I grew up on the Gulf Coast and a seagoing career just came naturally. After graduation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, I sailed as a ship’s officer for a number of years and then spent a decade in shore side ship management before becoming an independent (i.e. self-employed) marine surveyor in 1986. Some years later I formed a company specializing in ship construction management and supervision. I’ve been a lot of places, seen interesting things, and lived for extended periods in both South America and the Far East (Singapore and China). By far the most interesting aspect of travel (and life in general) is the people you meet along the way, and I’ve had the good fortune to encounter a lot of interesting characters. Bits and pieces of some of them make their way into the characters of my novels.
I write the type of stories I like to read. For me, that means ordinary people forced by circumstances into extraordinary situations. I dislike stories in which the hero is some combination of brain surgeon/nuclear physicist (or who has some equally far-fetched skill set) and who just coincidentally happens to be an ace helicopter pilot and a fifth degree black belt in several different martial arts. Like the rest of us mortals, my characters are normal people who screw up from time to time and have to live with the results.
Read interviews and stories featuring R.E. McDermott at the following sites: