Mick Harney

Biography

Mick Harney is a writer, photographer, and walker.

His books on fell and hill walking spring from over 30 years exploring the fells of the English Lake District and the mountains of Scotland. He previously completed a full round of the 214 hills in Cumbria famously catalogued by Alfred Wainwrights and is well on the way to accomplishing his second circuit. He has summited over 100 of the Scottish mountains above 3000 feet known as Munros.

Mick’s passion for the wilder places, and fascination about our interactions with them, has led him most recently to investigate, and exclusively reveal, the true story of that most profound of human explorations, the quest for the South Pole.

His poetry has been published in the magazines Dragon, Knee-Deep, and TaC, and won awards in the Lancaster Lit Fest and Vers Poets competitions. He was short-listed for the 2010 Bridport prize.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I’m British and was born in the city of Bradford in the part of Yorkshire known in those days as the West Riding. Latterly, we moved a little further north to live in Skipton on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. As you’ll see from the introduction to 'Contour Lines', both places deeply influenced my character and my writing. Skipton in particular is very much defined by the landscape within which it is set: it is a town of only about 20,000 people and there is no place within its boundaries where you cannot see the hills and the moors.
When did you first start writing?
Not so very long ago, I discovered an exercise book from my primary school that contained a short story I’d written about a spy landing from a submarine. We were encouraged to express ourselves at school so that wasn’t so much of a departure. However, I suppose the first concrete sign of identifying writing as an activity that was my own was when I began a notebook to record ideas in my late teens. There was a drive underneath that caught me by surprise: at university I took to participating in poetry open nights with my work and found I enjoyed it.
Read more of this interview.

Books

Neither Amundsen Nor Scott: Who Was Really First to the South Pole?
Price: $5.70 USD. Words: 78,330. Language: British English. Published: June 29, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Polar regions
Who was first to the South Pole? Does the question seem banal? Far from it. Of his own accomplishment, Roald Amundsen stated unequivocally: “we were not standing on the absolute spot”. Captain Robert Scott thought he had reached the Pole, but was misled by a Norwegian marker intended for another purpose. If it wasn’t Amundsen or Scott, just who was first? This book exclusively reveals the name.
Contour Lines: On the Path to a Thousand Mountains
Price: $4.70 USD. Words: 75,090. Language: English. Published: July 15, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Mountaineering, Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Hiking
Mick Harney returns with more unique perspectives on fell and hill walking in Scotland and the English Lake District. He offers a fresh crop of new and compelling insights, including many detailed descriptions of individual mountains, the paths we take to them, and what they reveal to and about us.
Points of Contact: On the Practice, Philosophy, and Pleasures of Fell Walking
Price: $4.70 USD. Words: 59,530. Language: English. Published: July 11, 2011. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Mountaineering, Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Hiking
Are you passionate about walking and climbing, perhaps in areas such as Scotland and the English Lake District? Or do you simply have a curiosity about those activities and those places? Points of Contact is the book for you. Knitting geology, history, and meteorology into an illuminating exploration of the world of fell and hill walking, it is by turns descriptive, humorous, and poetic.

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