Happy (Belated) Birthday to “The Reluctant Captain”

Happy (Belated) Birthday to “The Reluctant Captain”

Between work and concert band rehearsal last night, I totally missed that yesterday, March 8, marked the one year anniversary of the publication of The Reluctant Captain, my first novel.

Since I’m a writer, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mark the occasion with a few words (OK, a whole bunch of words).

The first two words that come to mind are: “Thank You!”  There are so many people to thank for making this happen and I know I pretty much did it in the Dedication of the book, but I’m going to do it again:

  • My family – to my wife and son who put up with me being locked away in my office when we could all be doing something together, for listening to me, and especially to my wife, who has read this book…many times. Also to my mother (for instilling in me a love of all things British and Scottish), my father (for instilling in me a love of science and electronics) and my sister (for showing me what courage and perserverance really mean).
  • My friends Donna, Keven, and Melanie – who ready the second draft and…actually enjoyed it.  Thanks for your encouragement and advice.
  • Megan McDowell, my editor – for helping correct all the things I missed after going through it so many times, I though my eyes would bleed.
  • Emilee Smith, my cover illustrator – for sharing her talent and making the HMA Daedalus come to life. I loved the cover so much that we had it framed and it hangs in our living room:


  • The Sherburne Public Library – for hosting my first book signing.
  • The Colgate Book Store for taking a chance to sell signed copies of my books.



From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who has read my book. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you took a chance on the book and many people have said very nice things about the book. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your support and kind words. I especially wish to thank everyone who also took the time to write a review on either Amazon or GoodReads – it means a great deal to me to hear feedback and know how people feel about it.


So What’s up in 2016?

If you haven’t been reading this scintillating blog, I wrote and submitted an entry to Simon & Schuster’s Star Trek: Strange New Worlds fan fiction contest. My unabashed love of Star Trek  should come as a surprise to no one who knows me or has read this blog. I jumped at the chance to write a Scotty story. I should find out in the next few weeks if it was selected (keep your fingers crossed for me!) and stay tuned to this channel for future updates.

I’m also well into the sequel to The Reluctant Captain, tentatively titled The Reluctant Something (I’m still working on the title, obviously). It takes place roughly two years after the events of the first novel. It features new adventures from the main characters of The Reluctant Captain and some new characters as well.

If you’ve stumbled here because Google was having an off day or you haven’t yet read The Reluctant Captain, please consider reading it. It’s gotten 4 1/2 Stars on Amazon and 4 stars on GoodReads, so don’t just take my word for it. There’s links on the right that will happily take you to my online store, Amazon, Nook, or iTunes so you can purchase it (convenient, huh?). And if you live in the area, you can also purchase it at the Colgate Book Store in Hamilton, NY.

Thanks again!

Happy Journeys,





  1. Christian Weigel
    May 4, 2016

    First of all – the Reluctant Captain is a great read. Thank you for getting it aloft. Lovely characters, an exciting yarn and all those references to Victorian celebrities and stories – Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes, War of the Worlds – well done.

    The only area in which it is a bit lacking is the way the Daedalus and her technology are incorporated into the story.

    The airship, although of considerable size and manned by a good-sized crew – does not feel like a naval vessel in the book. That starts with the way it is steered – often, Malcolm will just grab hold of the wheel and steer it like a car or a small motor boat himself. As a captain, he should be giving orders to a dedicated helmsman, stuff like “all ahead flank”, “come about 20 degrees”, “ascend to 3000 feet”. Better yet, there should be different stations on the bridge to man for the rudder, the elevator fins, maybe even an engineering officer to maintain altidude and monitor helium and ballas levels. That way, there would be a certain heft and weight to the appearance and movement of the Daedalus. At the moment, it feels a bit incongruous because the ship seems as big as a wet-navy frigate, but handles like a small tugboat.
    All in all, naval technology (and ist application to fictional Zeppelins) does not seem to be your strong suit, but writing a damn good story surely is. Keep it up!

    • Mike
      May 4, 2016

      Thanks so much for the kind words and the feedback…I agree with what you said – naval technology (and especially airships) are not my strong suit. But I’m very glad you enjoyed the story! And thanks for commenting!

      • Christian Weigel
        May 6, 2016

        Well, despite my avatar icon here being an old barrage balloon, I don’t have a degree in Airship Engineering and Assorted Steampunkery either. Accordingly, I shouldn’t be too demanding about this, but all those Hornblower novels and their ilk kind of brought me to expect a warship, and the Daedalus certainliy is one, to behave in a certain way. Maybe you can give her a bit more ponderousness and weight in the next book (which I’m really looking forward to..). Thanks for responding so quickly!

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