The Quest to Publish

Don at the wheel of the Valerie Queen
My novel's,
Island Adrift and Sea Trauma,
are extensions of my life-long commitment to conservation and environmentalism.

An Island Adrift

An Island Adrift is a book with broad appeal, containing elements of interest to just about any reader. There’s a wealth of adventure, humor, history, sailing, diving, social commentary, quirky characters and exotic settings, plus an important and extremely timely conservation message.

Early in 1962, hurricane-whipped with only 63 cents and my ship’s papers in my pocket, I sought refuge on the small island of Bonaire, an old Dutch Colony rooted deep in the southern Caribbean. It was a very special era when every day brought new and exciting developments. My expectancy on island: the early days of spear fishing. then my entry into the resort business and diving tourism are described in stories where truth is stranger than fiction; the death of myAn Island Adrift, by Captain Don ship, the Valerie Queen, in 1963 and the birth of environmentalism and reef conservation

An Island Adrift is a medley of 45 adventures, vignettes FROM my life, not ABOUT it. Written over the years, spanning a time frame of half a century, the novel describes the stepping stone path that led me from post WWII Hollywood to the far southern Caribbean. My ultimate reward was the prize of being in the right place at the right time for the first time in my life, when in 1962, my wandering ended on this sleepy little Dutch island which I thought of as ‘an island adrift’, meaning without direction or purpose. Goats, charcoal, and salt were her commerce, her virgin reefs an untapped treasure, tourism non-existent. There was a magic here where everything yet unborn was on the verge of reality. I loved it and knew that I had to be involved. As the island and I moved forward to accept her new destiny, which was underwater tourism, our karmas became hopelessly intertwined.

Sea Trauma

On the other hand is fictional and is in the final stages of copy-editing, and should be available for publication soon. Once I gain a wider public recognition through the distribution of An Island Adrift, it is expected that there will be much interest in the rights to Sea Trauma.

Sea Trauma is an undersea adventure set in the near future, with a strong environmental message. Due to its highly plausible account of the destruction of most sea life on earth due to man’s folly, the plot paints a realistic portrait of the world’s bleak potential future. With its fast-paced action, innovative underwater habitat and modes of transportation, remote tropical setting, crusading scientists, family interaction, evil adversaries, and societal turmoil, Sea Trauma has great potential to become a best selling book, as well as the basis for a major motion picture.

Sea Trauma is the story of a family caught up in an undersea adventure during a time when the world's oceans have succumbed to suffocation due to man’s flagrant disregard for the laws of nature--A fictional story today, yet most likely a factual account of the not-too-distant future. Sea Trauma chronicles the faith, conviction, and sacrifice of an American family and their allies who have the raw courage to fight strong opposition from numerous camps, even nature itself, for what they believe can rejuvenate the dying seas. An inspiring yet earthy story, Sea Trauma combines the mystical with empirical research, the personal with scientific discovery.

Sea Trauma delivers a fast, action-packed, smooth-reading undersea yarn, while at the same time delivering a strong environmental message. Although the author himself is an underwater pioneer internationally known for his work in marine ecology, he has kept the technical jargon to a minimum and the message straightforward without preaching. An effective mix of fact and fantasy, Sea Trauma paints a simulataneous picture of the future that is plausible yet unimaginable.

It began as far back as 1999 when James. R. Buckley, Ph.D., B.S., of Harvard University published a monograph on the sudden and accelerated growth of schizotrixpollutansi Buckley, a mutant algae commonly called Schizotrix, in streams in the Hudson Canyon, an area notorious for its concentration of heavy metals.

Scientists observed, measured, and recorded. Federal and local governments either ignored the problem or bowed to the interests of industry and politics. Then the Schizotrix flowed into the Atlantic Ocean where it metastasized and caused a simple form of marine flora called Blue Green to grow out of control. Sun could not penetrate the cover of Blue Green taking hold of the reefs. And without the sun, photosynthesis could not occur and the seas could not produce oxygen. The marine life of the 20th century became an old sailor’s tale in the 21st as scientists helplessly watched the most rapid catastrophic change in Earth’s history. The delicate food chain broken, all but a few remote pockets of the normally resilient seas were either dead or dying.

This is a no fool around pussy-cat story and is guaranteed to keep readers turning pages and on the edge of their chair.


Today’s news is full of alarming reports of global warming, over-fishing, and the impending destruction of the world’s coral reefs. Captain Don is an ardent and vocal proponent of coral reef conservation practices. Just as ex-addicts often make the most effective substance abuse counselors, Captain Don is a convert to conservation. He began as an uncaring spear fisherman and coral reef rapist, only gradually realizing the folly of his destructive habits. While An Island Adrift is an entertaining book, it also carries an important conservation message. Environmental organizations should be pleased to provide a review in their many publications.

My agent for both of these works.

Architeuthis Literary Agency Inc
Richard A. Pretl
Fax: +(410) 433-6353
Baltimore, Maryland, USA


My Published Works

  • The Adventures of Captain Don: Tales of Bonaire Diving, 1996, Sunspots Bonaire (49 pages)
  • Short stories in various publications:
    • Bonaire Reporter (Weekly print & on-line newspaper) 1/week
    • Port Call (Bonaire weekly newspaper) 41
    • Speed Publishing NV, Aruba 15
    • Nights Publications, Canada 4
    • South Florida Underwater World 2
    • Compass (Eastern Caribbean sailing newspaper) 2
    • Jonckheer Publishing, Curacao 1
    • Bonaire Affairs, Miami 1
    • Skin Diver Magazine, California 1
    • Power Squadron, Ohio 1
    • Maria Hoppner Foundation Calendar, Bonaire 1


Note Regarding my Unpublished Novels

In addition to An Island Adrift, and Sea Trauma, I have completed 4 more lesser novels as well as hundreds of short stories.

Toy Swashbuckler (98,000 words) Rated R. The confession of a Caribbean gun runner. A central American sea story set in the mid-1930s with Captain Flynn, a sea-going Indiana Jones type. Girls, Banana republic revolutions, and German submarines.

Whore’s Horror (52,000 words) Fantasy and gore, circa 1948. Written for a New York Film studio requesting an inexpensive horror script.

Balsa Shillelagh (76,000 words) Factual comedy, 1945. The US Navy Medical Corps and Philadelphia and the Naval Hospital. It is about nurses, waves, and the craziness of a naval hospital and an Irish lad named Timmy O'Keefe. No! This is not a war story.

Strictly Poker (72,000 words) Fantasy and comedy on a Pacific island. A navy payroll and a hundred hands of poker. Only two contestants, one rusty gun and a single bullet. Written in the 50's and worthy of consideration.

New in the Works

The Admiral's SonThe Admiral’s Son (expecting to close at 100,000 words) Setting in the late 1850’s. A story of the slave runners, a defecting British officer, Lt. Angus Brec Stuart--an officer of color--whose father, the Admiral, married his slave, Angus’, mother when one day dead. With a stolen prize, intended for the Queen and a Black Skull flag on its mast head, Angus Brec Stuart pursued with vengeance the Portuguese slavers who had abducted his mother.

My pen name simply is,
the ®Wicked mind's eye of Capt'n don

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