Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Writing On A Boat: Developing Characters, Navigating Plots, and Rolling with the Sea

This is what it looks like when I write--at least to my wife and our cats. The Sailor@60 in his place, trying to focus on the characters/plot and the music of the prose while Terry shuffles and clanks in the galley and the cats wail to go out or to come in. To my right in this picture is the little navigation/chart table. Inside are all sorts of navigation-related stuff like dividers, pencils, protractors, parallel rulers, erasers, instant glue, staplers, star charts--it's turned into a catch-all, I'm afraid. Above it, on the bulkhead is a weather fax and a single-sideband radio (SSB--I'm a General Class HAM). I installed a splitter and can use the SSB's antenna for the fax. There are also a few marine GPS's lying around in there. But the $2000 sextant is safely stored in my classroom at school. Don't really think I'll ever have to use it other than for the challenge of it.
All in all, this a great place to create books. In this picture, I really was writing. I was on page 211 in The Time Drifters, the 3rd book in The Eye of the Stallion trilogy. Usually I'm in this spot on Saturday and Sunday mornings by 6:30. Terry and cats are still asleep in the big pullman berth that is right across from the nav table. The morning light comes in through the portholes, the coffee maker works its magic and fills the boat with that wonderful aroma. The boat is usually rocking, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, depending on the weather. I've written three or four books right here, on this spot. Don't know what I'll do when I have to move off and live in a house. Guess we'll adjust.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

My novel, The Eye of the Stallion: The Face in Amber is a fantasy/adventure I wrote for young adults (it also crosses over easily into the adult fantasy market). It is partly a horse story and, in some respects, runs along the common theme of other girl-loves-horse stories. My heroine, Sonoria, is a rebel, a tough rebel just coming into her young womanhood. She is bound by her nature to challenge authority and the status quo--as all young people should do. And she loves a stallion named Spiritus that is just like her: indomitable, willful, and independent.
But enthusiasm for horses is not limited to girls. Here's a photo of me when I was about eleven years old. I was part of a horse 4-H club in my home town in Massachusetts and eventually became a pretty good horseback rider. As I recall, I was pretty sick when this picture was taken. I had the flu and a fever, but didn't want to miss riding in the local horse show. The horse's name was Pete and, to be honest, he was a sad, spiritless creature. We got along fairly well, though, except he was afraid of snow drifts and would occasionally throw me when we went on winter trail rides. I don't think I ever won any ribbons with him. I was a pretty timid rider and Pete would rather have been back in the barn. But, never mind; by riding Pete and later lots of other horses, I learned a skill that I've been enjoying all my life and acquired a love of horses--their smells, their sounds, the way they look, and the way they move. I've been able to incorporate that love into my writing.