​Writing is a strange vocation, you have an idea then sit down and put pen to paper (or in my case fingers to keyboard) and let the ideas flow.  Then comes a reading of your writing, followed by "did I really say that  or  that does not make sense"  and so it goes on, tweaking, changing, adding, subtracting until you have something that is not only readable but makes sense - then you write the next chapter....... 

​You then publish it on Kindle - because you are not a celeb or footballer or chef so can't find an agent or publisher - where you have to be your own editor etc., and hope that someone will find it amongst the thousands of other books  and buy a copy.  However, it seems that Kindle have lost sight of their original idea and print anything so that you can end up with three different stories by three different authors but with the same title - not a good idea.

​So I and some friends found another publisher and the help we have received is very good.   I have placed the following books with them and you can buy them by following these links:-

                                                                                         ​ADULT  BOOK S  by  Michael Douglas Bosc

                                                     ​A Soldiers Wind is under            https://www.books2read.com/u/4XorMv

​                                                                         ​CHILDRENS BOOKS  by   Jason D'ebre

​                                       Clearing in the Forest                   https://www.books2read.com/u/4EDKDM

​                                       Peaceful Land                                     https://www.books2read.com/u/bzajBD

​                               You can also buy these in paperback from Create a Space  delivery is very quick 

Ah I see I have an historical following on A Soldiers Wind  (I did say historical not hysterical) which joking apart I find pleasing.

My interest in history is almost as old as I am, although I joined the RAF I sailed the south coast of England for many years. Our first yacht was a Virgo Voyager, a little but sturdy and safe boat. She crossed the channel several times and when I did solo crossings got me safely home, albeit often late at night. But when I first started sailing although I knew how a man of war, sloop etc., sailed and understood tides, wind and the effect thereof all these vessels had a large crew whereas I only had myself and my wife on our boat.

So we took various courses and got our papers then I took my Yacht Masters and later Ocean Master. But it gave me the extra knowledge and I met some very interesting people who had done things I could only dream of at the time. I can teach sailing but as I no longer sail I spend some of my summer evenings by the river talking to friends - Pep is a sailing Captain - watching the younger generation enjoying rowing on the river.

Now rowing might not seem very interesting but when you consider that the Ebro is a large fast flowing river around 7/8 knots and claimed the life many years ago of one of the boat race crew who used to train here, and these boys and girls row these heavy wooden boats against this flow you realise this is no mean feat. They enter competitions with other Club Nautiques and have quite a heavy season but they do well.

So sailing in all its forms is, I am quite convinced in the blood. Therefore when I wrote A Soldiers Wind, A Bengal Poppy and Tormented Loyalties, I included the social aspects of the times and attitudes, how life was looked at and what was accepted. The fact that I looked at it like that wove it into the stories was a little difficult as I had to stop thinking in todays attitudes and revert to theirs, a slightly difficult task but I like to think I managed it.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

A Plymouth Story

This is how I feel when a new book hits me.  A Plymouth Story had been wandering around for some while, here and there I wrote things down but nothing had fallen into place nothing solid or tangible, just odd ideas and feelings.  Then one day from out of nowhere something nudges you or pops into your head and there it is, the story.

I have been used to characters dictating the way things should go so it was a bit of a shock when A Plymouth Story finally popped up as it had been hanging around in the background, always there but not quite ready.   Strangely enough it wasn't the boats in the marina where we went for coffee on a Sunday evening, or even the sea that was the trigger, it was this picture of the sun just coming up over the distant mountains that did it.  As I stood there watching dawn come tumbling across the valley, I remembered times when walking the dog I would stand on the beach and watch the sun rising over the horizon.  A sight that always made me think of sailing ships seeing a new day or perhaps sighting the enemy, of sailors watching the sun slowly climbing up the sky forecasting a warm day .  Little did I think as I stood there that one day it would inspire me to write a story.

I have always been interested in sailing ships and their history, perhaps it was the fact my birthday is on Trafalgar day, maybe  a bit of Nelson got me, who knows. What I do know is that my thirst for historical facts and figures, plus battles won and lost, fights, skirmishes, sneaky goings on and the personal history of those in charge has driven me to acquire a small library of books and information. Visits to museums, Portsmouth docks, the Victory and Warrior all contributed to my knowledge and writing.  My first attempt at this was the Jason Watson series. A look at the social side of life the things that were and weren't acceptable, how the rich and powerful lived and carried on treading a line that was outwardly correct but inwardly often immoral. But it was not totally what I was after.

I wanted a personal story of life aboard ship for the ordinary sailor. Most men were pressed into the service or sent from prisons. So this is where I started from no rich parents to provide money and a step on the ladder, just an ordinary man who lived and worked on land. On this basis I began to form the character  of James.

