Books By My Friends
Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire by WENDY HINMAN
Welcome to Books By My Friends, Wendy! Happy to have an adventurer on board today! *grin*
JH: What’s the blurb for your book Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire? (That title is an attention grabber!)
WH: Sea Trials is the story of a family’s epic journey around the globe. Together they overcome daunting challenges--from shipwreck and wild weather to threats from pirates, gunboats, mines and thieves, a broken rig, scurvy and starvation. Glimpses of the fascinating cultures they encounter along the way enhances the suspense and keeps readers of all ages hooked until the “nail-biting” end. * A multi-award winner with rave reviews, including a Kirkus starred review.
JH: What inspired you to write Sea Trials?
WH: Over the years I'd been hearing snippets of the epic voyage my husband had taken with his family sailing around the world and their shipwreck when he was fourteen. Family dinners had been filled with "you remember the time when …
• gunboats forced us to sail across mines in the Red Sea?
• when our pilot Abdul got lost in the Suez Canal?
• the boat starting sinking in Israel?
• mom tried to poison us?
• we ran out of food and nearly starved?”
Such tantalizing anecdotes intrigued me. Then I got possession of the famous letters the family mailed home during the voyage. Hundreds of them. In them was more detail than any writer could hope for. Too much, sometimes. But by combing through them I fleshed out the outline of the story that I'd developed in my mind of the voyage. I asked a lot of questions of family members and took copious notes. What I uncovered was an even more dramatic story than I already knew, and I could hardly believe anyone had truly lived through it. Especially people I knew so intimately. Their story featured pirates, gunboats, mines, thieves, starvation and scurvy in addition to a shipwreck. I also couldn’t believe there wasn’t already a book written about it, since their shipwreck and arrival home hit the papers around the globe. To flesh out their story, I consulted guide books and sailing directions, maps, weather data, and the ship's log to ferret out the finer details. I read the newspaper articles, listened to the interviews with the family. I started writing and double-checking details with the people who had lived through it. Once I began writing I found my draft came really fast, probably because I’d been thinking about this story for so long beforehand and had so much material. With a rough draft completed, I had them read every word to check for inaccuracies or things that didn't seem true to their experience. It was a great family bonding experience to write Sea Trials about their journey.
JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?
WH: Stories have served an important role in my life and I've been an avid reader my whole life. Writing stories helps me explore and share my discoveries. I love the idea of brightening someone's day or offering them another way of looking at the world and the problems they face through my stories. I love losing track of time when I get immersed in the flow of writing.
JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?
WH: I’m currently at work on historical fiction inspired by my relations. I have some wonderful scrapbooks and photo albums that have sparked some story ideas. I’m a big fan of history and think seeing history through the eyes of people who lived it helps us understand the past and how it shapes the present. It also helps us see how people have faced what appeared to be insurmountable obstacles and found a way to overcome them. There is so much we can learn from the experiences of the past that can help us cope with difficulties we face now. I am also editing a couple of books.
I love the idea of brightening someone's day or offering them another way of looking at the world and the problems they face through my stories.
JH: How can readers contact you?
Wendy Hinman is an adventurer, speaker, and the award-winning author of two books: Tightwads on the Loose and Sea Trials: Around the World with Duct Tape and Bailing Wire. Tightwads on the Loose tells the story of her 34,000-mile voyage aboard a 31-foot sailboat with her husband. It has been called a “cult classic,” admired for its unaffected style and refreshing humor, and named a Readers Favorite. Sea Trials details the harrowing round-the-world voyage of a family who must overcome a shipwreck, gunboats, mines, thieves, scurvy and hunger to achieve their dream. It’s a timeless story of grit and resilience. Sea Trials was named a Kirkus best book as well as a Foreword Review best book. As the Kirkus starred review describes, “her engaging narrative succeeds in capturing the thrills and frustrations of this intrepid family. Taking in remarkably far-flung destinations such as Christmas Island and the New Hebrides, this exhilarating book should appeal to any would-be explorer. Highly readable and sufficiently evocative to sense the scent of sea air in the pages.” Read the full Kirkus review here: (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/wendy-hinman/sea-trials1/). Both titles are now available in audiobooks. Hinman is a sought-after speaker who gives entertaining presentations throughout the country at libraries, community centers, conferences, and private clubs (as well as online). She writes articles for a variety of publications and reviews books for Foreword Reviews Magazine. She is currently at work on a historical novel. You can find her books and audiobooks at the library and through booksellers. For more information, please visit: www.wendyhinman.com.
JH: Thanks, Wendy. What an amazing and intriguing adventure tale. Please come back soon and tell us about your next book/adventure!
All good things,
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