An interview with Vernon Baker, author of
Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? You're a Red Sox fan - how does a California kid become a Red Sox fan?
- Well, I grew up in Southern California. We moved to Maine in 2001 when we found our property and fell in love with the Maine coast. In summer, that is. My family is all from the East coast - Boston, the Cape, and so I was indoctrinated into Redsox nation from day one.
Who was Vernon Baker before he was a writer?
- Ha! I like the sound of that, “writer”. I have done a lot of different things up to this point, from law enforcement to owning a handful of businesses. I've been an entrepreneur my whole life, which I think is going to pay off in my new career as a writer. These days, being an author means being in business for yourself. That excites me almost as much as the writing.
Can you tell us a little bit about this book?
- Slow Boat To Purgatory is Book One in a series that features three main characters.The first is Gaspar de Rouse, an immortal Templar Knight who is murdered in 1291 after he is entrusted with an earth shattering secret. He’s resurrected by an archangel and given a second chance to redeem himself.The second character is Alex Dononvan. Alex is a former Navy Seal who retired after a disastrous mission that left his team dead and him with a career-ending injury. Alex's grandfather dies and leaves him a vast fortune, but more importantly, an ancient manuscript that tells the story of Gaspar. Alex, as his grandfather was, becomes enthralled with the story and sets off to find the immortal knight.The third character is Dominicus Bureau, a catholic priest who belongs to a modern day version of the Knights Templars, one that has been in pursuit of Gaspar, and the secret he guards, for hundreds of years.All three of these very dangerous men are on a collision course that I am enjoying scripting.
You and Gaspar were "acquainted" for a while before you told his story? What inspired you to set pen to paper?
- I have been writing little snippets featuring Gaspar for about three years. One day a couple of years ago I saw Gustave Dore’s illustration of Charon, the boatman from Dante’s Inferno and the idea for Slow Boat To Purgatory began to germinate. It took root when I ended up putting Gaspar into Charon’s boat.
Describe your typical writing day. What time of day do you write?
- My writing day? Ha! My wife and I have two children, a four year old and an eight month old. Plus I have my day job running a small resort and my night job running a restaurant. Writing happens when I am able to catch a breath and a clear headed moment. I do make myself write every day, something, anything. And I try to read something everyday. I guess most of it gets done at night when the house is quiet. I write large chunks in the winter when our businesses are closed. There’s nothing better than handwriting while sitting with your toes buried in sand.
You've done an enormous amount of research for Gaspar's story. Tell us about that.
- As far as research goes, I thank Al Gore every night for the internet. I have been lucky enough to have traveled to many of the places I write about and my hope is that I am able to sell enough books that I can continue to travel to far flung corners of the world on “research” trips.
What are you working on now?
- I’m working on two things currently. I am about 40% of the way through “The Arimathean” which is the follow-up to Slow Boat, Book Two in the series. That should be in print by Christmas, depending on whether our eight-month-old starts sleeping or not. I’m also working on another book that features an angel who wakes up in a monastery and has no idea why he is on earth. Very fast paced, a little more violent than Slow Boat, kind of a Jason Bourne with wings.
What music do you listen to when you write?
- I love the Pandora music service. It allows you to make your own radio stations around certain songs or styles of music. I have about fifteen different stations that range from Satie and chanting monks to Whitsnake. The strength of the vibrations rattling the window panes depends on my mood or the scene I’m writing. I also like listening to John Powell or Hans Zimmer type music and visualizing my writing transformed into movies. Fun stuff.
Tell us about the Guardian Angel to whom you've dedicated you book.
- Well, we all have a guardian angel. Mine just happens to be my wife. Cat’s and their nine lives have nothing on me.
Find out more about Vernon Baker and Slow Boat to Purgatory HERE
and Vernon Baker, Dreams and Beaujolais
and Vernon Baker, Dreams and Beaujolais
Slow Boat to Purgatory is available in print or digital format at: