Jackie Parry – author


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Author Interview – Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction is one of my favourite genres. Throw in a boat and that book has to be mine!

When I become so absorbed into a story I want to know more about the author… here’s a brief intro to Pamela Grimm and her alter-ego Captain Jane Thorn!

Why write about the merchant marine instead of pirates? Surely they are more fun!
Aaargh! A pirate lives by his sword, but a trading captain has to live by her wits. That’s much more fun, I think! Captain Jane has to figure out how to get what she wants without pulling a weapon on anyone, in general. Not that she won’t channel her inner pirate if needed!
Destiny's Gold SisterShip Press

What makes historical fiction set in the 19th century so special?
The first half of the 19th century was a time of upheaval and change all over the world. In many ways, the rapid developments in technology and the political turmoil would be familiar to today’s readers. For Americans, the country was still growing and defending its territory while trying not to get involved in European affairs. Within, issues of slavery, expansion, and the role of government were hot buttons that everyone had to work around. Captain Jane is akin to today’s millennials, figuring out what she thinks about things and acting on her principles.

How important is research to you when writing a book?
Research is everything! I want to bring the reader into Jane’s world and make it feel familiar. The problems people were solving in Jane’s day laid the foundation for the world we live in today. Have you ever thought about how long it would actually take to raise the anchor on a 200-ton ship? Longer than you might imagine!

How realistic are your books?
Captain Jane and the Destiny are as realistic as I can make them. All of the events and places I reference are real, as are many of the people she encounters. Every now and then, I take liberties with time frames, but I strive to give the reader a realistic sense of the world in 1820.

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?
Oh, my characters pretty much do what they want to do. They are constantly surprising me! I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. In general, I know what the central storyline will be, but how things play out is always a mystery until it happens. I find myself saying, “Oh really?” a lot when I am writing.

How much of yourself do you put into your books?
I confess, Captain Jane is my alter-ego. She pretty much does what I think I would do in most situations, although sometimes I have to shake my head at how obtuse she can be. That’s probably when she is being most like me.

Who would play Captain Jane in the movie?
If I could wave a magic wand, it would be a young Loreena McKennitt.

When can the readers expect your next book?
Soon! The Destiny is already headed out for a new adventure with Captain Jane and her loyal crew aboard. Look for the next volume in the series in 2019.

Pre-order Destiny’s Gold on Kindle right now!

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Colour Paperback Books Available in Australia

With a signed, personal message.

My books are available at many retailers and online via Amazon.

However, for Australians who would like a paperback copy, shipping from the USA is an added expense.

So, order through me, with the added bonus of a personal message included.

Just send me a FB message on Noel and Jackie’s Journeys or Jackie Parry, send a message via this website, or email me at ckijack@yahoo.com.

The colour pictures and “extraordinary adventures by two ordinary people” make a wonderful Christmas gift.

Of Foreign Build, This Is It, and A Standard Journey (colour paperback) are $19.99 each (+ postage) – just click on the book for more information – and if you’d like a  copy, let me know.

Kindle and audio are available via Amazon.

 

A Standard Journey – Jackie Parry

 

This Is It – Jackie Parry

Cruisers’ AA – $29.99 + postage

Cruisers' AA - Jackie and Noel Parry

Cruisers’ AA – Jackie and Noel Parry

 

 

 

 


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Ditch Kit, Grab Bag, Flee Bag

Think Survival At Sea

Cruisers’ Accumulated Acumen is selling incredibly well and has been tagged by a top sailing magazine as, “…probably the most comprehensive reference book designed for preparation for cruising life.”

Here’s an excerpt from our book – which not only includes over 1,800 tips, tricks and ideas for living on board, but also informative and fun articles such as this…

 

Your grab bag, ditch kit, flee bag (sounds like my old dog), jump-and-go-bag should include stuff to measure your own priorities and capabilities. What would you need? Who is on board and where you are going? Does everyone on board know where it is?

Align your inclusions with distance. Seasons don’t count, anyone on the water knows you can experience all four seasons twice in one day. However, thinking about the sea temperature is important; hypothermia has an insatiable hunger. The sea gods also have an unquenchable greed and anything in your boat that you think you need should have a piece of string (lanyard) fitted, to give you a fighting chance of hanging on to it. Common sense, speedy reaction and lack of panic should be mentioned, although I am not sure how to pack those things. The bag obviously needs to be watertight and waterproof, a bright reflective colour is a good idea (boats don’t just sink during the day).

Each to their own; some people include their obituaries – how very odd . . .! Other cruising buddies suggest a book and a mattress! All very nice, but I can think of several more important items. I’d rather have an extra bottle of water than reading material.

The Obvious

At the very least have water, flares and attention grabbers, surviving is nice, but being rescued is even better. The ditch kit should contain items for immediate use and possibly some months. Short-term think injuries, hypothermia and signalling devices. Mid to long-term survival, think water and food. Are you going to make water or catch it? Can you catch fish? Provision for prevention of sun exposure is imperative if you don’t want to end up like a crisp.

