Today I am sharing Doug Oudin’s answers to his 5 Questions. Doug is author of two books, “Between Two Harbors, Reflections of a Catalina Island Harbormaster” and “5 Weeks to Jamaica”.
About The Author:
Born in Whittier, California in 1946, Charles Douglas (Doug) Oudin, is married to his bride of 37 years, Maureen, has two sons, Trevor and Troy, and is currently living in Grants Pass, Oregon.
Doug Oudin served as harbormaster on Catalina Island for 32 years. His first book, ‘Between Two Harbors, Reflections of a Catalina Island Harbormaster’ relates his experiences as harbormaster, his involvement in the death of actress Natalie Wood, and the challenges of raising two sons on a remote island that is a world unto its own.
From life-threatening storms, to unique and sometimes incredible experiences on land and sea, his story is a wonderful insight into a lifestyle that is hard to imagine still exists.
Written from the heart, this memoir reflects his love of his family, his respect of the sea, and the magnetic appeal that so many people have for the ‘Island of Romance’.
His second book, an ocean-going adventure/romance novel, ‘Five Weeks to Jamaica’, is now live on Amazon and other retail book sites.
‘Five Weeks to Jamaica’ is an action-packed adventure that follows four young friends on an exciting ocean voyage down the coast of Mexico, Central America, through the Panama Canal to Jamaica, and beyond. Their journey is filled with excitement, danger, romance, and the type of sexual interactions that one might expect on a 147′ motor yacht carrying thirty passengers on an extended ocean cruise. From exotic ports to unexpected personal encounters and revelations, this seafaring odyssey will keep you raptly entertained
1. What does it mean to you to be called an author?
To be called an author gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment at having succeeded in fulfilling a goal which I never dreamed I might reach at a younger age; to actually publish a book (2, in fact).
— That is pretty straightforward. It is really important to have goals.
2. What is the first book that you remember reading?
The first book I remember reading is Dick and Jane. The one I remember most after puberty is Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck.
—My mom bought me some Dick and Jane books. She remembers reading them in school. We laughed at how different learning to read is now.
3. If you could have lunch with 3 authors (past and present) who would they be and what do you think you would all talk about during lunch?
I’d love to have the opportunity to lunch with Ernest Hemingway, Ayn Rand, and Wilbur Smith. I’d love to talk to Hemingway about fishing, Rand about philosophical things, and Smith about sociological ideas.
— I have never heard of Wilbur Smith, but this sounds like it would be terrific conversation.
4. If you could be friends with a character in one of your stories who would it be and what kinds of things would you do together?
It would be nice to be friends with Cecilia; from my novel, ‘Five Weeks to Jamaica’, simply because (even though she is a minor character), she’s most of what my ‘fantasy girl’ might be in real life.
—That is one of the fun things about being an author. You can add any characters into your book.
5. Who do your stories appeal to?
My memoir appeals to those who know about, or want to know about life on Catalina Island; from the death of Natalie Wood to the everyday life of a harbormaster.
My novel appeals to those have an affinity with the ocean, relish a bit of romantic discovery, and hope to see beyond the troughs we navigate through life.
— This s a job I don’t much about, however my parents talk about Catalina Island whenever we go to the beach because you can see it in the distance. I would love to go. Your first book very interesting to me.
6. What is your all time favorite book or author?
My all-time favorite book and author is ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, Ernest Hemingway.
—This is for sure on my to read list. I have been reading more and more of the classics lately. I love contemporary fiction, the classics have a while different feel.
7. Which of your current works in progress are you most passionate about?
My current work in progress has not yet captured my creative passion; for me, that happens after a work is completed.
8. What or who inspired you to begin writing?
I was inspired to write through the persistence of Catalina Islander Publisher, Don Haney; who persuaded me to initiate a weekly column in his newspaper. I wrote that column for twenty-one years.
—I totally get that. Mom got me writing a blog and it made me want to write more even though when I first started I wasn’t very good at it.
9. How do you avoid or defeat writers block?
To avoid writers block, I simply switch my focus; think outside of ‘the block’, and force myself to move forward by typing something, anything, even though I might delete all, or most. It always sparks something else.
–This seems to be very popular advice. I am not very good at it though.
10. How do you define success as an author?
For me, success is simply having published two books. That, and accomplishing my secondary goal of ‘breaking even’.
To be honest, there is that secret fantasy of gaining broader recognition, and entering the ‘mainstream’ marketplace, but as a self-published author in a very competitive industry, I recognize that that fantasy is very unlikely.
— Best of luck with that. Mainstream success doesn’t always work in a straight line so you may get your wish after all. Thanks for taking the time to talk with me.