James L. Nelson

James L. Nelson

To sign up for notices about upcoming books and the occasional newsletter, please go to the Contacts page on my web site. http://www.jameslnelson.com/contact.html. Now, the biographical part... I was born in a log cabin in the sea-side town of Lewiston, Maine.... Okay, maybe not a log cabin. And maybe Lewiston isn't exactly a seaside town. Despite that, my interest in ships and the sea began early, reading Hornblower and building ship models. In high school I built a fifteen foot sailboat, and with a friend, an eighteen foot canoe. I graduated from Lewiston High School in 1980, if not with honors then at least with a diploma. After a year of hitchhiking and motorcycling around the country, I attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, later transferring to UCLA Film School (Official Motto: '...but what I really want to do is direct...') , from which I graduated in 1986. After working in the television industry for two years, I realized that I could not stand a) the television industry, b) Los Angeles and c) being ashore. In 1988 I joined the crew of the Golden Hinde (rhymes with mind), a replica of Sir Francis Drake's vessel of 1577. There I met a foretop person named Lisa Page, whom I beat out for the job of bosun. Lisa vowed then and there to marry me and make me pay for that for the rest of my life. Leaving the Hinde in Houston, Texas, I worked aboard the brig Lady Washington (after my time she played the Interceptor in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie) and the ship 'HMS' Rose, (Surprise in Master and Commander, also after my time) I sailed aboard Rose for two years, as Able Bodied Seaman and Third Mate. In 1993, I 'swallowed the anchor.' Lisa Page, made good on her threat and we married that year. The following year I finished By Force of Arms, my first book. I've been a full-time writer since then, with fourteen books either published or in the process of being published. My books have sold in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Spain. My 2003 title Glory in the Name was selected as the winner of the American Library Association's W.Y. Boyd Award for Excellence in Military Fiction. Recently, my writing has expanded to include non-fiction. My first work of non-fiction was Reign of Iron, a detailed look at the ironclads Monitor and Merrimack (Virginia, Benedict Arnold's Navy about the Revolutionary war naval battle that took place on Lake Champlain. My book George Washington's Secret Navy won the Naval Order's Samuel Eliot Morison award in 2010. Lisa and I now live in Harpswell, Maine (which really is a seaside town), with our four children.
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