I started by imagining Plymouth in the 1700's and looking at a street It's partially cobbled road with houses facing each other almost touching. There was no street lighting and they smelt, but they all led down towards the jetty and sea wall. Horses pulling carts over straw covered streets to try deadening the noise.  Boys or men pulling hand carts along with sea chests on them on their way to an inn, people selling goods or just calling out to friends.  Into this comes a chandlers clerk, hardworking and honest, but at the beck and call of a mother who wallowed in her ill-health demanding this and that, a man with no life of his own. Watch as on his way to the apothecary for more medicine he is knocked on the head. Be there when he wakes up far out to sea onboard the Frigate Amazon. This is a story of adventure, life onboard the Amazon seems strange to this man, but James has a thirst for learning, now you have the beginning of an adventure.
A Plymouth Story is on Kindle and Kindle prime and in paperback  from Createspace

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc  .

​One of the things I love about summer is the cricket.   I can do, as I am now,  listen to the commentary and write at the same time.   To me this is wonderful because I can drift off into writing land and still remain in the modern world with the occasional cups of tea/coffee to keep me going.   I no longer write in the ffz where the boys are as they tend to bomb me or wander across the keyboard, not helpful.   But hey whats a writers life if there aren't these little hazards.   Talking of which  the two hazards  I'm talking of are at present trying to get at the Bottlebrush plant which has caused my wife to net off that part of the ffz.  She was sitting out there the other day with her tablet and discovered what they can do. They land on the table wander around the peek round the side of the computer whilst your saying cheeky they get brave and wander across the keyboard then take off before you can smack feathers.   

​Whoever said they are good for the blood-pressure knew a thing or two I cant really be cross just laugh however, once or twice is funny but continually doing it is not so its easier to work in doors.  I have to mention that the pillar they are on top of is their favourite place but we have had to cover the beam up as they are by nature feathered beavers and I really don't want them nesting up there.  

​Well every now and then an historical question runs across my screen induced by disbelief. This time it was a question about women at sea in the 1700/1800's. Seems to some people that this is totally incorrect and they cannot believe the Royal Navy allowed them on board. They certainly never appeared in the Hornblower or Bolitho books. But truth as they say is stranger than fiction read on.

Pages. 505-506 Command of the Oceans by N A M Rodger Professor of Naval History Exeter University.

"A visitor to Admiral Durham’s flagship the Bulwark in Basque Roads in 1813 was invited to a performance of O’Keefe’s Wild Oats, followed by a hornpipe, and again that popular favourite, The Mayor of Garret. The gun deck was fitted with scenery, drop curtain and footlights. During the dancing the admiral whispered to his guest, “don’t stare so, it is a real woman, the wife of a fore-topman.”

She was not alone. Though some captains and at least one admiral (the austere Collingwood) still forbade women aboard their ships, it seems to have an unusual position by the time of the Great Wars, and there are numerous passing references to the presence of the wives of warrant officers and ratings. Captains’ order books, like that of the Indefatigable in 1812, sometimes prescribe regulations for “the women belonging to the ship.” The whimsical memoir of Aaron Thomas claimed that “it is the rules of the king of England’s navy to permit every sailor to have a woman aboard, if they choose,” which was certainly not true. The only women borne officially on the ships books were those married on the strength of foot regiments serving as marines, which included twenty women at the Battle of St Vincent.

Unofficially, however, there were at least a few women aboard most ships. Many of them evidently made a living by washing, and St Vincent threatened to send them home for wasting fresh water and giving captains an excuse to return to port, but even he made no move to ban women as such. In the Goliath at the battle of the Nile, one woman was killed and several wounded, and a baby was born. Four of the nineteen men killed left widows who were aboard the ship, which if the casualties were exactly proportional to the whole ship’s company would suggest that there were at least 100 wives aboard. After the battle the four destitute widows were entered by Captain Foley on the ships books in the rating of Dresser. (i.e. nurse) which he appears to have invented for the purpose. Christian White of the Majestic was another woman who fought and lost her husband in this battle.

Ships with married couples aboard, by no means all of them elderly, also had babies, Nelson stood godfather to a baby of the Minotaur born off Leghorn in July 1800. In 1812 a seaman and his wife were both killed in action aboard the sloop Swallow, leaving a three week old orphan. There was no other nursing mother on board but the child was saved, suckled by the wardroom goat. When the first Naval General Service Medal, was finally issued in 1847 to all men and boys who could show that they had been present at one of a long list of actions large and small, one of the few surviving claimants for the battle of the First of June 1794 was Daniel Mackenzie of the Tremendous. Since his name was on the ships books, his claim was clearly valid, so the medal was duly issued, engraved with his name and rating: Daniel T Mackenzie-Baby-H.M.S. Tremendous.

The majority of women at sea lived openly as women, but there were a few women disguised as men and serving as seamen. At the 1807 court martial which condemned Lieutenant William Berry to death for sodomy one of the key witnesses was a young woman who appeared in court dressed as a seaman.
William Brown, The black, captain of the main top of the Queen Charlotte, was discovered to be a woman in 1815 after serving Eleven years aboard."

So there it is they DID serve/live aboard some of the ships. History is a great source of information you just have to read..

​             A  NEW  PUBLISHER

Women at Sea  1700/1800's

I am on  Jason Dignans  list of AWESOME  AUTHORS