Quick news flash: Secret Stations, the television series inspired by my book Tiny Stations, starts on Channel 4 on Sunday 1st May at 8pm. It’s presented by Paul Merton and I’m in the first episode, talking to Paul (hey, we’re on first name terms, obvs, and I can report that he was charming, generous and funny) about Schrödinger’s Cat, unless that bit got cut, in which case it’s mainly about railway request stops.

In other news, my next book, Tiny Churches, comes out in October and will no doubt be hitting your screens in televisual form in 2017. Basically, I’m keeping Paul Merton in work.

Right, on with the usual website. I expect I talk about At Night next. Anyone remember that?


Hello and thank you for coming. This is the website where I have some things about me. If you’re looking for any other Dixe Wills, you’ve come to the wrong parallel universe.

The chances are you’re here because you’ve heard about my latest book, At Night, which was published on 21st June and whose sleeve, when stretched out rather than wrapped around a book, looks somewhat like this:


Please buy it (the whole book – don’t just buy the sleeve), preferably from a real shop. Not only will this enrich your life (the buying from the shop and the subsequent reading of the book) but it will enrich mine as well, though almost certainly not by as much as you think. If I sell enough copies, my dream is to open up a lint shop. Nobody has anywhere to go to buy lint at the moment, which is why they have to manufacture it themselves at home. I have spotted a gap in the market and I aim to exploit it with some ruthlessness. Help make my dream a reality.

If you’re here for 2014’s runaway success, Tiny Stations, then you’ve also come to the right place. You’ll be beyond thrilled to learn that it’s being made into a Channel 4 series called Secret Stations. It’s being presented by Paul Merton (who turns out to be lovely in real life, as you might expect) and features an all too brief appearance from self. It’s due to be broadcast sometime in the spring of 2016 and is already being tipped* to sweep the BAFTAs.

The microscopic cat is called Keith.

The microscopic cat is called Keith.

Get yourself ahead of the media frenzy by scoring a copy here if (it’s a fiver off and cheaper than those tax-avoiding slave-drivers at Amazon).

If you’re looking for my other books with the word tiny in them, you need do nothing more than click the tabs above. For news on previous books: The Z-Z of Great Britain, Places to Hide, New World Order/Wills Weltordnung or The Armchair Naturalist (soon to be available in simplified character Chinese too, if you’re a fan of that sort of thing), you’ll have to consult the rest of the internet, to which I have outsourced such things.

Fans of my tiny series will doubtless be beside themselves with joy at the news that there is to be a new addition in 2016, whose title I shall announce to a frankly undeserving world later this year.

*by my mother

If you’d like to contact me about anything (by which I mean only nice things like plaudits, encomia, or offers of money for which I have to do the minimum of work), my e-mail address is in the Self section.

48 thoughts on “

  1. Just met your mother on the train from Liverpool street today. What a nice lady. She showed me yourbook and I will definitely get a copy.

    • Ah, how nice – my mother is indeed a nice lady – one only hopes such traits turn out to be genetic. I hope you enjoy Tiny Stations when you come into possession of a copy. All the best, Dixe

  2. Just stumbled across you latest Dixe.
    I have decided to treat myself to a copy for my birthday.
    Seen the comments and some pickies. Just what I want to read !!

    Many thanks

  3. Just got Tiny Stations as a birthday present and thoroughly enjoying it, Tiny Islands is coming for Christmas (I think)
    Not overly surprised to read that you are a fellow supporter/sufferer of the O’s Just the sort of quirky humour that seems to be associated with our great club. Keep up the good work and looking forward to reading some of your other publications

    • Glad you’re enjoying Tiny Stations, Richard. If nothing else it will take your mind off our inglorious season. I’m afraid I’m still rather scarred by being right next to the goal at Wembley when Chris Dagnall stepped up and placed the ball on the spot…

  4. Thanks for reminding me Dixe, didn’t you just know he wouldn’t score. Tried to blank that day out and just remember the far better ending at Oxford a few years ago.
    Happy New Year
    P.S. Tiny Islands did arrive for Christmas

    • Ah yes, happier times. Also, as long as we keep on beating any team that begins with Cr- 4-1, we’ll almost certainly save ourselves from the drop…

  5. Mr. Dixe Wills
    I am very happy about your book. May be you don’t remember me,but I will never forget what you have done to me. I was in Kenya and you were working for Pen International. Please contact me.
    Thanks for everything Mr. Dixe.

