Despite the preponderance of evidence to the contrary, we here at the Yachtie are not the authors of Welcome Abroad, The Bight and now, The Bitter End. We’re not ghost writers either. It’s a rather complicated story as most stories related to the sea are and a not quite believable one, as most stories related to the sea are, but we were able to arrange an interview via email and skype with the actual author, the Anonymous Deckhand, regarding his latest publication, The Bitter End. This is the first of a three part series of Interviews:
Why did you decide to write a novel about yachting? Why not just a memoir?
It’s funny. I thought about doing a memoir and it’s entirely plausible but I just didn’t feel like it would have worked. I had this sense that something would be missing. That it had to be more than the personal story and those long winded explanations of the ‘you had to be there’ humor that seems to be the norm. It just seemed to me that fiction could give more life to things and a bit more freedom. I suppose I could have written a memoir but it would have been a bit disjointed, there would have been too many leaps and it just wouldn’t have flowed quite right.
It says on the cover ‘Based on True Events’. Is that just a tag line, a little teaser to give things a bit of credibility?
No. It was something the lawyers recommended to tell you the truth.
How much of the book is true? How much of the book is outright fabrication?
I’m not sure you’re going to believe me but all the things in the story did happen. The order of events is more or less correct and there were some bits that got put in earlier than when they did happen but in all honesty everything in that book is factually correct. It’s not that things needed to be invented. They just didn’t happen in the right order in real life.
Some might say that your work is sexist and misogynistic? Do you think that is a fair opinion of you and your work?
Well, it seems everyone seems to have a charged opinion these days. I don’t think my character is all that sexist or misogynistic. He’s in a very strange place and he’s trying to cope with a lot of uncertainty. I understand there are some bits in there that people might find disturbing but that’s not entirely the character. In a large way he’s a reflection of the sort of lad and macho culture that you get in the industry. Maybe it was a bit too real or authentic in that respect but it’s not just fabricated out of whole cloth.
It’s just that some readers are likely to have a bit of a shock to a character who seems to evaluate his relationship in economic terms.
Yeah. I can see that. But you have to remember that this is a fictional character surrounded by a thing that shouts MONEY. He’s surrounded by people who just scream MONEY. And then someone hands him an envelope full of cash and not that many responsibilities and he can spend and buy whatever he wants. I don’t know. It seemed pretty natural that he would start thinking in that one dimension. That and he’s suddenly aware that it’s ending. That he just can’t or won’t do it anymore and has to think of the next thing. He’s sort of budgeting his life in a way. Now, I have to admit that I’ve never really thought that way but I’ve been around enough people who sort of like the idea but can’t quite pull it off. I just thought it would be interesting to actually create this sort character.
Do you think the ending is going to surprise people?
I’m not sure to tell you the truth. It just kind of happened that way.
Are you the Anonymous Deckhand?
No. I’m in the story but most people won’t notice and I kind of like that. Are there elements of me in the Anonymous Deckhand? Yeah. Absolutely, but there’s always that point where maybe some of the superficial elements or pieces of it are filled out by events and things I’ve heard or things people have bragged about. It’s funny actually, I’m not and never was a deckhand.