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Peter Nichols
Peter Nichols is the author of the international bestsellers "A Voyage for Madmen" and "Evolution's Captain" and three other books of fiction, memoir, and non-fiction. He spent ten years at sea working as a professional captain and has taught creative writing at Georgetown University. NYU in... show more

Peter Nichols is the author of the international bestsellers "A Voyage for Madmen" and "Evolution's Captain" and three other books of fiction, memoir, and non-fiction. He spent ten years at sea working as a professional captain and has taught creative writing at Georgetown University. NYU in Paris, and Bowdoin College. He divides his time between Europe and the United States."Not an unswerving literary trajectory. I've wanted to write - and to be a writer - since childhood. In my 20s I worked at writerly jobs in advertising and journalism while I wrote two unpublished novels. Then I stepped aboard a friend's yacht and my life swung away toward boats and the sea for a decade. I became, in turn, a boat bum, a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed commercial captain, and a proficient navigator with sextant. Then the leaky 27-foot, engineless wooden sailboat that had been my home for 5 years, in which I'd twice crossed the Atlantic, sank near the end of my third crossing (I was alone). But I had found a subject. I was rescued and crawled ashore in Los Angeles where, naturally, I began writing screenplays. I was fatally encouraged: I found agents and made a little money, but never saw my screenplays (they were full of leaky projects and rootless characters) turned into films. Unhappy with my screenwriting career (and my non-writing career of many jobs, including being a 'ship wrangler' in Borneo for a bad pirate movie), I fled LA to a shack in Northern California where I wrote what became a memoir of my years afloat and the twinned sinkings of my boat and first marriage (Sea Change). In the next ten years I published a novel and three more books of non-fiction - all about not so much the sea and sailors, but fringe characters who have retreated to the water's edge and have nowhere else to go. Being published changed everything. I went fairly quickly from being a yachtie, shepherd, carpenter, ship wrangler with literary delusions to a visiting professor of creative writing at some good colleges. I've been fortunate to have wonderful students. I love teaching because I can tell young writers what it took me decades to learn - simply, that yes, you can, if you really believe in yourself and don't give up. I dreamed of becoming a writer and I became one. And if I did it, they can too."PN, 2013
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To Shoot or Not to Shoot
To Shoot or Not to Shoot rated it 8 years ago
Riveting. A window onto another world. A bunch of people with great contrasts of experience and character, doing something extraordinary in what is nearly, though not quite, the modern world. The author did a great job keeping a balance with the thrills and spills and the repeating monotony of life ...
David's 'Clan' Blog
David's 'Clan' Blog rated it 10 years ago
Really enjoyed this brilliant portrayal of the 9 true 'Madmen' who attempted the first single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the Globe - pre SatNav and other electronics! An absolutely incredible story of courage, single-minded determination some deceit, tragedy and real madness. If this had be...
Kaethe
Kaethe rated it 35 years ago
As I recall, I thought it was a very witty play about a very horrible situation. But what did I know about having a disabled child? I was still mostly a child myself.
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