I was born into a navy family where my father was re-stationed every couple of years. Whether this was the seed that grew into my wanderlust, I will never know. I do suffer from the desire to travel, or is it that I am blessed with the passion to see new places?
I left home at 19 and single-handed a 26′ sailboat from San Diego to Hawaii. It was a horror story of a voyage. Everything that could go wrong, did. Nevertheless, I found myself on arrival, addicted to boats and voyaging. You would think that when I grew up I would write about my voyages, wouldn’t you? I wonder why I didn’t?
Today I am on my third circumnavigation of the Earth. The first on an engineless 24’er; the second on my present 41′ ketch. Along the way, I met my future wife teaching school in the wilds of Papua New Guinea and married her in the Northern Territory of Australia. That was 25 years ago.
During that time we grew a family while still wandering from country to island to forgotten bay. It has been a life of incredible joy and happiness, mixed with moments of pure terror!
What inspires you to write?
I never wanted to write. I never wanted to share my life. It was mine and I held it close to protect it. However, now that I am aging ever so more quickly I found I want to write down the experiences of my life so as my mind fades, I can reread my books. I wanted to leave a memory for my son as a last gift.
One of my books I wrote out of desperation. Where ever we go, people ask where our favorite places are. I got tired of replying so I wrote a book about 52 of the most fabulous places of the coasts of the Seven Seas. Plus one extra. Now when someone asks me the dread question, I sell them a book instead!
Tell us about your writing process.
Non-Fiction comes easy to me. Perhaps that is because I have filled my existence with so much life it gives almost endless topics on which to write. I don’t outline. I just sit down at the keyboard and start typing. This means an enormous amount of rewriting. But I love to rewrite! Rewriting allows me to phrase a sentence just so, to adjust the pace of the book, to enter into a one way communication with the reader.
The best time for me to rewrite is late at night when I wake up. The book I am writing surges through my brain and suddenly I see how to make the book better! I have tried writing down my ideas on a piece of paper, or speaking into a microphone. It doesn’t work. I have to get up and write it down as completely as I can on the computer. It is the only thing that works for me. Good thing us old guys don’t need as much sleep, huh?
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I write fiction completely different from how I write non-fiction. And at the same time, I rewrite it the same! I start out with an idea and then start writing. My fiction is always character driven. My characters are born as a thin idea that either die a well deserved death or grab me by the throat and force me to create them on paper. I really am not responsible. I am not the characters in my book. I don’t know where they came from. I wish people would stop accusing me of being a pirate just because the come to life so vividly in my books. I’m innocent! REALLY!
What advice would you give other writers?
Re-write. Rewrite and re-write again. Books come alive when you breathe your life into them. A quick paragraph is nothing compared to a well thought out paragraph that grabs the reader my the guts and won’t let go. Don’t be satisfied with words in a row. A bad sentence can ruin a book.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
People always wanted to know more about my life. The publishing gambit seemed to daunting for a man like me how changed addresses every couple of weeks, so I bought a printer, designed a press and started printing, binding and covering my books on board and sold them boat to boat as it were.
As kindle and its kin became more popular, I recently started offering some of my books for sale on line. So far it is going well. I really don’t spend enough time promoting. I have too many books inside of me pleading to get out!
New authors should really think about printing their own books in their basements. It is more work, but the rewards are far higher!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I recently watched the third movie of the Lord Of the Rings series. Great movie. I was struck by how well done was the scene where Frodo fought the giant spider. Scary. However, in the book, I was scared out of my mind! There is no comparison to a great scene when a writer can uses the readers imagination against him to scare him witless, compared to a movie where imagination is not required.
Books are here to stay. Digital books are a great idea and help to save the rain forests. Not that they will replace paper books. There is great joy in holding a book in your hands. It is like riding on a merry-go-round. There seems to be no merit in it, save it makes us feel good!
What genres do you write?
Adventure, Romance, Horror, Adult, Self-Help, Reference
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
Link To Author Page On Amazon