23 June 2011

Book Savvy Spotlight on Ron Palmer

Bringing you exclusive interviews with authors featured in the Book Savvy Newsletter.



Our Guest is Ron Palmer*

Enjoy the interview.

Q1) Can you tell us a little about yourself and your book 'To Boldly Go'?
I retired early from a career of thirty-five years at sea as a Navigating Officer and eventually as Captain of VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers) to the west coast of Canada, which incidentally was still close to the marine environment. A natural progression one would agree for a retired naval person. In the fullness of time, I built my own boat and cruised the waters of British Columbia, since the urge to return to sea didn't just evaporate. Prior to this I had never given much thought to writing but, as it happened, on completing the building of a boat I felt the endeavour should be repeated. This feeling was resolved by writing about the experience rather than the expense of actually repeating the performance.
To Boldly Go is a daring adventure of my attempt to sail solo round the world. This book recounts my amazing adventures and experiences of a nautical nature after retirement.

Q2) When did you realise you wanted to be a writer? What sparked the desire to pen your first book?
Having described my feelings and experiences on building a boat this sparked an interest in writing and subsequently I wrote about Captain James Cook; particularly the events leading up to his murder by the Hawaiians and the little known efforts by his successor to retrieve his remains for burial. After my attempt to sail single handed in a circumnavigation with all the trials and tribulations, although not succeeding in the attempt it was a natural progression for me to share the adventure with a like minded and interested audience and also as an account of my adventure for family and friends.

Q3) When you write what emotion do you seek to evoke in your readers?
I would hope that the overriding emotion would be one of understanding that the venture was to satisfy a need to get up and go to prove to myself that the attempt can be achieved if one has the determination. I also hope there is some feeling of compassion that I had tried, although the endeavour was not concluded successfully. Furthermore I hope that my passion will be evident and the narrative will ring true with the reader.

Q4) How do you promote your books and why do you prefer this method of promotion
Promoting any book can sometimes be a challenging exercise. My method of promotion was to get a table at the local market and offer the book at the local Farmers' Market and Booksellers on a consignment basis. The Farmers' Market has been moderately successful; it generates the most interest from prospective readers as I can have a one-on-one talk on the subject matter to interest the reader. Basically I promote my books by word of mouth to friends and family and other prospective buyers. I prefer this method because my passion for the subject shines through as I explain what the books are about.

Q5) Do you use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your books and have you had any success with it?
Social networking has never been a consideration, as to do so would require me to learn skills I consider beyond my comprehension. At age 78 I feel I can get along without them. To me the pleasure is in the writing.

Q6) Do you recommend authors getting publicists to help them promote their books? Do you have one?
I do not have publicist although I would certainly wish for one, as trying to promote one's work can be an uphill struggle. In an Ideal world a writer should be left to write.

Q7) What kind of reader feedback have you received from your book(s)?
The feedback from my books have been most positive: e.g. 'Never have I read a better book on this subject'. 'Enjoyed it so much I started reading again.' (Sharks that Walk on Land). 'Bought two more copies for my sailing friends.'(A Hole in the Ocean).

Q8) What other work have you written, both published and still in the ppeline?
'Sharks that Walk on Land' - an account of the last two weeks of Captain Cook's life and the events leading up to his murder by the Hawaiians and the attempts by his successor to retrieve his remains from the hostile natives for a Christian Burial. 'Building a Foam Cored Boat' - A DYS book.
'Travels with Himself' - a Journey by boat around Vancouver Island. An observation on the people met and the places on this journey. Plus thumbnail sketches of the history. 'A Hole in the Ocean' - an attempt to sail single handed around the world. (Both of these stories are included in 'To Boldly Go'.)
'Vancouver RN' - is a work in progress. A story about the conflict of impassioned animosity towards Captain George Vancouver by an ex Midshipman Thomas Pitt.


Thank you for your time. We wish you every success in your writing career.

*Ron Palmer was born in 1933 in Bridlington, a fishing and resort town on the east coast of Yorkshire. At an early age he became interested in a career at sea, taking every opportunity available to go out with the local fishermen. 1948 found him enrolled at the Boulevard High School for Nautical Training at Kingston upon Hull. On completing his schooling in 1950, Palmer went to sea as an apprentice deck officer, working up through each stage of navigating officer to retire in 1985 as captain of Super Tankers. He now lives on Pender Island, BC. Canada.

Ron Palmer is the published author of two books: "Sharks That Walk On Land" and "To Boldly Go".
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* Book Savvy is an e-newsletter of Pneuma Springs Publishing, featuring news and information about all published books and new releases with highlights about the authors behind the books. Look out also for helpful resources e.g. blogs, book reviews and of course, discounts, special offers etc.