Monday, March 09 2015
By Susan Young for Marshell Publishing
If you have read any of Larry’s blog posts, you’ve probably noticed that he enjoys sharing stories of his experiences and adventures in the U.S. Navy. It’s easy to see how these experiences have shaped his viewpoint and perspective as an historical and military fiction author. So I was curious what made Larry decide to record his stories and share them with his fans. Here is what he had to say:
Q: What made you decide to share your own sea stories as part of your author website?
Larry: There is a simple multi-part answer to that. First, my eight years in the navy were truly an adventure. Over the years I shared my sea stories in their verbal tradition with my family and friends. They all said, I should write them down, but for years I resisted. One day my wife challenged me to write down a list of all of my stories, and being a well-trained husband, I complied. I had over 80 sea stories, and I keep thinking of more. Since I see myself as a writer, I decided to write them down – duh!
There is an element of humor or irony in most of the stories, but some are serious such as the post I have scheduled for April 6th that relates my experience as regular visitor to Haight-Asbury in San Francisco at the height of the Hippie movement. The humor comes into play because I have always had a warped view of the world and can always find humor in anything. For example, one upcoming sea story tells of my adventures the day I blew up a torpedo launcher. I thought it was hilarious (have you ever seen four burly sailors chase a five-hundred pound torpedo that is rolling back and forth on a rolling deck). Unfortunately, my captain saw no humor in the situation at all.
Whether the story is funny or serious, I caution my readers be wary of the veracity of my sea stories since the older I get the better I was. But then again, every sailor knows a sea story is absolute gospel and should never be questioned.
Q. What kind of stories can readers expect in future sea stories?
Larry: To say my collection of sea stories is eclectic would be an understatement. Some relate to the interesting people I met, like the little old Greek woman who was the wife of the British Ambassador to France during the De Gaulle years. She called him “Charles.” Some stories are about my experiences and adventures ashore and afloat, like how I used to camp out under the bushes in Golden Gate Park at night to save money. Some, I think, are absolutely hilarious, like the time a high powered radar lit-up every fluorescent light bulb in the business district of a major city at about midnight. Some are wistful like my post on Haight-Asbury, and others are serious as I consider the danger our sailors face and the sacrifices they make.
Q: Why do you think it's important for military men to share their own sea stories?
Larry: I have another multi-part answer for that question. Service members who have read my sea stories tell me. “Yeah, I’ve been there and done that at a different time, and under different circumstances.” In that vein, it is a validation of their service and a pleasant trip down memory lane.
Those who have not served in the military love the military nuances of the stories, and it informs them of nature of the work our military personnel do and the challenges they face. From the feedback I’ve received, everyone enjoys some aspect of the stories, be it information, humor, or my merrily-warped view of military life.
Q: How do you plan on sharing any submissions?
Larry: I will post any well written sea story submitted to me provided the story isn’t of the “R” or “X” rated flavor. Trust me there are lots of those, but there are far greater stories of the “G” flavor.
Q. Are you offering any incentives for sharing sea stories?
Larry: I will select one sea story each month to receive an autographed copy of The Marathon Watch.
Share your Sea Stories with Larry:
We’d love to hear from other veterans about their life at sea or life after the Navy. If you’re willing to share your own Sea Story, please use our online submission form, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You just might see your Sea Story in a future blog post on Larry’s website.