Tell my fans a little bit about yourself and your book.
Since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by the ocean and ships. I really took an interest in the Navy as their history, customs and traditions captivated me. Some of my favorite memories involve my visiting the USS Constitution and Battleship Cove as a child. Although I never joined the Navy, I never lost my interest in it, so writing Battleship Cove was such a great personal achievement for me.
My book contains over 200 photographs, mostly historical, of the exhibits of Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts. Each chapter tells the story of Battleship Cove’s exhibits through pictures.
How would you introduce your books to someone that has yet to read it?
I would tell them about the history of these ships and their significance in World War II and the Cold War.
What genre have you not yet written, but would like to try?
I think I would like to write a historical novel from the vantage point of a young sailor serving in the 1960’s Navy.
What inspired you to start writing? What age did you start?
I always loved history and always wanted to write a book that would preserve the history of a famous ship for interested readers. I was 36 when I began writing.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I love to read! I also volunteer aboard the destroyer J.P. Kennedy at Battleship Cove.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Have fun with it! Keep everything in perspective and be bold. Do your best but don’t worry about the end result. Work hard on what you can control and remember that there are many factors that are beyond your control.
What’s the hardest thing about writing?
I think one thing that can be really hard is being content with what you originally wrote. You definitely need to edit and rework a sentence but don’t overdo it.
What are you currently reading?
Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy by Ian W. Toll.
What books did you read as a child?
I loved to read books about seafaring such as stories about the Navy and Coast Guard. In addition, I read books on the pilgrims, Native Americans, the American Revolution and general military history.
What’s been your favorite moment as an author?
For me it has been meeting so many great people that once actually served on the ships I wrote about.
What do you want readers to take away from your books?
I would like readers to understand the great history of these ships and the important part they placed in protecting American interests around the globe.
You’re stranded on a desert island. What books do you take with you?
I would make sure I had the Perfect Storm, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, and The Caine Mutiny.
Favorite book character?
Master Chief Billy Sunday from the book and movie Men of Honor.
Do you have any interesting dreams or goals?
I still often dream that I could create a few skits for Saturday Night Live.
If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
Marching to the beat of a different drum
James A. Gay, enthralled with Battleship Cove as a child, supports the preservation of naval vessels and the stories of those that sailed upon them. He is a member of Battleship Cove, Tin Can Sailors, the JPK Crewmembers Association, and the JPK Volunteers. He lives with his wife in Quincy, Massachusetts.