“Renzi is my favourite character”

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These days, with the pervasiveness of the internet and ease of world travel for many people, an author describing locations must be very careful to get his facts right, even if he is writing about how an area was in the eighteenth/early nineteenth century. Kathy and I have travelled the world researching the Kydd series and these trips are hard work! Very enjoyable, I hasten to add, but much time is spent in museums, local archives etc. as well as taking multiple photographs and lengthy notes.

It’s always gratifying when readers tell me they have visited places mentioned in my books and that I got the descriptions spot on!

Tom Rogers visiting the Grand Cayman Museum in the Caribbean

Tom Rogers visiting the Grand Cayman Museum in the Caribbean

I’m delighted to introduce Tom Rogers as Reader of the Month for August. Tom worked for several large corporations including Halliburton, Houston Natural Gas, Enron, and EDS. When he retired from corporate life he became an investor in rental properties and the stock market then moved back to his hometown and a quieter life. He’s married with three grown daughters. Today Tom enjoys reading (especially ‘about the romantic excitement of sailing the seas in search of what’s over the horizon’), hunting and an occasional skiing trip in the Rocky Mountains.

Over to Tom…

Your favourite title?

Caribbee was the best so far, in my opinion. I’ve been to many of the Caribbean Islands including Nassau, Eleuthera, The Caymans, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Antigua, Saint Martin, St Lucia and Aruba. One of my favorite parts in Caribbee is the description of entering and invading Dutch harbour, where I’ve been. One thing I remember about that area was the beauty of the Silver Thatch Palms. Online pics do not do them justice compared to real sunlight. The cliff descriptions in the book made me think this was the entry area to Cayman Brac. There is a great little museum on the island. I have also been to English Harbour (Nelson’s Dockyard) and Shirley Heights, Antigua. An awesome view of the harbour below! And then there is Aruba. The Dutch look is different from any other in the Caribbean. The description of the colorful houses and small buildings was spot on. I really enjoyed Caribbee. What a great story with a few twists along the way. One of the things I especially like in the Kydd series is the way people and events in earlier books are linked to later ones. Like the drunken captain in Caribbee. I’d forgotten about him until he re-appeared!’

First boat?

I grew up in a small coastal town on the Gulf of Mexico. My hometown is Rockport, in south Texas, noted for tourism and commercial fishing (mostly oysters and bay shrimp). Growing up in Rockport, I spent quite a lot of time duck hunting and water skiing. My first boat was a Boston Whaler dinghy. Kind of like a bath-tub with a sail! My summer jobs while in grade school ranged from scraping barnacles off the bottom of boats to deck hand on off shore fishing yachts. I quickly found the topside of a boat was better. I’ve been on the Nina Columbus replica ship that was docked at Corpus Christi Texas. It was a lot smaller than I expected. The only warships I’ve been on are of the modern era – the Battleship Texas and the Aircraft Carrier Lexington.

How were you drawn to the series?

I’ve enjoyed reading nautical historical fiction from many authors including Dudley Pope and Douglas Reeman (Alexander Kent). In my electronic search for similar series, Kydd grabbed my attention; the reviews on the internet looked promising. One book later and I was hooked.

Favourite character?

Renzi is my favorite character. I enjoy his thoughts on the story. He is the most complex in the series. The fact that he is so intellectual yet fails often makes him interesting. I keep hoping good things will happen for him.


Would you like to be a candidate for Reader of the Month? Just get in touch with a few sentences about your background and why you enjoy the Kydd series!

4 Comments on ““Renzi is my favourite character”

  1. Pingback: 2014: the year in review | Julian Stockwin

  2. Julian,

    I have unfortunately lost track . . . what is the last Kydd series book to be published? I am under the impression that it was Betrayal.

    Thanks!

    Bill Morrison

  3. Hi Julian
    Just finished book 9, The Privateers Revenge and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Channel Islands. I’ve picked up the habit I started with book 8 of following the action with charts of the southwest English coast and those of Northern France as well. It is a bit like studying for pilotage, learning the different harbours and small ports along with their vagaries of wind, tide, etc. Having just glanced at book 10 I can see that my studies will continue. Your Kydd series has been a boon to my retirement from the sea, keeping me involved and my wife happy as I’ve stopped complaing about not getting “one more ship.”

    R/Harry

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