It’s called Tales From The Conch Republic and actually was conceived as a comic book. After starting the dialogue, I had a run of illustrators who received job offers out of state just days/ hours after wanting to do this with me. After that I decided that I’d scrap that idea and turn it into an actual book.
The story is about pirates, but I didn’t want it to fall into the typical pirates vs. whoever story. So the twist is that the spirit of a deceased British Royal Navy captain who was slain in battle with pirates needs a pirate to avenge him and his crew. Without his help they may never receive eternal rest. The spirit tells the pirate; who was currently escaping pursuit in a stolen boat, that his nemesis in the RN was witness to the battle. He could have saved his fellow captain and crew, but rather opted to wait. Upon seeing that the captain was dead, he then called his men into battle. His unwitting men rushed in, beat the pirates and saved some of the crew. They thought themselves to be heroes, but rather were a means to an end for the conniving captain. The nefarious captain took his fallen mates ship as his own and dispatched the survivors throughout the empire. Since his was a death of deceit, he had to make things right to gain his and the crews rest.
The pirate agreed that for his safe passage from his pursuers that he’d help the spirit. This would prove to be more difficult than he expected. As part of the deal was that he must find not only pirate crew, but in another twist, the remaining Royal Navy men who escaped that fateful battle. What follows are the tales of the gathering the men, convincing them to join a pirate band and save their friends souls. Of course none of this would prove to be easy as they had to battle foul weather, poorly constructed ships and, of course, each other.
The story is sprinkled with historical accuracies; such as roles of the men and superstitions, while having fun with some modern day jokes.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born and raised in Chicago Illinois and although I went to school for athletic training, I have always enjoyed writing. When I worked for a professional ice hockey team I wrote a journal on road trips for the teams website. This was before the athletes took it upon themselves to do so. It was fun and well received by the fans as a little look behind the scenes of what actually went into road trips. I was also writing a blog before there was such a thing. When email really started getting popular I would reconnect with my friends across the country by writing about daily occurrences in life. I am a big fan of radio legend, Steve Dahl who made a living telling stories of his life; taking mundane daily topics and spinning them into comedy. I would look for the humor in everything and try my best to do be as funny in print as Steve is on the radio. It’s great when you can write without limitations placed on you and can venture anywhere with it.
I have always enjoyed the water and have fished, sailed, both competitively and for fun, and am a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was looking for a creative outlet and thought a comic book would be a fun thing to try. When that fell apart, I looked at my favorite book of all time, “A Pirate Looks At Fifty,” by Jimmy Buffett. In it he describes growing up and how he was inspired to pursue his vocation. I’ve always been inspired by him and figured, “why not at least try it?”
How did you choose the title?
The Conch Republic is the nickname of the Florida Keys. The main character of the story was the first person born of European ancestry on what would become Key West. This was his home and plays a significant role in the story. Much of it takes place in fictional parts of the keys as well.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
Many of them are my little tributes to actual people. The main character’s name is a combination of two of my favorite people who played football for the Chicago Bears. Others were named after friends of mine who gave consent. Not all of them were pleased with what became of their characters though.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
Mostly I read historical non-fiction. I love history and can get sucked into books about people or events that interest me. However, when I venture into fiction, probably Hemmingway is my favorite.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Yes. It’s a follow-up to Tales From The Conch Republic. So far it’s just in the beginning stages and don’t have a clue as to where it will wind up.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
People who enjoy nautical/historical fiction and have a good sense of humor will enjoy it the most.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Directly from Amazon