A LIFELONG angler from Horsell is hoping to reel in a bestseller with a book he has written about his hobby.

John Moorwood recently completed The Magic of Fishing, a chronicle of a lifelong passion finished in difficult circumstances.

The book was finished as he overcame the loss of his mother, Janet, to cancer this spring, the agony of two slipped discs which required surgery and being without a job.

“I’ve been fascinated by the beauty and mystery of water since I was a toddler, and it’s a passion that still burns brightly,” said John, 48, wh0 is head of global media at Sweden-based Ericsson, and parent of four.

“It hasn't always been that way, though, and it took an unexpected period of unemployment about five years ago when a job move fell through after the Brexit vote, for my love of angling to be reawakened.

“It was a stressful time, but I started fishing more than I’d managed in years, which reminded me of how important it was in my life. So outside of job hunting I started to write down my stories.

“Then I joined Centrica, so it went on the back burner again until I was made redundant from there about three years later because of COVID cuts.

“I thought if one good thing were to come out of this, and given my personal circumstances, it would be finishing the book. So, about five years after starting it, I did.”

He said he had an idyllic childhood in Yorkshire and was particularly close to his grandfather, Joe, who taught him how to fish.

“Since then, I’ve had a deep connection with nature that has helped me cope with the ups and downs of adult life,” John added.

“Getting out on the bank has brought calm, forged strong friendships and eased the pressures of business.

“Some struggle to understand angling, but I’ve tried to write something that will appeal to fellow fishing addicts while also entertaining non-anglers who feel nostalgia for the pre-digital era, or who simply love nature.

“Finding a publisher after six years of effort was a dream come true, particularly after dealing with a number of serious challenges during the pandemic, including the loss of my brilliant mum.”

John’s book, which features cover artwork by his sister, Anna Stephenson, and pencil sketches by his dad, Rowan, uses 22 short chapters to retell some of his most memorable angling adventures.

They include his first trip to an enchanting pond in Derbyshire, a ghostly experience in Devon and battling a giant sailfish off the coast of West Africa.

In the spirit of the hugely popular BBC television series Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, it is a book about fishing rather than a fishing book.

“I started writing way before Mortimer and Whitehouse were on air,” said John. “When that programme came on and lots of people told me they finally starting to understand fishing, I thought that’s exactly what I’m trying to achieve with my book. It’s about life, and my life just happens to have revolved around fishing. 

“I’ve tried to capture magical childhood memories, family bonds, friendship, love, loss, and also the challenges of adult life.

“It’s an open, honest and emotional book and celebrates the magic of childhood as much as fishing.”

* The Magic of Fishing is available from bookshops in paperback, in limited edition hardback from www.gnbooks.co.uk and on Kindle.