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oct11-picofthemonthNews from London, 4 February 2016 . . . It is finished! At exactly 2:20 p.m. today, I typed the last keystroke of my latest novel, The Passage. It is 94,626 words and 378 pages in all. For the sake of comparison, that’s roughly as long as The Hobbit (95,022 words) and twice as long as The Great Gatsby (47,094 words). Of course, if literary greatness were measured in ink, the Code of Federal Regulations would be in the New York Times top 10. The Passage is not a letter longer or shorter than it needed to be to tell the curious tale of Jay Danforth Fitzgerald and his stowaway . . .

Needless to say, I am well past my deadline for the planned January 2016 release of this book. This delay I blame squarely on the intoxicating beauty of Wales. The manuscript now goes into the meat grinder of editing and production. It will be released through Ingram in hardcover in the Spring and available wherever books are sold. Stay tuned for details about the date, etc.

In other news, after rolling around Europe for the past six months, licking my wounds from the loss of the Prodigal, I have decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and get back on the horse that threw me. I have acquired a stout sailing vessel and named her the Nevermore, after Poe’s famous poem, for she is my last ship, my last hope for glory, and my last chance to achieve the dream of sailing alone around the world. There will never be another time, and there will never be another boat. She is a 1967 Camper Nicholson 32, built to Lloyds standards in England by a venerable shipyard with a history going back to the Napoleonic wars. (Her sister ship shown at sea in the photo above.) I am planning a May 2016 departure on a solo voyage around the world that will begin with a 2,000 mile passage from Brighton, on the south coast of England, to La Palma, a small volcanic island in the Canaries, off the coast of North Africa. The release of The Passage will be timed to coincide with the start of the voyage, hopefully with some publicity in the British press. I will have, as before, the ability to communicate with my friends on Facebook from aboard ship in route. I look forward to having all of you along on what promises to be the ride of a lifetime. Much more news, photos and updates to come in the months ahead!