Interview by Julie M. Tuttle (www.noshwithchefjulie.com)
Q1: Let us know a little about yourself and how we can connect with you via website, blog, books, and social media sites.
Author Website: www.willymitchell.com
Facebook Group: Author Willy Mitchell
Operation ARGUS (2018)
Bikini BRAVO (2019)
Cold COURAGE (2019)
DRAMMING, a book of poetry (release to be determined)
Northern ECHO (due for release Autumn 2020)
Foxtrot OSCAR (3rd in the ARGUS series)
Gipsy MOTH (due for release Autumn 2020)
SS Indigo (Work in Progress)
Q2. What is the name of your blog or book and how did you get started?
I always knew the saying that everyone has a book in them somewhere. I also had a friend who talked about writing his book and never got around to it until it was too late. And, hence my first novel, Operation ARGUS, an international thriller was launched, 4 years in the making. After its publication, I felt like an imposter and wanted to write a second that also made up for some of the missing links in the first.
After book two, I felt a lot better and wanted to tell the story of Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914, a story I grew up with as a child.
I am just about to release #4 Northern ECHO about growing up in the north of England in the Punk-Rock era, and #5, Gipsy MOTH about my Aunt Nikki, her friend Amy Johnson, Amelia Earhart, and the golden age of aviation.
Q3. What is your favorite food?
Greek food for its simplicity and freshness. Indian cuisine for its complexity and flavors, and British grub for its reminder of home, my childhood, and comfort!
Q4. What foods do you crave all the time?
Fresh, quality ingredients prepared with love and care. And, marzipan!
Q5. What is your favorite comfort food?
Yorkshire Fish & Chips (Beef dripping not oil!)
Q6. If you could learn how to make any food what would it be?
I am a pretty good cook but I have never made pasta. I love Danish pastries (the taste and smell of them baking) but am not very good at it! Would love to be able to make authentic Indian food.
Q7. What is your favorite thing about being a blogger, writer, or author?
Someone once said that a writer is never lonely. I find this to be true especially (prior to COVID 19) a lot of international business travel and during the lockdown. Writing is a great escape, release, and to meet with your friends on the page!
Q8. What advice do you have for new writers just starting out?
Don’t give up! It is much harder than I ever thought and one of the reasons why Operation ARGUS took 4 years is that I almost gave up several times. The initial draft might be far from perfect but its better than no draft at all!
Q9. What do you like to do for fun?
Hang out with friends, family, good food, wine, and great company, but honestly, I like to work, and I like to write. After injures from sport (Rugby, Boxing, and Soccer) these alternative pursuits became my sport and my enjoyment.
Q10. What helps you to stay motivated and keep writing?
A couple of inspirational sayings, “Never, never, NEVER give up.” Sir. Winston Churchill, and an extension from my father’s old phrase, “ONWARD, always a little further…”
Q11. How do you attract new readers?
It is very tough. There is a lot of competition out there and as an Indie Author its hard to get noticed. This is part of my drive to write multiple books in the hope that my readers enjoy one and then go on to read the others.
Q12. What has influenced you the most as a writer?
Life. All of my books so far have personal stories hidden within. And it is these reflections on life and experiences that have formed who I am today and in my writing.
Q13. What is your favorite genre to read?
Historical Fiction. Books where I just read a story but from which I learn and expand my mind.
Q14. What are you reading right now?
I am busy writing SS Indigo, my work in progress, 6th novel about a group of interesting characters invited to a mystery cruise in the Caribbean. The twelve passengers have one thing in common, Greed. Apart from that, I am (slowly) reading Once Upon A Time in Russia by Ben Mezrich.
Q15. What is something about yourself most people don’t know?
I own a kilt!
Q16. What kind of music do you like to listen to?
I like almost every genre and era of music. I created a Playlist on Amazon where you can listen to some of my favorite tunes. Northern ECHO is about growing up in the Punk-Rock era which has had a lot of influence on my life and music, I am particularly interested in meaningful lyrics.
Q17. If you could live in any book what would it be?
Lord of The Rings!
Q18. Who are your top three favorite authors?
There are very many but how about JRR Tolkien, Agatha Christie, and Wilbur Smith…
Q19. Do you have any blogs or books you can recommend?
Any book or blog or source of continual learning. I am not necessarily religious but I do still read the Bible occasionally, I find the construct fascinating and the stories. I am also fascinated that nowhere in the holy book is a cat mentioned!
Q20. If you could have superpowers what would they be?
To travel in time. I would love to be like Tintin or Mr. Ben and be able to go on adventures at any point in history. Be a pirate for a day, or in ancient Egypt, the wild wild west!
Q21. What is a typical day of writing look like for you?
I fit writing in around my work and life but try and write on average a couple of thousand words each writing day. If I am on a plane, rather than watch a movie I write. If I go for a beer, I write. If I have a spare 30 minutes I write. I like to keep occupied and busy and spend time with my friends on the page.
Q22. What is your favorite movie that was based on a book?
Mmmm. There are so many. I love the Tarantino films, the Spaghetti Westerns, I love the Bourne movies, but my favorite is probably Lord of The Rings (although my first ever book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a great movie with Willy Wonka!)
Q23. What projects are you working on right now?
In my next novel, SS Indigo, twelve people from diverse backgrounds get invited to join a luxury steamship in the Caribbean, their only connection is greed. It is a bit of a departure from my previous books but am having fun writing the plot!
"Thank you Willy for a wonderful interview!"
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