Tuesday, 25 June 2019

The shape of things to come

It has been almost four weeks since I last wrote something on my blog. And with reason, because I have completed the story of my third book. I am currently busy cleaning up the manuscript. The next thing to do will be translating it into English. More below.

The Batavian has since been subjected to two reviews (in Dutch) on hebban.nl. A presentation and signing session is planned in the Katwijk Library, on the Schelpendam in Katwijk, on 24 August at 2 p.m. The content of the presentation will be slightly different from that of the previous ones. To start with, I will tell you something about my seafaring past in the 70s, illustrated with photos. Next, I will tell something about The Batavian and my writing activities, followed by the signing of any books purchased by visitors.

In the South Atlantic, July 1973
Force 10 conditions south of Australia, June 1976
It may or may not come as a surprise to you that even though The Batavian is my first published novel (albeit only in Dutch), two more are in the pipeline.

One is The Directive, about woman trafficking from the Baltic to the Netherlands, using a clapped-out trawler. Two yachtsmen accidentally come across this practice when they find the body of a drowned young man on the Wadden Sea. That evening, after they have arrived in Harlingen, a young woman comes on board asking after the drowned man. 

A thriller about an unfortunately very real and disconcerting theme, The Directive has not yet been published, but is next in line after The Batavian. Both of these have been translated into English, but they are on hold for want of a good English text editor, to correct my non-native English.

At the moment, which is the reason for my silence lately, I am busy finalizing a manuscript with the provisional title Two Fathoms Down, which in Dutch is named Drie meter zand (three metres of sand). Actually two fathoms is 12 feet, making 3.60 metres, but who cares....  

Image: wreck at Rossbeigh, Co. Kerry, Ireland. copyright Ted Polet

Two Fathoms Down is the fictional story about the wreck of the 'Arabelle', a French brig, which lay three metres below the sand off the isle of Ameland for two centuries. Descendants of the only survivor of the disaster find an enigmatic clue in the personal logbook of a soldier from Napoleon's army. This puts them on the trail of the wreck, the valuable cargo of which however is pillaged by ruthless criminals, shortly after its discovery. 

A historical novel that culminates in a contemporary thriller with a surprising outcome.  

The story was inspired by the disaster with HMS Lutine in 1799, and I did research on the islands during a sailing trip from Texel to Helgoland last year. At present it is being translated into English.

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