on October 30.

On what made the area suitable for a dark tale of paranormal activity, Dean said: “People like to read about where they are from. [Plaistow] is not known for horror, but I think people will be pleased.”

The neighbourhood provided inspiration for key scenes in the book including one set in Plaistow Park where a main character meets a man who turns out to be possessed by a demon.

Dean first got into writing at Plaistow Primary with the encouragement of his teacher, Mr Cassion, who wrote at the end of one piece of homework: “Another cracker from the pen of Dean Bryant”.


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Writing runs in the family too with dad Carl a keen writer and someone who Dean wrote The Stairwell alongside.

Dean might not have carried on creating after leaving school, but being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes prompted him to think about life. It was after this he started to write seriously again.

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A fan of writers Stephen King and Dean Koontz, the 34-year-old’s goal is for his own unique style to be recognised. Dean considers Koontz’s novel Midnight to be the scariest he’s ever read.

The Stairwell combines the interweaving narratives of university student Alice and Brandon, a care leaver who at the start of the story returns home to find his child dead and wife possessed.

However, the central mystery within the book is whether or not there is something paranormal going on or whether it is all in characters’ minds.

The novel was originally self-published, but Dean sent it to publisher Darkstroke which snapped it up after reading the first three chapters.

On the prospect of seeing his work in print, Dean said: “It’s a dream come true. I can’t wait to hold a copy.”

But the writer’s imagination is already buzzing with ideas for future novels including a comic horror in which an estate agent sells haunted homes to unsuspecting buyers.

The Stairwell can be pre-ordered on Amazon priced £6.99 paperback and £2.99 on Kindle.

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