About Seaborn

One of my greatest fears when I was a deckhand on commercial fishing vessels was to wake up to find myself alone on the boat, the skipper having been washed overboard. The prospect haunted me. When we were steaming out at night, headed offshore, and I was off watch, down in the cabin on my bunk, sometimes I would climb back into the pilothouse to check to see if he was still at the wheel.


For Luke Emerson, the sixteen-year-old narrator of Seaborn, finding himself alone on a boat is real. Just before the family’s annual summer sailing trip, Luke’s mother unexpectedly leaves. Luke’s father decides to take the trip anyway. Luke now must face an angry and confused father—and his own turmoil. Then a storm catches them, and Luke’s father is swept overboard. Luke must figure out how to survive on a wrecked sailboat far at sea—alone, unprepared, and terrified.


People have asked me if my stories are autobiographical. Many of my stories spring from personal experience, and if that is the definition of autobiographical, then I would say that a great many of them are. But Seaborn is among many stories of mine that do not confine themselves to lived experience. True, I’ve drawn on my sailing and fishing experience, my love and awe of the sea, to write the novel. And while Luke is not me, I recognize in him many of my quirks and sensibilities when I was his age. But I have been lucky enough never to have faced the trials he must face alone. So in a sense many of my stories, especially Seaborn, are lived inventions, built of the ribs and planks of my life but driven by the sails of my imagination.



A book undergoes many stages in its metamorphosis from idea and manuscript to galley and printed hardcover. Right now Seaborn is in its final stage called bluelines or blues before it goes to press. When will we see copies? Soon, so stay tuned.