Words and photos by Danny Burrows
It’s a bright winter’s morning, minus two degrees, on the south east coast of Kent. I pull up along side Will Thomson’s van, parked on Kingsdown Beach on the tide line of shingle left by a recent storm surge. I knock on the side window, milky with condensation. The door slides open and a rush of hot air crashes over me like a wave.
“Coffee?” asks Will standing at a stove, toasting chocolate croissants. I climb in, peel off my layers and squeeze into the front seat with Will’s dog Alfie at my feet.
“I really wanted to get into surfing when I was growing up in Deal, but there are no waves.”
The van is Will’s mobile office, where he wrote his first book The Book Of Tides and where he is now writing the sequel, World Of Tides, having rented a fisherman’s cottage in his hometown of Deal. It’s his quiet space, he tells me, where he can focus away from the hubbub of his young family. He has a two-year-old daughter Otti and his wife Naomi, an artist, is expecting a new addition to the family in April.
“I go out in the van and use it as a writing studio. I could have done the pictures (for the new book) with all of us in the van but I couldn’t write another book like that again. You just need complete focus.”