Q & A about Good Ship Gould

Q:          The first question is the obvious one. Tell us about the book and where we can pick up a

copy.

A:          Good Ship Gould is the story about a 1959 pirate hunt in the Indian Ocean, except it’s not

really about that. What it is, really, is the first-person story of the Navy’s newest sailor.

What you get in Timothy is a young man who is navigating the bizarre world of life on a

deployed U.S. Navy warship. You can pick up a copy at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and

various other retailers.

Q:          Can you tell us anything about that bizarre world, preferably without spoilers?

A:          This book started as a sea story. Rather, it started with me telling my mom and dad some

              tales about how things work on a ship and some of the ridiculous things I’ve seen while

              sailing around the world. I’m talking about the same kinds of things and people you can

              find on just about any ship. It really is amazing how so many ships can have the same

things going on and the same characters running around. Anyway, around the time I was

telling these stories, I began wondering if it might be possible to tie them all together into

one longer story. I played with a few different ideas over the course of two or three

weeks and came up with nothing that really worked. One night, I was watching Oh

Brother, Where Art Thou with my kids and it dawned on me that I could do something

similar. I began exploring the idea of a satirical retelling of Jason and the Argonauts and

next thing you know, I’ve got a whole cast of characters and a storyline.

Q:          You’ve mentioned Jason and the Argonauts and said that every ship in the Navy seems to

have many of the same characters running around. Can you tell us more about that?

A:          I suppose I should address the Navy side of that first. It’s pretty simple and a little odd. No

             matter what ship you board in the Navy, you are going to meet some folks that fit into

very specific stereotypes. Every ship has one sailor who knows it all, or thinks they do.

Every ship has at least one or two really odd Chief Petty Officers. I’m talking really

eccentric folks that really seem out of place in the military. Every ship has a collection of

Gunners Mates who believe that the solution to most problems is a well placed missile or

deck gun round. The list goes on and on. What I did here was pretty simple. I took all of

those stereotypes, associated them with an appropriate member of Jason’s crew from the

Argo, and recreated the tale.

Q:          It sounds like you have a cast of colorful characters. Do you have a favorite? Were any of

them difficult to write?

A:          Hands down favorite is Cager. In the world of Navy stereotypes, he’s the guy that’s spent

most of his career in trouble, something the Navy calls restriction. I won’t say much here

because meeting him in the story is too much fun to spoil, but writing him was extremely

enjoyable. That said, there was one character that was hard to write. Chief Sussley’s

character reads much in the same way George Clooney speaks in Oh Brother, Where Art

Thou. When I began writing his lines of dialogue, I tried writing exactly the way I pictured

him speaking. That process became really difficult and slowed down the process of telling

the story. As a solution, I wrote the entire first draft the way I would speak in his place and

then, during the first edit, I got out my thesaurus and probably used half of it.

Q:          You’ve mentioned Oh Brother, Where Art Thou and Jason and the Argonauts. Were there

and other sources of inspiration? If you had to compare your book to something popular,

what would you compare it to?

A:          As far as comparisons go, I’d have to say that the book reads like a mash up of Catch 22

and the movie Clue. This book was heavily influenced by both of those titles, especially in

the satire department.

Q:          Catch 22 is an iconic novel which did make several points about humans and war. Does

              Good Ship Gould address any issues?

A:          Good Ship Gould tends to poke fun at the Navy in a few areas, but there is one issue in

              particular that seems to stand out with readers. The book is set in 1959, back when only

              men were supposed to be deployed on warships. Starting with the captain of the Gould,

there is quite a bit of confusion and a little discomfort whenever women are mentioned

as crew on the ship. It’s 2022 and this is something that the Navy, generally speaking, is

still a bit awkward about.

Q:          You mentioned the movie Clue as a source of inspiration. Can you go into detail?

A:          In general, there is a level of absurdity that can be measured against the movie Clue,

which is one of my favorite movies of all time. There are other parallels, which I really

can’t get into without spoiling the book. That’s something I want people to experience for

themselves.

Q:          We understand that a portion of the royalties from this book are going to various cancer

research foundations. Can you tell us more about that?

A:          Absolutely. A portion of every month’s royalties will be donated to the American Cancer

              Society or the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The reason is pretty simple. Several people

              close to me were battling cancer at some point during 2022 and this is a way I can help

              them and others like them.

Q:          Last question. We know you have a military thriller out from Double Dagger Books.

              Can you tell us what else you have or what you’re working on?

A:          Certainly. As you mentioned, I have Interdiction out now from Double Dagger Books.

              That is the first book in a series of thrillers centered on the USS James E. Williams, an

              Arleigh Burke destroyer. The sequel, To Kill the Nightingale, is currently going through

              formatting and cover design with Double Dagger. I also have a short story called Lost and

Found out in an anthology from Running Wild Press. I am currently in the process of

editing a collection of short stories that might best be classified as psychological horror.

Q:          Psychological horror? Like something Stephen King might write?

A:          Something like that. Depends on the King story. My collection is probably more along the

lines of a Misery or 11.22.63 than an IT or Tommyknockers.

Q:          Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Best of luck with Good Ship Gould

and your current projects.

A:          Thank you very much.

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