Historic Naval Fiction is pleased to have obtained an Interview with Lee Henschel Jr. author of the first book in a new series, The Sailing Master.
What can you tell us about your book The Sailing Master without spoiling the plot for readers?
I meant for this story to resonate with a great range of readers . . . a story for lovers of sea novels, particularly for those who love the golden age of sail. But, just as importantly, if not more so, I wanted to to create a main character who readers care about, who see themselves in the character, or to learn how life is for someone very different than them.
Well, The Sailing Master certainly provides a great plenty of the naming of things on a sailing ship, of descriptions of the sea and the weather, the sounds and the smells, the feel of HMS Eleanor as she rolls on a big sea. Foreign ports.And we also follow the thoughts and feelings of the narrator, Owen Harriet . . . his first day aboard Eleanor, how it was the first time he went aloft, the endless procession of characters. Making friends. Loosing them.The story is a coming of age for the narrator, Owen, spoken in his own charming (I hope) vocabulary and cadence. I hope to have created a main character who people will love . . . someone whose voice they hear.
The book is the first in a proposed series. What are your future plans for it?
In Book One the reader understands from almost the first page that Owen Harriet is writing his story in retrospect . . . as the personal log of an older man returning to England on his final voyage. The series begins in 1798, and will end with the Crimean War, about 1854.As for future plans, I don’t know how many books the series will include. At first I thought four, but it appears there will be quite a few more than that.Book Two—The Long Passage was completed in November, 2015, and I’ll send it to my publisher in January of 2016.