Friday, 12 December 2014

The Guinea Boat Cometh...

Hastings at the turn of the 19th century
Well, my next book, The Guinea Boat, is almost ready to launch. With luck and a following wind, she will set sail mid-January, and be available in all the usual formats. This is not another Fighting Sail story (although the next: working title, The Line of Battleship, should be ready by Easter). Instead expect something a little different, and far more reflective.

Set in Hastings, Sussex during the early part of 1803, Guinea Boat tells the story of two young lads, and the diverse paths they take to make a living on the water.  Britain is still at an uneasy peace with France, but there is action and intrigue a plenty along the south-east coast. Private fights and family feuds abound; a hot press threatens the livelihoods of many, while the newly re-formed Sea Fencibles begin a careful watch on Bonaparte's ever growing invasion fleet. And to top it all, free trading has increased to the extent that it is now a major industry, and one barely kept in check by the efforts of the preventive men.

A revenue cutter
Don't expect major battles – the largest cannon fired are twelve pounders, and fleet actions simply don't figure. But there should be something to satisfy any with a love of the sea, especially those who enjoy their history with the odd whiff of gunpowder.

This is my eighth book, and the third under the Old Salt Press banner. OSP is a relatively new publishing house that concentrates entirely on books connected with the sea. It has a small crew of experienced writers that was recently boosted by the addition of Antoine Vanner, known for his highly acclaimed late 19th century Dawlish Chronicles. Book three of the series Britannia's Shark has just been released, and new work is also expected shortly from OSP writers Rick Spilman, Joan Druett and V E Ullet.

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