To celebrate the release of his novel Between Darkness and the Light earlier this year, author Paul Mitchener has revealed 10 facts all about him that he'd like readers to know! Read on to find out what he had to reveal...
1. I’ve had a personal battle with dyslexia all of my life and as such, struggle with the written word. Although I managed to achieve a great deal more than I ever would have expected, it still been a long hard climb. Writing my novel has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but it’s also been the most rewarding. I would like to think that my words would be read and enjoyed by others long after I’m gone.
2. As company director within my own business, I had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful countries around the world on business. My company specialised in converting stretched and armoured limousines, mainly for royals, celebrities and high-ranking dignitaries. I’ve met many very interesting individuals over my career, many of which were genuinely nice people and over the years, I managed to build very strong relationships with most of them. The highlight to my career was when I was invited to Highgrove on business and whilst waiting for someone to arrive, I had the honour to be invited to take a private guided tour around the gardens by the estate manager, this was long before Highgrove was open to the public, it was the most rememberable days of my whole career.
3. I like to think of myself as a man who enjoys the simple pleasures in life, I often wonder at all the incredible and seemingly impossible wonders that this small world of ours has to offer us. There is nothing in nature that doesn’t fascinate me. At times, I’ve been call weird because I’ve little interest in techno-gadgets and I-phones , etc. I know that they are fundamentally essential for todays life style, but I often think back to a time, not so long ago, when life was a lot simpler than it is today.
4. My real passion is nature, at the ripe old age of fifty-two, I enrolled on a two-year, full-time college course in conservation and countryside management, so I could learn more about conservation. The first day at college was possibly the scariest day of my life. There was me, a mature man that has been around the block a few times and twelve other students, all aged within their teens, at first, I felt like a fish out of water. But they were all very nice and the age difference didn’t seem to matter, and it wasn’t long before they looked to me as a second father figure, that handful of fun-loving individuals rekindled my faith in the youth. And despite my disorder, I achieve top grades and best student of the year for two years running.
5. My passion for books started when I was given my first fantasy book written by Terry Brooks back in the 1970s The Shannara Series. I fell in love with his characters straight away and his story lines seem to just pull me in. Brooks manages to make his characters not only believable, but also very easy to relate to, which to me at least, is a sign of his true talents. I would say without hesitation that if were not for Terry Brooks, I probably would never have put pen to paper.
6. Now early retired, I concentrate my time on writing and family; I now happily live in a small picturesque village nested in the beautiful Hampshire countryside, which consists of a large duck pond, a village green where cricket is played most Sundays during the summer and a 14th century church. I have two grown children, my daughter worked in banking until she married, and my son, who was with the police for over 12 years. I am also blessed with five wonderful grandchildren.
7. My other loves are my two dogs: Poppy, a black fifteen-year-old lovable Cocker Spaniel and Lilly, a six year old complexed white Cavachon, they are both fun to be around during the day and great company for me in the evenings. We’ve always had dogs and I can’t imagine my home without one.
8. I also own my much loved 900cc British motorcycle, which I tend to spend more time cleaning than I do riding it. I know motorcycling is not for everyone but for me, it’s my way of relaxing and having time to myself without phone calls and the internet. Although the roads today are not as much fun as they used to be, I still enjoy the freedom of riding and often head for the coast for a bag of chips and breath of sea air.
9. I am one of seven children and a son of a farmer, which meant that I spent all of my childhood living in the countryside. I was born in the same house that my parents lived in for all their married life. I feel that I had an enchanted childhood, the whole of the countryside was my playground, I had many adventures building dens and tree-houses, running in the meadows and playing war games in the woodlands with my pals. My novel is based in and around the places I knew as a child, I truly believe that my upbringing and my understanding of the countryside around me, is where I nurtured my passion for nature.
10. I am a firm believer that if you really want to achieve something in your life, you shouldn’t allow anything to hold you back. Although there are no guarantees in life, my message to anyone that may suffer from dyslexia or any other learning disability, is to never give up. If someone had told me when I left school, that one day I’d run my own business, travel the world and be a published author, I think I would have laughed, so, just go for it.
Between Darkness and the Light is out now.
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