    • Hello!

      Many apologies – your message somehow got lost in the bowels of my website. I’m very pleased to hear from you – where are you living now? I do hope all is going well for you.

      All the best


  6. Hi Dixe

    Am really enjoying Tiny Stations, both as a railway enthusiast and general reader. Your description of trying not to appear to be loitering was masterful, and I would love to have seen the late lamented Rik Mayall performing that scene on stage.

    Thanks for a great read,


    • Thank you, Quentin – that’s very kind. And ah yes, the lovely Rik Mayall – would have been happy for him to act out any part of the book, frankly – even the author acknowledgements…

      All the best


  7. Yes, I shall miss Rik. I look at some of the “comedy” programmes on TV today and cannot even contemplate why anyone would find anything remotely amusing there – Detectorists being a prime example.

    But back to Tiny Stations – I am in a state of suspense wondering whether you have been targeted as a human sacrifice (or worse) at Castle Greyskull in Altnabreach. Tonight I will find out!

    Looking forward to your next “Tiny”.


    • Ah, I’m afraid we shall just have to agree to disagree on Detectorists – my favourite programme of last year (admittedly, I don’t have a telly so don’t see much but I loved it – chacun à son goût, as our French cousins have it).

      I do hope I managed to get out of that little scrape alive – somewhere, I’m sure, there’s a copy of the book in which I don’t.

      All the best


      • I’ve just finished ‘Tiny Stations’. Your style and observations on the journey are pitch-perfect, but I found the final chapter very disturbing. After reading the words of your host – ‘Khenemet will be buried here and I will be buried in that space next to him’ – I have been unable to expunge from my mind the thought … shouldn’t he have put that the other way round?

        As you discovered for yourself, there are some places you just have to get on your bike and get the hell out of …

      • Thank you for your kind words – I’m glad you enjoyed the book. Yes, I confess that the episode at Altnabreac was one of the more interesting I’ve had in my life. And to be fair to Brian, he probably only constructed the sentence in that way because we had just been talking about Khenemet’s coffin. So, nothing out of the ordinary there at all…

  8. Just read you Guardian article re: B&B in London. Do you have other suggestions for a quick 4 day trip to London? We’ll be there in September (from CA, USA), & would appreciate any ideas.

  9. Hello DW/NW/JPJ. You don’t know me. No, that’s not right, let’s start again, you do know me. Ah, Croydon, lovely Croydon ! I hope all well. I went through a bit of a splurge on your books some time ago, all of which are lovely but then lost the scent. As luck would have it Tiny Islands drifted through my transom while ensconced, as we are, in the Isles of Scilly, a regular haunt for us. So have downloaded to my kindle for a frankly ludicrously cheap price. Lovely to read about Samson and Gugh which I have visited previously and St Helen’s which I have only glimpsed from passing boats. I think I might be lucky with the tides and I am intending to walk across to Samson from Tresco over the weekend. And when I get home, will be visiting Cookham which is a stone’s throw from my place of work. Must dash, there’s a solar eclipse in half an hour. Idea for your next book, Tiny Rolands, where you interview as many small people called Roland that you can find. Keep up the good work.

    • Mikey,

      A joy to hear from you. I wondered who it was who was buying my books aside from my mother. Also encouraging to hear that someone else uses the word transom in conjunction with some form of the verb ‘to drift’. How did the walk to Samson go? I’ve never been in the Isles of Scilly at a time when it was possible. Did the sea come up as far as your knees? I’ll slip your fine Tiny Rowland idea onto my list (which is ironically, now anything but tiny). Top spot at the mo belongs to Tiny Mountains, in which I explore the hillocks, bijou knolls and slight inclines of the nation. What gives with thee when you’re not enriching your life by means of my literary output?

