What inspired you to start writing? I have always liked to read. I suppose my first writing efforts were in imitation of what I read, or at the direction of my teachers. I was initially inspired to write for myself by stories I enjoyed that centered upon an era, a technology, and a way of life that I found fascinating. Years later, reading those same stories compelled me to revisit what I had written earlier.
What did/does it feel like watching your first book fledge and leave the nest? It was a much more exciting time that I thought it would be. I felt like I did as a small child at Christmas time.
Why this particular setting and era? I’ve always had a particular interest in that period of history ranging from the French and Indian (Seven Years) War through the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars. To me, the era is the dividing line between ancient and modern times. I am also intrigued by the technology of the time, especially the ships.
Are you character or plot driven? I’ve never really thought about that, but I’m probably more plot driven. In planning ahead, I tend to think more about how the story develops, rather than how the main character(s) develop(s).
What do you do if one of your characters starts developing at a tangent? Being more of a “plot person,” I don’t know if I’ve had that happen. I have had the plot take off on me, sometimes as a revelation that something needs to happen. I usually just roll with it and see how it all works out.
If you were in a tight corner and had to rely on one of your characters to save you, which would it be and why? That would depend upon the type of trouble I was in. Facing physical danger, I’d welcome the aid of Edward Pierce, Isaac Hotchkiss, Granville Jackson, and others. Were I ill, I believe the ministrations of Doctor Robertson, especially were his skills brought forward to 21st century standards, would be welcome.
If you had no constraints of time and a guarantee of publication, what book would you write? Quite probably what I have written. Being self-published, I basically have the freedom to write the book(s) I want to write, and/or the book I want to read.
Is there a classic book you started and simply couldn't finish? Although I did eventually read it all the way through, I had a devil of a time trying to read Moby Dick. I started it several times and only recently was I able to persevere and make it to the end. I think I had trouble with sentences so long and convoluted that by the time I reached the end, I had forgotten how the thing had started.
What’s your favourite nautical fiction book? Undoubtedly any and all of C. S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower series. And why? I enjoy them. Perhaps I like the imperfections of the Hornblower character. They make him that much more human. I should also point out that it was reading the Hornblower saga that inspired me to write what has become the Stone Island Sea Stories.
What's your next project? The sequel to Beyond the Ocean’s Edge: A Stone Island Sea Story has been written. It needs a few revisions yet, but I plan to have Sailing Dangerous Waters: Another Stone Island Sea Story out sometime next year. Currently I’m working (very slowly, if at all) on Darnahsian Pirates: One More Stone Island Sea Story. If all goes well, that should follow a year or so later. I have ideas to continue the series for a few more books, and as well ideas for other books and series set in that world.
My web-site: www.stoneislandseastories.com
My Live Journal: http://vespican.livejournal.com/
My self-publishing service company’s web-site: www.outskirtspress.com
My book’s listing in theirs online bookstore: www.outskirtspress.com/bookstore/9781432
My web-page on their site: www.outskirtspress.com/Beyondtheoceansed