Where Shall We Walk Today?-An interview with Dave Marriott.
Saturday 9th August 2014 @ 10:50 by Anna Fletcher
Poet's Corner

Dave Marriott

Dave Marriott’s first book Where Shall We Walk Today? follows his and his wife’s journey walking all 267 miles of the Pennine Way over 3 weeks.

Dave grew up in the 1960s in a small Derbyshire mining village and on one school trip to Edale caught a glimpse of the Pennine Way and vowed to go back and explore it.

Explore it he did although it was around 42 years later and through his journal entries and a good memory Dave put together his experience for a book.

Dave had never had any aspirations to be a writer but after he was asked to write a piece for the Pennine Way Association newsletter after a 7 day walk in the area, he caught the writing bug. A friend proof read the piece and encouraged Dave to write a book.

He and his wife, Diane, set out to walk the whole Pennine Way in 2013.

Dave said: “It was something I had always wanted to do, since childhood really. We didn’t find it gruelling at all really because we prepared well for it.”

Preparing included researching the right equipment and getting fitter, knowledge gained the hard way after equipment failing on their previous walk.

Once Dave had decided to write the book, he began to keep journals.

He said: “I carried a journal with me all the time, not just on walks, but all the time, even at work.

During the walk I took loads of photographs, 1400 in all. These were invaluable when I was writing because I could get them up on the computer screen and they instantly too you back to that place. It was a mammoth task doing research for different aspects of the book but I really enjoyed doing it.”

Dave kindly shared his advice to anyone wanting to take on the mammoth walking task saying: “Two things you need before you set off. Your feet and your head. Your feet need to be capable of walking 15 miles a day for 3 weeks and your head needs to know what it’s doing. You’ll find when reading the book that my head wasn’t always in the right place some of the time.

“Make sure your map reading skills are good and that you have good equipment, especially your boots and wet weather gear. Some people rely on electronic GPS or mobile phone apps for navigation. That’s ok, but you need a backup in the form of maps if say you have a battery failure.”

As for advice for any first time writers Dave said: “Although I filled 2 journals full of notes in preparation for the book, I found my best writing was when I just sat down and started typing. I used the journals to embellish what I’d written. I personally didn’t want to just write a guide book to the Pennine Way so I made the book into a sort of autobiographical account of my life in the great outdoors culminating in me and Diane walking from Derbyshire to Scotland.

“If anyone out there wants to write a book they should just do it. I did.”

Where Shall We Walk Today? is out now.