Mike Dunbar is an author and woodworker in New Hampshire. He's written nine books on woodwork and his specialty, the Windsor chair, as well as an eight-volume romantic-adventure series for young adults, The Castleton Series. (I've been getting more interested in decorative arts recently, and I actually saw his book on Federal Furniture at the Strand a few weeks ago - what a coincidence!) You might also recognize his name from a recent interview with his son, Michael Dunbar. It would seem creativity and talent run in the family!
Who are you?
I began writing as a 19-year old cub reporter. Since then, I have published nine
books and am preparing a three-volume set of essays I have written about the role
of seating furniture in history. I have written more magazine articles than I can
remember. My name has appeared on the mastheads of three national magazines.
My writing career has included stints as a newspaper and magazine columnist, and
an editor, as well as a radio and a television host. I am in demand as a seminar
speaker. I live in Hampton, NH with my family where I operate and teach at The Windsor Institute, a school that specializes in handmade Windsor chairs.
Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so,
how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation?
I blog at mikedunbar.tumblr.com and thewindsorinstitute.com/blog. On Tumblr, I serialize my eight-book time traveler adventure series, posting a
chapter a week. This series is intended for young adults, but they are cross overs,
in that they also appeal to adult readers. My other blog is geared toward
woodworkers and deals with making chairs.
What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen?
As above, I began writing professionally at age 19 as a cub reporter covering
fire/police/court for a daily paper. I published my first magazine article at 24 and
my first book at 26. My blog grew out of a quarterly publication I published for 11
years for Windsor chairmakers. (The group may seem obscure, but there are a lot of
them.) Paper publishing was expensive and as electronic media developed in the
past two decades, I followed along, connecting with my audience through my
blogs and monthly essays.
Why do you write?
I write because I have to. I think all the time and as ideas and topics firm up
in my mind, I have to give them expression. I liken it to being pregnant. When that
book, article, essay, is ready to come out, there is no holding it back. If not
expressed, the experience (although mental) is like physical pain.
Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you?
My time travel series was influenced by C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia and
C. S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower. I have always read the classics. I like the
books assigned in high school and college literature classics. Time has already
winnowed out the chaff and if a book is still being assigned, it is because it is good
writing. That said, I am a big fan of my son, also named Mike Dunbar. As a young
man he is already the best writer I know, far better than I will ever be. Get a sense
of his style and ability at his blog: suitcaseandguitar.com
In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-
expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I have always had a hankering to visit Australia. Ever since I was a boy and read
about Daniel Boone, I have wanted to go through the Cumberland Gap. Silly, but
it’s on my bucket list.
What is your favorite place on earth?
New Hampshire, both the White Mountains and the seacoast. That’s why I live
here. Other than that, I am partial to Brittany, France. The area is magical. On
country roads one would not be surprised to have a knight on horseback cross in
front of your car.
Anything else you'd like us to know?
You can find all my books at http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Dunbar/e/B0028AP1TA. You can read about the Castleton Series at
http://www.castletonseries.com/ and discover that time travel messes with your
mind and your heart. I can be contacted at castletonseries[AT]comcast.net.