How did you go from fishing to writing?
It was thanks to Sebastian Junger's very generous portrayal of me in his book, The Perfect Storm. After that, publishers basically invited me to write a book. I ended up getting an agent, who told me to write what he explained was called a proposal, for a book that ended up being The Hungry Ocean. He sent it around to editors.Then there was a phone auction and Hyperion won. It wasn't something I'd ever imagined doing. In college, I'd majored in English because I liked to read, but I'd never taken creative writing courses. I am an old-fashioned letter-writer, but that's not the same as writing a book. I guess I just had some confidence that I could do it.
What was your impression of the movie The Perfect Storm? Did you like the way you were portrayed?
I was thrilled with Warner Bros choice of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio to play Linda Greenlaw, and I was amazed at the special effects. The movie was Hollywood's version of speculation as to what could have happened to the Andrea Gale, and maybe it was a little far-fetched. I don't necessarily agree with their speculation. But I thought the movie was a nice tribute to a way of life of people who choose to go to sea.
Are you still fishing?
I was hauling lobster traps up until July 7, when I started the book tour. Unfortunately I'm going to miss most of the season on the book tour.
Who hauls your traps while you're away on book tour?
My dad takes care of the traps and the boat while I'm gone. He actually prefers it when I'm gone, because it's more fun to captain the boat than to be sternman. I'm very lucky to have my dad, that's for sure.
How is your mother?
My mother is a breast cancer survivor. She's feisty as ever, so I think she's doing great.
How do you write - what is the process?
I am very disciplined about my writing. I treat it like I do fishing, in that it's a job, its hard work, and I have to do it every day to do it well. I write every day from when I get up in the morning to about lunchtime and then I try to do something physical and outside the rest of the day. I write longhand in a notebook, making all of my corrections and changes on paper, and eventually I take the time to type it in to MS word.
Did you ever get married?
No, I'm not married but I have a very nice man in my life right now.