How much?

I have seen lists for short-term (minutes to hours), mid-term (hours to days), medium-term (days to weeks) and long-term (weeks to months). All very useful but how do you know which bag to collect when your boat sinks? Do you take all four? Think necessity not holiday!

Can the bag be snatched quickly? Paperwork is a good one, your passports and boat papers have to be somewhere, why not in the grab bag? Add a few dollars (American dollars are the most widely accepted if you are travelling overseas). Think of all the bureaucratic bits of paper that cause major headaches and gnashing of teeth, if you had to replace them.

As terrifying as it sounds, one day you might need it; now’s the time to think carefully about what it should contain. Grab bags provide thought-provoking conversations to all boat people. (Young, ‘Include my favourite toy’, old, ‘Put in the fine Scotch dear’), both would argue that their life depends on it.

Research suggests forgetting everything you have seen in the movies, on TV and in novels. But I tend to disagree, who’s to say what happens – survivors of course, but what of those who don’t. That monumentally dramatised scene could be precisely what happens. We’ve met a survivor whose boat took fifteen minutes to sink. He had ‘all the time in the world’ to grab stuff from cupboards. He now thinks all boats take this long to be swallowed in to the deep. Most of us know a story where a boat vanishes within seconds; those brief moments may give you enough time to grab your survival bag.

Our Bag

We have one big bag on our boat, which ideally should be split in two (1) Absolute necessities and (2) Necessities. However, it’s not and at the time of writing we are firmly welded to a mooring (for now). Our bag includes years of ideas gleaned from chatting to other people on boats as to ‘what’s in yours?’. It has (in no particular order): survival suits, sunglasses, wind up torch, handheld radio (VHF) and spare batteries, Spirulina (nutrient source in powder form), survival sheets (space blankets), hand Watermaker, toilet roll, water, string, fishing hooks/line, signalling mirror, knife, seasick tablets, First Aid with extra strong painkillers, flares, sanitary products, wet/baby wipes, tea towel, plastic bags, sea marker dye, lighter, paperwork (passports/boat papers/money), sunscreen, t-shirts, whistle, barley sugar, handheld GPS and batteries.

Diving into the bag after a year I am surprised to see that the wet wipes are still moist and the Spirulina still edible (mind you, it does look and smell remarkably like mould – even when new). Clearly, batteries should be replaced regularly, as should water in plastic bottles (leeching). Sunscreen and tablets/pills will have use by dates to be aware of too. We have spent over three weeks at sea in one go and been 1,500 miles from the nearest land, hence a fairly comprehensive bag. In compiling our kit, we gave careful thought to all the yummy stuff already included in our life-raft when it was last surveyed. Our EPIRBs are mounted in the boat, perhaps one should have been in the bag. Now, I would also include the Leatherman and some cereal bars. But the bag is heavy already.

Watermaker

Our small Watermaker was purchased in America (US$600). In Puerto Rico we met a guy who spent 66 days in a life-raft, in the Pacific Ocean, with his wife. They were attacked and holed by a pod of whales, ‘they were so lovely, riding alongside us and suddenly they turned . . .’  (Note to self: do not enjoy company of whales, turn on engine and shoot flares into water if same happens). He claims that they would be dead if they had not had the Watermaker in their grab bag. Before setting sail into the mighty Pacific, we purchased one. The emotions of coughing up the equivalent of almost a thousand Australian dollars were an odd mix; unwillingness to part with a large chunk of our cruising budget, conflicting with the thought that should we find our lives depended on it, it would seem a remarkably small amount of money. The Watermaker is still in its bag, unused and lonely, long may it remain so!

Other suggestions from friends: My humble opinion
Chemical heat packs Space blanket is smaller and works well
Petroleum jelly A necessity?
Book to read Really?
Wool and rubber work gloves Maybe one pair
Enema sack for rehydration I’d rather drink the water
Inflatable splints Great idea
Repair kit Already in life-raft
Swiss Army knife, sharpening stone, tube of oil. Make sure knife is sharp to start with
Sextant Way too hard to use in life-raft
Sponges In life-raft already
Chemical light sticks Good idea
Navigation kit Maybe
Sea anchor Good idea
Dried fruit and chocolate I’d never say no to chocolate (ensure fruit is not already in chocolate – this stuff can really go off)
Survival ship’s biscuits Good idea
Multiple vitamins A necessity?
Small plankton net Hmmmm
Photocopies of all essential crew documents Yup(or the originals)
Shore survival items in case you land in an uninhabited island: waterproof matches, flint, wire saw It’s all getting a bit much
Self-inflating foam pad or air mattress What about a snugly blanket and a cuddly teddy bear too – really . . . !
Spare prescription glasses Good idea – these are in our life-raft
Pack all gear into separate waterproof bags Not a bad idea

We hope you found this article useful. It was compiled with ideas from many different cruisers and survivors. They all openly expressed their survival considerations, experience and concerns.

