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.
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The Last Roundhead, by Jemahl Evans, was one of the best historical novels I’ve read in a long time. The voice of the main character and narrator, Blandford Candy, was as authentic as it is possible to get in a work written in the 21st century. Better, he existed in…
I am pleased to welcome to Air and Sea Stories, Sophie Jonas-Hill, whose pacy psychological thriller Nemesister was recently published by Urbane Publications. First off, a review of the book, followed by an interview with Sophie: Review – Nemesister Sophie Jonas-Hill’s novel is an incredibly atmospheric thriller that swings from…
When historical novelist Jemahl Evans recommended Michael Jecks’ Fields of Glory, the first in his Hundred Years War series, I knew there was a good chance I was in for a decent read. Moreover, having just launched a mediaeval novel myself (An Argument of Blood, co-written with J.A. Ironside, about…