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Last updateThu, 23 May 2019 12am







    Tuesday, May 21, 2019-5:39:03A.M.






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BC’s Tales of the Pacific | Old Salt Press

A COUPLE years back I told you about one of my favorite authors, Joan Druett.  The New Zealander writes fiction and non-fiction about the Pacific during the Age of Sail.  Let me introduce you to her closest friends, the independent authors of Old Salt Press.

 “Old Salt Press, LLC is an independent press catering to those who love books about ships and the sea.  We are an association of writers working together to produce the very best of nautical and maritime fiction and non-fiction.  We invite you to join us as we go down to the sea in books.”

Independent authors are a growing segment of the writing world, which for some time has been dominated by the Big Five: Harper-Collins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Penguin-Random House, and Macmillan.  These companies account for up to 80 percent of book sales in the United States alone.  But like Big Media, when only a few giant companies control the industry, it is difficult to be heard unless you drink their corporate Kool-Aid. 

Many authors are now fighting back by publishing on their own or by forming small groups of authors united by subject, ideology or just opposition to The Man.  The growth of the internet has made this possible by enabling global access as well as the option to offer e-books.  Old Salt Press is one such small publisher.  All the Old Salts share a love of the sea.

Alaric Bond writes the Fighting Sail series, set during the American and French Revolutions.  Fans of C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower series and Patrick O’Brien’s Master and Commander will easily become addicted to his work.

Antoine Vanner authors the Dawlish Chronicles, a series of seven books (so far) that take the reader to the 1870s-80s, as steel and steam replaced wood and sail, and the British empire reached its global peak.  Mr. Vanner traveled the world while working in the oil industry and has visited the places he describes, lending his stories detail and gritty realism.

V.E. Ulett is a California IT girl by day, Old Salt author of the Blackwell Adventures series by night.  One reviewer described her work as “Master and Commander as written by Jane Austen.”  Think romance and relationships in the Age of Fighting Sail.

And of course there is Joan Druett, the queen mother of Old Salt authors, whose works include Island of the Lost, She Captains, Rough Medicine, and Hen Frigates.  I have highlighted a few of the Old Salt authors, which number over twenty at last count.  They live all over the world and are as diverse as their backgrounds. 

But beyond the authors, I want to draw your attention to the magnificent website they have created,  Don’t get too involved or your family will wonder what happened to you, but take a look at one page in particular: “John’s Nautical and Boatbuilding Page.”  Go to the “Mother of all Maritime Links” and start clicking.  Soon you will agree that you have never seen anything like it.  I’m just guessing, but I think John has organized every website on the internet dealing with the sea and put it one, easily navigable place.

Buy some of their books, visit their website and “go down to the sea” with the authors of Old Salt Press.

BC Cook, PhD lived on Saipan and has taught history for 20 years. He travels the Pacific but currently resides on the mainland U.S.