Updated: Aug 24
Title: A Man Without a Country – A Family or a Name
Author: Philip R Morehouse
ISBN: 13: 978-1532820601 – ISBN-10: 1532820601
Page count: 238
Genre: Fiction; Survival/Adventure
Book Price: $12.89
Kindle Price: $2.99 or Free with Kindle Unlimited membership
I was born in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York where I started my life's training and adventures on the family-owned farm. Throughout my youth, I was mentored by my grandfather who taught me how to fish, trap and hunt. These skills were crucial to the family's survival.
After graduating from high school, I enlisted in the Navy, where I received special military survival training and was assigned to a ship that was deployed as a part of the Cuban Blockade Missile Crisis, and later to rescue Americans from Haiti, during the Dominion/Haiti Crisis. I continued to serve an extended hitch during the Viet Nam War. After returning home, I married, and joined the Army National Guard, serving in various aerial and ground support photography assignments.
Among many other jobs, I have worked as a professional writer and photographer for over 60 years. With my family grown and on their own, I pursue what I love the most - writing true-to-life, survival, adventure-type stories.
Tell us about your book:
“The Man Without a Country” is a story about a nine-year-old boy named Billy Tubin who was interned for the rest of his life by his Uncle Carlin on the Oltissis, a medium-sized freighter. His job was that of a cabin boy to serve the meanest Captain that there ever was. One of the stipulations was that he was never to be allowed off the ship.
He is befriended by a Scotsman by the name of Scotty, who shows him how to survive, and through the help of the crew he is exposed to books, and through them, he learns his numbers. He is smart and over the years aboard he has become self-educated. He learns that there is more to this world than the sea and one day he escapes by jumping overboard with the hopes of swimming to one of the Caribbean Islands and washing ashore nearly dead, he is rescued by Suzie, the owner of a beach bar.
He knows that he is a hunted man and with the Captain of the Oltissis closing in and assassins trying to kill him he discovers that he isn't who he thinks he is. A teenage computer hacker stumbles on the truth and Billy’s life will never be the same.
How does this book relate to your real-life experiences?
For this story, I drew on my background in the Navy and my love of sailing. The islands that are mentioned in this story I have actually visited while on liberty, where I soaked up the landscape, its history, and the culture of its peoples.
How long did it take to write the book?
It took 1 and 1/2 years from concept to rough draft, initial edits, and final edit to finally have it published in May of 2016.
What inspired you to write the book?
As an adventurer at heart and my love of traveling to far places, it wasn't a far trip to find the Caribbean Islands, a place of not only natural beauty but of culture and history. Its history includes piracy and buccaneers – sea-going people of all stripes – danger at every port. So, what better background than to place a young man steeped in mystery and an independent beautiful woman to fall in love with?
Let’s talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
Yes, having a computer and word processor at my disposal, I would write for a few hours every chance I got. As I built the story, I researched to build authenticity around the places and things that my subject matter was framed.
My stories are aided by my life experiences, mostly while in the military.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I would hope that they would come away with the thought that good wins over evil even under incredibly difficult circumstances and life can be fair if one only believes in finding the best in all peoples.
Where can we go to buy your book?
This book is readily available online through Amazon.com as a softcover or a Kindle download or at Barnes & Noble. If they should be out of stock be sure to give them the ISBN # found on the inside of the first page. Also, it can be ordered through any one of your local small bookstores using ISBN-13: 978-1532820601.
Excerpt from the novel:
“Storm-tossed seas and windblown gulls seemingly looking for a place to call home, were not so different from the disheveled man lying under an old overturned Lowry. They had no choice in their cycle of life, but now, for the first time – he did. It hadn’t always been that way – he’d been interned on a cargo ship for the better part of his life. Before that, he could vaguely remember parties that seemed never to end and business people coming and going from this long ago, distant place, he remembered calling his home.”
“Both Belle and Topaz fell to the floor and crawled behind the bar as the sounds of glass breaking, tables, and chairs overturning, and yells from the pain of first one man, then another, being shot echoed through the building. The sound of chaos numbed their senses as they both shuddered at the screams of men dying all around them.”
“The shooting inside continued unabated and, somewhere nearby, a woman screamed. Belle and Topaz crossed themselves as they knew that Tara had been shot and lay either dead or dying somewhere out there in the midst of heavy gunfire, smoke and jagged glass.”
“Just prior to midnight, he sought out a place along the ships railing that was shaded by the superstructure and, at precisely midnight, he went over the side dropping for several moments before hitting the water. He had learned to swim as a child and had not been in the water since. He proceeded to immediately swim west, knowing that the tides should bring him to landfall by morning. His plan, though making sense at the time, soon became pure lunacy by the time he’d been swimming for a few hours.”