Monday, 22 June 2015

Guest Author Interview - Doug Oudin

Doug Oudin joins me in this latest Guest Author Interview to tell us about his novel 'Five Weeks to Jamaica':

Click on image to buy from Amazon

Please introduce yourself - who are you and what do you do?
I grew up in southern California, and lived near the ocean most of my life. In 1978 I moved from Hermosa Beach, Ca. to Catalina Island, and worked and lived there for thirty-two years, most of them as the harbormaster on the West End of the Island.

I am married to a darling woman (37 years), and together we have raised two sons, Trevor and Troy, both of whom are now also mariners.

I am a man of the sea, always have been, and always will be. I held a 100 ton Masters License for thirty years, love to fish, swim, snorkel and do anything that has to do with the sea.

I retired and moved to Grants Pass, Oregon in 2010. I began writing my books after retiring as harbormaster. 

I now play volleyball 4 times per week, softball during the summer, and golf on occasion. My passions are my family, writing, and enjoying life along the way.

What first inspired you to start writing?While living on Catalina, I began writing a weekly article for the local newspaper, the Catalina Islander. I wrote a column 'Between Two Harbors' for twenty-one years. As harbormaster, the column dealt primarily with ocean-related incidents, events, and stories. 

It was always my goal and dream to write a book, and so immediately after retiring, I started my first book, 'Between Two Harbors, Reflections of a Catalina Island Harbormaster'. It was published in late 2013. After it's launch, I started my second book, a seafaring novel entitled 'Five Weeks to Jamaica', which went live two weeks ago.

And where did the idea for 'Five Weeks to Jamaica' come from?
My idea for 'Five Weeks to Jamaica', stemmed from my sea travels to Mexico, Central America, Jamaica, and the Bahamas. Drawing upon my knowledge of those regions, and my cumulative ocean voyages, I wanted to create a fictional story that reflects my love of the sea, and the wonder and impact the ocean can have on boats, and on people. The characters in the story represent mostly my imagination, but also reflect bits and pieces of real-life situations that I have experienced and witnessed during my ocean adventures.

Which book has had the greatest impact on you?
I have to say that Hemingway's 'The Old Man and the Sea' is probably the most inspiring book I have ever read. Because of its simplicity and poignant story line, I think of the old fisherman as an influence that set me on a course to pursue my own seafaring life. Moby Dick was also one of my all time favorites, as was a non-ocean related book; Atlas Shrugged.

Do you have a favourite place in which to write?
While living on the Island, my favorite place to write was my overstuffed chair overlooking Isthmus Cove. With large picture windows with a stunning panorama of the ocean, and Bird Rock and Ship Rock as offshore landmarks, the view was nothing short of spectacular.
Now that I am in Grants Pass, I either work looking out over my backyard, with plum, cherry, peach, and apple trees (plus flower beds) to gaze upon, or in my front room with a vibrant view of the Rogue Valley spread out before me.

What was the last book you read?
My last book read was a Wilbur Smith novel, 'Golden Fox'. I've read most of Wilbur Smith's books, and enjoy him immensely. I'm currently reading the last 'Fifty Shades of Grey' book, and plan to start 'Unbroken' next.

What is your favourite song lyric?
My favorite song lyric is actually a line in a song by Johnny Cash. It's the line in 'Folsom Prison Blues' that states' "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die'. What an incredibly powerful and bizarre line in a song! 

What are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a life story, planning to collaborate with my surviving brothers and sisters to complete a family history telling of the impact of eight children orphaned in ages from 3 to 17 years of age. The idea is that each of the surviving children will relate their own stories of losing both parents at a tender age, and their respective paths of growth, struggle, and successes in life.

Tell us about 'Five Weeks to Jamaica' and how we can find out more.
 'Five Weeks to Jamaica', is a seafaring novel, laced with some sexual interactions, drama, and personal revelations. It tells of the story of four young adventurers who buy passage on a 'luxury yacht' bound for Jamaica. As soon as they see the 'yacht', the journey takes several unique and unexpected twists when they meet and become acquainted with the other thirty-some passengers who share the 147' motor yacht.

The ensuing journey takes the eclectic group of seafarers on a trip that is both entertaining and challenging, and for some, life-changing. 

It is a vivid view into the world at sea, the wonders of the tropics, and the inexplicable nuances of human nature.

It can be found at Amazon Books, as well as other retail websites. It is available in printable version and on e-book formats. A cover copy summary can be viewed, as well as an excerpt from the book's text.

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