      • The joy is all mine, fair maiden and I never pass up the opportunity to drop in a Spinal Tap reference when one presents itself. The walk to Samson was delightful. I made the crossing pretty much as soon as it could be done whilst maintaining dry feet and spent probably an hour there, long enough to be gently harassed by brooding gulls and to be 95% certain of seeing a peregrine on the wing. A less conservative cove, not unduly concerned by a bit of soft core paddling could probably have spent another hour there but then I have seen people taken by surprise and end up waist high in rising water. Tiny Mountains ? Interesting. I hope you can reconcile that whilst definitions vary that by definition mountains aren’t tiny. I thought Tiny Cinemas also which is probably already on your list. That nice little cinema at Oxted ( I think) springs to mind, which I used to glimpse from the railway station ( often having missed my stop). You’d perhaps know better than me if it’s still there. Another nice one in Aldeburgh. That’s two already. Aldeburgh has a very nice Fish & Chip shop also. Actually how about tiny chip shops ? There’s a tiny chip shop in Henley. Anyway, I’m waffling. All well here bar the energy sapping of ‘gainful’ employment, living in Oxfordshire, not that many miles from Zouch Farm (Wills passim) and even less from the birthplace of Charlie Brooker. I may well attempt to follow you on Twitter despite not understanding Twitter in the slightest. For now adieu and best wishes. Mike

      • Sorry, Mikey, this disappeared into the cyber-ether (aka ‘I almost never look at my blog’ – a trait shared with the rest of the world’s population), or whatever the young persons are calling it nowadays. I know exactly the fish and chip shop in Aldeburgh you mean (for my sister lives nearby nowadays, so it is a place I visit and that). Also, a few years ago I spent a few days thinking that Tiny Mountains might be a good idea until it finally dawned on me that they were in fact merely hills. And there is a tiny cinema in Oxted (and indeed at Aldeburgh – I saw the Alan Partridge motion picture there). I fear, however, that the market for such a book may be equally tiny. You will, however, be consumed with excitement to learn that my publishers have just asked me to write Tiny Churches. I’ll let you guess what it’s about. Do follow me on twitter – my aim is to get to 1000 followers and then leave and get a life. Only 50 or so and I’m there. I’m @dixewills (uninspiringly). Howevs, the question everyone is asking around here (currently Jasper, Alberta) is, ‘When is Mike going to bring out an album of Yngwie Malmsteen covers?’ Any ETA on that? Self

      • What about Tiny Ferries, a book about passenger journeys on small boats that can be made around the UK? I say Ferries not Fairies, which would lend a very different, A Midsummer Night’s Dream flavour to the book.

  10. I met you at Greenore campsite in Tremain last Tuesday evening. I just wanted to remind you about St Mary’s Church, Snibston, Coalville, Leicestershire. The following link will give you some information, but if you google it you will find other links. Did you go to Mwnt church after all? We drove there the folliwing day. I think St Mary’s is smaller and prettier – but I’m biased!
    Kind regards

    • Hi Janet,

      So sorry, I missed a load of messages on my blog – yours among them – which I’ve just unearthed. And thank you, both St Mary’s and Mwnt (which I went back to a couple of months later) are in the book. It’s called Tiny Churches and comes out in October with the AA, and I’ve given you a little credit in the back.

      Hope all well with you.

      All the best


  11. Hi Dixe,
    Not a great one for the wild countryside myself or travelling on a budget,ususally spend an arm and a leg,but always thought you played a rare game of football at left back alongside my incredible skills

    • Michael Wills – as I live and breathe. Curiously, I was thinking about you only the other day as I watched a game of football in a park here in Canada (greetings from Vancouver, btw) and saw an outfield player desperately attempting to swat the ball with his arm. They were good times at Duppas Hill and no mistake.

  12. Your book has already entered Whitley Library in Reading, and I still have two weeks of enjoyment before I have to take it back.

  13. You may not like the idea of an M&S Black Friday weekend, Dixe, but at least you might be able to buy some reduced globe artichokes. Or are these now homegrown? I know you did that Landshare thing, because by chance I got the River Cottage 2011 Calendar with an interview with you in it. Being a fan of both railways and islands, I read Tiny Stations and then Tiny Islands, and only really recently discovered this link. Hoping to get my paws on At Night soon – not just the sleeve!

  14. I asked for and received Tiny Stations for Christmas, unfortunately overshadowed by my mum badly breaking her ankle at 9 pm on the 24th. She is still in hospital, but it does mean that our family still has the Christmas celebrations to look forward to when she recovers.

