In the latest of our regular interviews with Lodge Books authors, Barry Mitchell shares his writing ambition and love of literature.
How long have you been writing books?
I wrote my first book during the 1970s.
What genre(s) do you write?
Maritime and travel.
What was the first book you had published?
This was a pocket guide book titled ‘Exploring the Yorkshire Coast’. It mapped and described the coastal resorts, villages, beach access points, caravan parks, country pubs and so on along 90 miles of our local shores and hinterland.
What was your favourite book as a child and do you still have a copy of it?
This was possibly ‘Coot Club’ by Arthur Ransome, which still sits on my bookshelves. The book introduced me to the Norfolk Broads where from my adulthood I have spent many enjoyable holidays aboard motor cruisers and sailing dinghies.
Where do you normally write?
My study, which is a multi-purpose room. Apart from the essentials – computer, printer etc. – it is where I enjoy being among my small library of selected travel/adventure books.
Who is your current favourite author?
For me, Peter May is currently conjuring up some gripping crime situations in familiar locations.
If you could take just one book to a desert island, what would it be?
A comprehensive world atlas!
If you were not a writer, how would you like to share your ideas with others?
I would share my ideas from my years of meeting people from all walks of life and from experiences gained from travels.
If you were doing a book signing, who would you most like to come to you with a copy of your book and ask you to sign it with a personal message?
I am aware that a copy of my book ‘By Ro-Ro to the Baltic’ has been purchased by a retired master of the QE2. When we meet I shall be delighted to sign it, saying: ‘You can relax with your feet up on this voyage Captain Warwick!’
What are your writing ambitions?
It has always been to pass on previously unwritten information which may enlighten and be beneficial to the reader.
What is the biggest compliment you have been paid as a writer?
I recently received a complimentary letter from one of my readers. Addressed beneath my name on the envelope was – “Artisan of the Nautical Pen”!
Kindle or paperback, which do you prefer?
Paperback. The terminology these days is ‘that’s a no-brainer’ .
Imagine you have lost your memory and someone gives you one of your own books to read. Would you know you had written it?
Answer – Yes, I believe I would.
What are you writing at the moment?
I concentrate my writing on articles for maritime magazines at the moment.