An Interview with Steven E. Maffeo

Astrodene’s Historic Naval fiction is pleased to have obtained an Interview with Steven E. Maffeo who’s new book The Perfect Wreck – Old Ironsides and HMS Java: A Story of 1812 is now available in paperback worldwide.

What can you tell us about your new book, The Perfect Wreck – Old Ironsides and HMS Java: A Story of 1812, without spoiling the plot for readers?

Firstly, it’s a story that has never been told anywhere—fiction or non-fiction—in any sort of detail. Usually all you can find is just 2-3 pages in a broader history book with a focus specific to the battle itself. And, there’s virtually nothing out there – until now! – on the story from the British point of view. (The exception to that might be some 30 pages in Patrick O’Brian’s The Fortune of War, but there’s too much wrong in his account.) My story takes you back and forth from the one ship to the other, as they fit out in their respective home ports, get to sea on their diverse missions, and ultimately—accidently—run into each other one memorable day. Even if I hadn’t telegraphed the ending with the title, we know what’s going to happen (it’s like doing another book or movie on the Titanic—as my wife says, it always ends the same; the damn ship always sinks!) The point is that you’ll now get the whole picture, you’ll completely understand what the two ships’ missions were, you’ll participate in their various adventures as they cruise the Atlantic, and you’ll get to know very well the ships, officers, and men on both sides—finding more similarities than differences. And, to steal a phrase from Disney’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea, “it’s a whale of a tale, and it’s all true.”

Read More An Interview with Steven E. Maffeo.