Matthew Willis

About me

Matthew Willis was born in the historic naval town of Harwich, Essex in 1976. He grew up in a nearby village, never far from the sea, becoming a keen racing dinghy sailor in his teens. A family connection with the 4th Dovercourt, a troop of Sea Scouts associated with the Royal Navy, helped foster a passion for the age of sail, and Nelson’s Navy in particular.

Matthew studied Literature and History of Science at the University of Kent, where he wrote an MA thesis on Joseph Conrad and sailed for the University in national competitions. He subsequently worked as a journalist for Autosport and F1 Racing magazines, before switching to a career with the National Health Service.

His first novel, Daedalus and the Deep, was published in 2013. It was based around the historical sighting of a sea-serpent by the Royal Navy corvette HMS Daedalus. He currently lives in Southampton, and writes both fiction and non-fiction for a living.

From my website

Writing the landscape

I’ve always been fascinated by landscape, and that fascination has shaped my identity as a writer. Ironically – or perhaps inevitably – I grew up somewhere with a particular kind of landscape that some people think of as no landscape at all. The flat expanses of North Essex do not…

Sailing aboard a square-rigger – the stuff tales are spun from

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago – never mind how long precisely – having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I…

Eighteen-eighty – Fiction

Last night I dreamt of 1880. I know why. They’d been taking pieces of me away. 1880 was when I lost the biggest piece. Not mast, or keel, or frame – they can be replaced. 1880 was when I lost my Captain. In truth I don’t know where I end…

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