Wednesday, July 14, 2010

All At Sea

The Dan Shepherd book for next year is based on Somali pirates, the bad guys who are making a fortune seizing ships around the Gulf of Aden. I'm never one to duck the necessary research, so next month I set sail on a cargo ship sailing from China to Southampton. I join it in Malaysia and will be on board around the Gulf of Aden, through the Suez Canal and then home to the UK. Eighteen days in all. It's not exactly a cruise ship, but as I chose to go with a French crew I am guaranteed wine with my meals! That's a picture of it above.

The plan is to write the book on board and hopefully the lack of distractions will help, though I am a lousy sailor and have already stocked up with eighteen days worth of seasickness tablets.


nelly dean said...

I hope this Dan Shepherd book is as good as all the others
Top character and a top set of books
I have just finished The Eyewitness
brilliant what a book
Rogh Justice and Nightfall next on the list
Good work Big Fella

Anonymous said...

Somali pirates?!!!! The ending of Rough Justice pointed somewhat towards Ireland!!

By the way, further to an earlier post, I have to say my copy of Rough Justice had some horrible printing in it, black marks and smears on a number of pages - might be worth a word with the publishers?

By the way, I loved Rough Justice!!

Anonymous said...

Somali pirates huh? Wow...I sailed up through there a few years ago whilst working as an engineer on a refrigerated cargo ship. We had to sail more than 100miles away from the shore - something to do with the distance a RIB can go I think.
It was scary knowing that they could possibly attack at any time!

Go out on the poop deck and watch for whales and dolphons when you get a few minutes and the flying fish are always fun too!
Also, you may be lucky sailing through the Gulf of Aden, sometimes there is absolutely no wind - unusual for such an expanse of sea, but when it does happen, it's like sailing through a mirror or molten metal!

Anyway, have a good trip and take care!
Rough Justice was amazing so I'm looking forward to seeing what Dan gets up to next!

Cheers, Sooz.

Stephen Leather said...

Thanks, Sooz. Would the poop deck thingy be at the front or the back? ;-)

timmytom said...

Fantastic book!! Gutted i read it the same day I bought it.... Got to wait a year for the next one now. Worth it though!! Just got back off holiday and met some Irish lads over there, when I bought the book they said "he lives in Dublin! " didn't believe them..... Guess i was prove completely wrong!!

Stephen Leather said...

Cheers, Tom! Yeah, Dublin has been my base for almost twenty years now. I live right opposite the Duke Pub in Duke Street.....

Simon Ruddle said...

Hi Steve,
I hope your 'cruise' is going well and giving you ideas! Funnily enough, my other favourite author, Elmore Leonard had a new book coming out called Djibouti, this is obviously rich material for writers!
Good luck and looking forward to buying it when it is released.
P.S. What do you think about e books? Amazon are saying they are selling more than traditional books, but I must be too old to get it, give me a paperback any day of the week.

Stephen Leather said...

Not on board yet, a few more weeks to go! EBooks are the future, no question about that, but printed books are gonna be around for a while yet!

Re smudges in Rough Justice - if you take it back to the shop they'll replace it for sure, but even if they don't then Hodder and Stoughton definitely will...

Andrew said...

Hi Stephen,

I've just applied to go on an embed with the Dutch navy and marines off the coast of Somalia. Lots of red tape and don't know if will work out yet.

I must admit that I would feel a lot safer on an embed than on one of the cargo ships. Unless of course there is a private security firm doing security? ??
Recently I joined the Dutch SF in a Dutch port. I'm writing about the experience in the US mag The Counter Terrorist.
Anyway, I digress. I enjoyed Nightfall greatly. I thought it had a lot less action than many of your other novels but it didn't matter. The research you must have done on the occult more than made up for it.
Did it not kind of freak you out, some of the stuff you must have read to prepare for the book?
The end of the book was a great read. I neglected my family completely during the last ten pages. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing more... and also your latest Spider novel.


Stephen Leather said...

Hi Andrew - No private security as far as I know! But in the event of being taken hostage my insurance company will pay me £50 a day!

Yeah, the occult stuff is a little weird.... I went through a black magic phase as a teenager, did a small deal for skill at cards but I've always lost money at poker so I'm not sure what went wrong....