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Mar 25, 2020

New York Times bestselling creative nonfiction author, Michael Tougias, joined me to talk about how he translated his success in the true survival genre for younger audiences, his unique research processes, and how he captures the "... heroism and humanity of people on life-saving missions..." during maritime disasters.

"You've interviewed these people that have lost loved ones ... They're counting on you to tell the story right, and ... as an author you really do feel that pressure." – Michael Tougias

Michael has written or co-written 29 books in a multitude of genres, including history, and humor, but found the most success with his popular true survival, creative nonfiction.

He's the author of the bestseller The Finest Hours (now a motion picture from Disney starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck), and Ten Hours Until Dawn (named an Editor's Choice by ALA and praised by Booklist as "the best story of peril at sea since The Perfect Storm").

With his latest "True Rescue Series" – adapted from his popular disaster at sea tales for YA and middle-grade audiences – Tougias is now on a mission to "... ignite the reading passion that he had as a student in young adults."

The most recent is Into the Blizzard: Heroism at Sea During the Great Blizzard of 1978, an adaptation of Tougias’ adult book Ten Hours Until Dawn, called “A blockbuster account of tragedy at sea,” by The Providence Journal.

The Amazon Best Book of the Month was described by Kirkus Reviews as a "riveting" book that, "Reads like a thriller, suspenseful and ultimately tragic."

** Note: This interview was recorded before the Coronavirus pandemic.

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In this file Michael Tougias and I discussed:

  • How he was a "late bloomer" who dreamt of a full-time writing career
  • Why he recommends public speaking for any author or aspiring writer
  • The intense and sometimes heartbreaking research that goes into his true survival and rescue stories
  • Why he likes to always have two projects going at once
  • His take on writer's block, persistence, and why "you can't edit a blank page"
  • And much more ...

Show Notes: