I’ve always loved writing. It grabs me, and time stops while I’m in the thick of it. Always an effort to start, but nevertheless rewarding. So I’ve made more time for it in recent years, and this has been a source of great happiness for me.
My mother, Christina Barritt, had a passion for books and reading, and she made sure that her family always had a ready supply of quality children’s literature to hand. Thus inspired, I began writing stories at an early age, and they got rather longer, over time! During the hot Summer of ’76 I wrote my first novel, a science fiction book called The War of Herus V. It was appallingly bad! But it showed me that I had the resilience and determination it takes to write something of that length. However, I stuck to free-lancing with articles for some years after that, before venturing into fiction again.
In the mid ‘80s, I wrote a children’s adventure book, The Secret of the Mermaid’s Treasure. This was illustrated by my mother, who was very familiar with all the places described in the book. The illustrations were mainly drafts at that stage, and I was also unable to find a publisher. But when I eventually came to re-publish the book in 2012 on Amazon, I found that the illustrations reproduced well in electronic format, and some even in printed form. The book was set in the west of Cornwall, where our family had lived until 1961 and which still remains a very special place for us all.
My other long-term creative activity has been editing Areopagus Magazine, which I founded as a Small Press publication in 1990, as a special interest publication for Christian writers. We have recently printed our 100th edition.
In 2002, together with my (Cornish-born) wife Gillian, I finally moved back to Cornwall. So now I don’t have to travel far to research my next children’s adventure book. Currently I’m studying obscure beaches. Which should be pleasant enough come the Summer...
The Case of the Ugly Bug Virus
Sean Beetle and his friend Shelley are on a great adventure when someone sends out The Ugly Bug Virus.
The twist? Readers are taken into a real insect world where the web is more than we know. Sean's dad owns a detective agency and he asks for Sean and Shelley's help to get to the bottom of whoever is causing the troubles.
This was a great idea for a fun story and the author did a great job incorporating insects into an amazing tale of mystery, adventure and a touch of insect conspiracy. Highly recommended for all ages.
Thanks for letting me read this great book.
***** by pswinn, Reviewer
The Invasion of the Ants
This second book in the Dirk Beetle Detective Agency series is all that it promised. Barritt's bug world has been humanized so that, even if the reader doesn't like bugs, empathy will be felt for them. It represents various insects. It's such a clever story, weaving real bug characteristics with those of humans. Especially fun is a continuation of the development of "the web", run by the spiders, of course. Who else can run a web? And I found it amusing that while previously the bugs used leaves to print their IM messages (delivered by flies), in this story they have developed a new product which they call "paper". My favorite statement is when as an aside the author offers the information that it's a myth that spiders catch flies in their webs to eat them when actually they merely stop by the web so they can carry messages for the web.
The red ants are at war and are attacking other species as they move to conquer the insect world. Dirk Beetle, accompanied by his son, Sean and Sean's girlfriend Shelly, along with Sergeant Zip of the wasp police force, undertakes a secret mission to the north to thwart the red ants. They find "Crazylegs", a millipede, who agrees to take them up the River Worm in his barrel-shaped boat and down a waterway under the mountain where there is a monster. How they succeed is a story that children will love to read!
***** Review, by Amazon Customer
The Secret of the Mermaid's Treasure
I liked this story very much. Written in the way of an Enid Blyton story, it's a good old-fashioned type mystery that takes place in Cornwall among the rugged scenery and picturesque towns, and includes century old secrets. Not to say that the story is old-fashioned because it isn't. The story had a great plot, well-defined characters, danger, great scenery, and it all comes together in a very satisfactory way by the end. The hand-drawn illustrations are quaint and add a visual dimension to the story.
Teenaged siblings Andrew, Sarah, and Jo Lawrence travel to Cornwall by train for a camping trip on their uncle's farm. On the way they meet Mrs. Lewis, who accidentally leaves behind an ancient book with a cryptic letter written in the 18th century inside hinting at a treasure. They become friends with Mrs. Lewis' two nieces and the five set out to follow the clues in the letter to a possible treasure. However, they aren't the only ones looking for the treasure; a ruthless man is dogging their every step. It's a race to see who can figure out the clues and get to the treasure first!I would welcome a sequel to this story.
***** Review by Linda Burns, a childrens' adventure series reviewer
Author's note: Readers will be interested to know that a sequel is already in the planning phase.
Sea, Snow and Spies
Strange lights over Mount's Bay; mysterious circles in the sand, and an ephemeral ghost ship!
What a start to the Christmas holidays for Andy, Sarah and Jo Lawrence! Returning to Cornwall to meet up with Mary and Hazel Bailey who they met last summer in Cornwall, the group find themselves once more confronted by a new mystery involving secret codes and a mysterious ship. And just to add to the challenge, there are rumours that a very rare meteorological event is going to happen at this western extreme of the country - it's going to snow, and heavily!