    • Sorry to hear about your mother – not the greatest piece of timing. I do hope the delayed Christmas celebrations go well, and that you enjoy Tiny Stations as well. (You may like to know that a C4 series called Secret Stations, which is inspired by the book, is due to be aired in the spring. It’s presented by Paul Merton and features a brief appearance from self in the first episode.) Happy new year, Dixe

  15. Hi there! I’ve just finished reading “Tiny Stations” and am STILL laughing! My wife banned me from reading it in bed as my laughter was so loud she worried what the neighbours might have thought…

    I was born in north Devon & know the stations on the Barnstaple line very well. Your story is a brilliant one; well written, well researched and above all, extremely funny! I’ll never knock on the door of a remote converted Scottish castle again……

    • Thank you for your kind words. I’m very glad you enjoyed Tiny Stations – that Barnstaple line is indeed a cracking one, so it was good to enjoy it while almost entirely sober…

  16. You may not remember me, but we overlapped at Croham aeons ago, and occasionally met on the train to Victoria. That probably limits it to a couple of hundred possibles. No, just to say that like other good folk who have commented elsewhere I am thoroughly enjoying Tiny Stations which I came across in a coffee shop in West Wickham, near where I live. Who would have thought so much fun could be extracted from the subject? But that sounds like you all over. The system at the coffee shop is ‘take a book, and swap it for another’, but when I’ve finished it I will take it back as it deserves a wider audience. The passage I related to was the trip from Glasgow to Fort William over the bogs and round the huge glaciated valleys which loomed eerily in the early dawn light. Of course to read how this rail track was laid after us having crossed it gave us the shivers. No wonder it picks its way along at 30 mph. I will look out for other ‘tiny’ books and also for the screening of Secret Stations this year.

    • Chris!

      Many apologies for the huge delay in replying. I normally do so when I graciously ‘approve’ a message but somehow my system broke down with yours. As you can imagine, I very much miss the commute into London… You’ll no doubt be thrilled to learn that Secret Stations began last Sunday and I’ve another ‘tiny’ book out in October – Tiny Churches (CRBC way too big, I’m afraid) – to thrill an otherwise jaded public.

      Anyway, excellent to hear from you – say hi to Monique (if she still remembers who I am),


  17. At Night another great book, looking forward to Secret Stations. I have both Tiny Stations and Tiny Islands – I love them both. Tiny Stations was the first one I read, and I loved your comical style of writing in it, but for Tiny Islands the isles themselves are, I find, the main draw. It’s all very interesting.

    I know you probably don’t need suggestions for future books, but how about Tiny Castles? That one was inspired by Piel Island…I know that you’ve done small castles on small islands, but what about small(ish) castles that aren’t on small islands? Or certainly obscure ones, perhaps? I’ll start you off with Noltland Castle, located on Westray, known for its proximity to Papa Westray and the Holm of Papay.

  18. Hi Dixe
    I also live near Croydon and know West Wickham. (Small world indeed). I was given Tiny Stations by my wife as an Easter present. I couldn’t put it down. Fascinating all through, but I was also worried by the Altnabreac hotel encounter. I knew you’d escaped though, cos you finished the book. Or did you. How do any of us know the book wasn’t finished by a ghost writer and Dixe is at present a long term guest of the Anubis twins!!
    I’m also looking forward to Secret stations. Can someone let all us fans know when it will be on?
    Thanks for a great read

  19. I watched Paul Mertons programme on request stops and he was speaking to you at ferryside station, you said that you had no idea why there was a station at Altnabreac. My grand father was the station master on this site and I used to spend my summer holidays at the station. the reason for the station was for the gentry to fish and shoot game, they stayed at what was Loch Dhu Hotel next to the Loch. If you require further infomation feel free to contact me.

    • Hi Don,

      Thanks for getting in touch – it’s very interesting to hear that your grandfather was at Altnabreac. Your theory is one espoused by a number of people but I’m afraid the dates don’t appear to stack up. Altnabreac station was opened in 1874, while my researches suggest that Lord Thurso’s hunting lodge (which only became the Loch Dhu Hotel much later) was built 21 years afterwards, in 1895. However, if you have evidence that the hunting lodge pre-dates the station, do send it my way and perhaps we can solve this little mystery.

      All the best


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