October 22, 2021
Ferry Facts: Debut Novel Publishes
Ferry's Rick McCann Now a Published Author
It only took Captain Rick McCann twenty years to get his book to market, but it arrived on October 10 to great reviews.
Here's how it's summarized on the back jacket and online: "...an exciting maritime thriller. Drug cartels devised a way to affix nearly undetectable containers to ships' hulls. International terrorists thwarted their plans and began using the containers to smuggle nuclear waste to use in constructing dirty bombs. A hurricane, international terrorism, and a budding relationship all complicate the life of the Captain of the Palm Princess."
This week, we interviewed Captain McCann to get some of the insider story behind the novel.
Q: Is there any particular meaning to the date August 7, 2002, when the book begins?
RM: Not really. I picked the date out of the air. It was in the right time frame to fit the story. It had to after 9-11 in order to tie in that event as well, so the date just worked.
Q: When did you start writing and get the idea for the story?
RM: This has been a long road -- really a 20-year process. I could only write it while on vacation and then in between family time. I started looking for an editor or agent about seven years ago, and the book has been in markup with the publisher for about seven months. I'm still waiting for the final edition that reflects all the last round of corrections.
Q: How can people get the book? I couldn't download more than a sample on Amazon, and had to order a copy from Target that won't arrive for a few days.
RM: I've heard that. It's published on demand. There are no books in inventory so when someone orders a book, it gets produced and shipped. It should soon be more easy to download when the final edition is released. I don't have my copy from the publisher yet either -- just proofs.
Q: The book starts with Captain Larry sailing the M/V Twin Capes. Are you Captain Larry?
RM: No, I'm not Captain Larry. He's a figment of my imagination. I do have one thing in common with him, however. Captain Larry says, "I've got a lot of 'I wish I knew that' in my life. I didn't want anyone else to have the same, trying to do things the hard way without knowing what was available." That's me for sure.
Q: And the mention of the Twin Capes?
RM: I was mostly sailing on the Twin Capes in 2002 so it was an easy reference for that point of time in the story. It is my homage to the Queen of our fleet at that time.
Q: Early in the book, Captain Larry gives advice to the young heroine about ways to get a marine education. This seems like a great book to encourage the next generation on how to go to school and yet learn the ropes and become part of the industry.
RM: It's true that when I was starting out, I didn't know about all the ways someone could get started in this field. I wasn't going to get an appointment to any of the United States Merchant Marine Academies and I didn't know about the State Academies such as SUNY, Maine, Texas A&M, California, or Massachusetts. I ended up enlisting in the Navy before I grraduated from high school and then did boot camp after graduation. This was one of the earliest " I wish I knews...."
Q: The dedication is really moving ..."to all the men and women who have gone to sea, are at sea, or will go to sea...." and that's just a small snippet of the full dedication.
RM: I did want to acknowledge the merchant marine force and bring to life the fact that the people in this industry are normal, everyday people trying to earn a living, while being battered by the weather.
Q: What was the hardest part of writing the book?
RM: The ending. I felt it could keep going, but I had to come up with an ending that would also leave a door open.
Q: For a sequel? Are there plans for more?
RM: Some plots have crossed my mind, but at this point I just have different ideas and nothing concrete.
GREEN NEWS: Change Halloween from Orange and Black to Green!
Halloween is soon upon us and if you don't have costume yet, consider all the ways to have an eco-friendly one from homemade to Etsy eco-friendly. Shown here, two ferry-related now grown up kids who celebrated one year as a Ninja Turtle and a College Co-ed. One grew up to become a black belt in karate and the other to become a co-ed at the University of Pittsburgh. Don't say costumes don't matter!
Several resources to inspire your Halloween planning include these articles from Grades of Green, Earth11, livegreenrecyclebank.com, and thathelps.com. Don't have the energy for DIY? Consider costume swaps, hand-me-downs, repurposing themed PJs, going vintage with clothes from a thrift store, or shopping on Etsy -- where the costumes may not be so much eco-friendly as eco-themed.