Thanks for your comments about Breaking Seas. I wrestled long and hard with the issue of how much "personal non-sailing" information to put in the book. I decided (correctly, I believe) that the personal issues were central to the story and it would not be anything close to the same story (or a true story) without the personal sections, which were vital to my motivation to leave the land to begin with.
To write a "just the sailing, please" sort of book would have walked away from way too much irony. And it's SO ironic: the guy who couldn't get a girlfriend ends up on a boat alone with four women, without deliberately evoking that situation. And none of the women were a suitable love interest. I wanted to "escape" rejection, but as I indicated near the end, going to sea actually increased my rate-of-rejections and they were not limited only to the women and romance category. What's the saying? "Wherever you go, there you are?" How many people try to escape themselves by going to sea? A well-known cruising writer (maybe one of the Pardeys) once warned: the sea has a way of amplifying your personal issues, not solving them.
This is the way the real world works - and I wanted to write a book that was real.
The vast majority of the feedback has been favorable and encouraging, and after eight months the book is a top seller in the sailing category, bouncing around the top 4 or 5 or so. The negative reviews are along the lines of "what a loser" or people who felt that since I did not sail around the world, I have no business writing such a book. Ironically, I wondered about that for years, figuring the fact that I turned around at Cabo would make the book unsatisfying. It was my close friends who finally convinced me to write the book back in Dec 2011. They were quite enthusiastic that it would be a popular and appreciated book, and although I had my doubts, it turns out they were right.
I also wanted to write an "underdog" story to inspire people who are older and have unfulfilled dreams but they're intimidated by the people who have been doing what they want to do for decades. To some extent, this is a class issue: many of us who grew up in blue-collar families without a lot of money reach our 40's without ever having partaken in a BIG hobby, such as flying or sailing or skiing or travel to other continents. Up to that point, life had been a struggle to survive, and there was no extra money for those things. Suddenly the money comes - but there is that pit in the bottom of the stomach. Won't I look foolish? I've never done anything like that before - and these people (from affluent families) have been doing it since they were six. They're going to laugh at me!
Well, do it anyway.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Breaking Seas! I am working on a second book, a novel, nothing about sailing: it's a futuristic adventure intended for the 13-17 age group but suitable for adults too - I think sailors would love it!
This last weekend I created a Facebook page for Breaking Seas (something I should have done a long time age). Please consider visiting the page (it's very basic right now) and "liking" it. I am adding to it and once it gets more likes it will be promoted.