If you’d like to read more, click here.

 


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My Mum – My Self Appointed PR Rep

My mum is Brilliant…

…and probably about to be arrested!

Unique PR

I produced some rather snazzy bookmarks, detailing my books/adventures. My mum hands them out to anyone she meets or whoever knocks on her front door. She’s brilliant – my No.1 fan – and quite passionate!

She has just written me a note about accosting someone famous on my behalf! She’s either brilliant or mad – but probably both. She says:

On the way home Dad went into Sainsbury’s car park to get the papers and a few bits and whilst I sat in the car. You’ll never guess who walked passed, ONLY Paul Young!! I smashed on the window and leapt out of the car and said who I was plus you and ENPC (Enfield Chase Pony Club).  I think he thought I was some mad woman accosting him.  I blurted out your CV and could have kicked myself as I didn’t have any BOOKMARKS to give him. What an absolute chump am I!  Anyway, I mentioned www.jackieandnoelsjourneys.com and think he got it but he was in a hurry and had to get away.”

Mum’s not totally loopy – Paul’s daughter used to be a team member of Enfield Chace Prince Philip Cup Team and my mum and dad used to manage this team – so she did know him (and, I believe, he has sailing on his bucket list).

I was suitably impressed, as the first album I ever purchased was No Parlez. The first time I saw Paul was on daytime TV, after Rainbow, I was off sick from school – I’ve admired his work ever since.

I think Mum deserves a pay-rise, I’ve offered her double what she receives now – I think that’s fair.

ordinary-peopleextraordinary-adventures

I’ve offered Paul an audio, kindle or paperback book – I wonder if he’ll receive my message – perhaps he’s a little scared…..   not from my mum – but selling up and living your dream is a brave step…


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Inspirational Gifts

It’s not just a book.

There’s a message.

An uninhabited island in the South Pacific - I dare you to travel with us?

An uninhabited island in the South Pacific – I dare you to travel with us?

“The words are inspirational.”

“These stories will make you think.”

Colour pictures included in each book.

Make this year’s gifts special, thoughtful…..  be unique!

When your man looks better in a skirt than you do!

When your man looks better in a skirt than you do!

Best places to purchase the colour paperbacks:

UK/USA (and most other places): click here

Australia: click here 

Available in kindle format and audio: click here

Suwarrow - no strangers here....

Suwarrow – no strangers here….

Follow our escapades here: are we on a boat? On land? Or on a horse or camel?…. who knows what will happen next!


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A Christmas Gift

Win a Christmas Gift

If you’d like to win a free audio copy of This Is It – 2 hemispheres, 2 people, and 1 boat, just share this blog post on Twitter or FB and make sure you copy me in:

Twitter @nandjjourneys

FB: Jackie Parry or Noel and Jackies Journeys

On the 11th November I’ll number each share and ask someone to randomly pick a number.

A5 reduced for web

Here’s the blurb:

“We are from Australia, we have cash, and we have jet-lag and a desperate stare in our eye. In short, we are mugs ready to be led down the path of nautical slavery. If you can’t sell us a boat, there is something very wrong.”

The pull of the ocean was too strong to ignore any longer. Four years prior, they’d circumnavigated the globe on their 33-foot boat, Mariah. Now they wanted a new challenge.

So they sold all their belongings and flew to America from New South Wales in search of a boat.

Then Jackie and Noel set sail south, meeting descendants of the Bounty mutineers on Pitcairn, taking in the grand statues of Easter Island (the remotest inhabited island in the world) and making lifelong friends in Suwarrow.

Along the way, they lost a friend and came nail-bitingly close to losing their new boat. But they gained so much more.

This is a story of storms of emotions and oceans, travel, love, and relationships, and two people figuring out life and fulfilling their need to move and be challenged.

©2015 Jackie and Noel Parry (P)2016 New Street Communications, LLC

This Is It - a new cover too!

This Is It – a new cover too!

 

 


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Unhealthy Writing!

Writing and Middle-Aged Spread!

I sit a lot. I have to, I’m a writer.

Coupled with middle age, this is not a good recipe for a healthy life.

So in order to combat midde-aged-spread (how lovely) I have a game plan.

  1. I’ve taken up baking again. Not pastries and cakes, well not all the time. But vegetarian and healthy foods. I have a huge appetite, and eating less is just not going to happen. Here’s one of my favourite recipes.

    Red Bean Moussaka

    Red Bean Moussaka

  2. Painting! Owning a boat keeps you fit, when we move, furling ropes, climbing ladders (for locks) and handling lines keeps me fit. Plus painting is a regular task. We’re thankfully at the point where we just need to touch up our paintwork. Here’s my latest project. I love this anchor winch, it’s functional and beautiful!

    Anchor Windlass- before

    Anchor Windlass- before

    Anchor Windlass - after

    Anchor Windlass – after

If you are a writer/author or sit in an office, what are your tactics to stay fit and healthy?