Poems were chosen to be published in varied editors anthologies before first novel Atlantic Hijack, reached final manuscript publication in 2015. Listed at URL amazon.com/author/grantsam
Sam Grant novels and anthologies are published in partnership with Paragon Publishing, Rothersthorpe
Poetry composition and submission of short story entry continues into 2022. A third martime novel has been published, July, 2022.Chilling Encounter by Sam Grant. In Chapter 15 – Steam Vessel Albany Contessa, is positioned off West coast of Nigeria, on course to discharge cargo at Lagos. Author, started this novel in 2020, but decided to complete Galactic Mission Part Two and followed through with adaptation of Persuasion’s Price, mystery novel to Persuasion’s Price The Play.
A complex cast of characters boardS/V Albany Contessa, in action, mystery novel Chilling Encounter by Sam Grant. Contessa, leaves Liverpool, on passage to Lagos with a part cargo of gold ingots, stowed in refrigerated chambers.
Maritime novel, sea poems and sea short stories, are part of author writng identity. For example – Atlantic Hijack, River Escape, Parthian Kinsman, Winter in New Jersey.
Understandably, with ten years of early sea service, from age of fourteen, shore based work life presence, has subsequently, had a strong influence on life experiences. This has led to, author selection of varied genres, for his novel, poetry and short story writing.
Recognition has been given to poems and short stories, with the request, by five UK Deposit libraries for individual copies of Sam Grant’s publication. In January, 2021 five copies of Mists of Time, were supplied in hard cover edition. Chilling Encounter, Sam Grant’s 2022 novel is available in three edition categories. Kindle, soft and hard cover edition.
Lock down, of course ,ensured a universality for all authors. That, their books were locked up, inside book shops! Author did not have that problem. Public libraries in the South West of UK have always been very supportive, for which the author, is immensely grateful.
Liverpool Library services are to buy in copies. Author has been notified. August 2022.
Author, continues to update readers, about latest writing projects and experiences, with regard to writing and publishing. A Smorgasbord of topic, from an individual writer, Sam Grant, with everyday name of Colin Coles.
Selection of books, published in partnership with Paragon Publishing, Rothersthorpe.
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Poems with themed notes is an anthology of forty poems. In the nineteen – eighties author submitted a poem to United Press and poem “Dispatch Time ,” was chosen by editors for an edition of poetry called “Book of Dreams.” Later author discovered an online site which advertised for poem submissions, where there was a theme. Chosen poems appeared in editor anthologies.
This gave encouragement for author and numerous poems of his have appeared in editors’ anthologies.
It was after a second novel was published that author approached Paragon Publishing, Rothersthorpe to see if it might be viable to publish author’s poems in a separate anthology? Author listed poems with a note about each poem’s theme and Poems with themed notes by Sam Grant was published.
Poems with themed notes was followed by Mists of Time, which includes short stories.
Most recently Short story, Verse, Commentary by Colin H Coles. Published May, 2023
A paperback edition was published at the beginning of May, 2023. There is now an amazon edition. Author, continues with a first screen script draft for his novel Chilling Encounter by Sam Grant.
A message about latest book addition- Short Story, Verse, Commentary by Colin H Coles – author’s birth name has led to a request for copy from Steve Robinson, Chief Editor for Sea Breezes.
Earlier, in 2019, good review and pictorial cover reresentation in International journal Sea Breezes, for Atlantic Hijack and River Escape by Sam Grant led to increased reader interest.
During 2022, author ,mentioned good review by Sea Breezes to Liverpool Library Services and this decided an order of Sam Grant books for their libraries. It underlines the power of good reviews.
A manuscript and synopsis for Persuasion’s Price The Play has been submitted to a theatre company. The completion of a play, kind of led into the idea to complete a screen script for Chilling Encounter, action, mystery novel, which was first published in 2022. Mark Webb, of Paragon Publishing Rothersthorpe, kindly forwarded photos for latest book – Short Story, Verse,Commentary by Colin Coles
Post Second World War, Torbay, the area lived in by the author, as a child, held a large cache of Victorian houses. Exeter and particularly Plymouth were bombed and lost housing. Torquay was relatively unscathed. Many buildings were of Victorian build. High ceilings and spacious rooms. A devil to heat in winter with expensive exterior maintainenance exacerbated by corrosive affect of salt air, on paint and plasterwork.
These Victorian houses built intentionally to be run with domestic service assistance. A large main Victorian house, which author’s family moved to, was embellished with elaborate interior plaster work. Particularly, around central ceiling light positions. An expansive hall way was laid, with thin strips of highly polished wood flooring. Polished stripped wood flooring skirted main living area rooms, where fitted carpet had been laid centrally to meet polished wood surround.
Upstair landings and bedrooms were fitted with plain wooden floors. Effectively a large main semi, attached to a smaller one, where servants would have lived. Less decoration with stone, rather than polished wood floor. Author’s family previously lived in a servant quarter divided house. In later years these quite sizable semi – detached houses adapted into separate private houses, with adjoining door blocked in.
Victorian House contd.
A panelled, ivory painted front door fronted a red and blue tiled porch. Varnished, heavy oak chairs, either side, beneath side windows. Author surmises that trades people, or potential new service employees may in Victorian days have been advised to wait in the porch, while housekeeper or butler sought advice. Guests of the family, invited to step up immediately and enter through a double doored inner entrance. Seated in a large reception hall room on the left.
Pelmeted red and gold brocaded curtains, in day time, were tasseled to the side of sashed windows, with wood blinds housed behind a painted board front. These may have been installed for black out purposes, during the war years? Fabric had rotted behind the quality brocade, where curtains had been repeatedly opened. Author’s mother found a solution by fitting half window net curtains. Apart from cold winter evenings, main brocaded curtains remained open. A large side room, with piano and door entrances to a conservatory, with grape vine and heated under floor pipes, featured brocaded curtains, and was opened for parties. Known as the blue room, due to expanse of blue carpet. In summer, plant scent, would waft into this room, from the conservatory.
When author’s family moved there in early nineteen – fifties, mantlepieces were of black marble, with some painted in magnolia paint. At the side of each main room mantlepieces, a push button bell installed to summon domestic staff, via a wall box bell board fitted in the kitchen. This was disconnected at time of author’s family residence.
The kitchen was accessed through a green beize door, spaced by entrance to wine cellars on the left and a downstairs toilet on the right. The beize door could be hooked open, when tureens, plates and trays were needed, in quick succession for the dining area. There were frequent guests, particularly during the summer months, when French, Swedish or Swiss students lodged at the house. They attended english language schools in the day and a boost to the local economy with hire of boats, ski and golf lessons etc…
A routine of Sunday dinner meant author’s family sat around the table. This was likely to extend to a daily routine when students lodged, in the summer holidays or when guests were invited to stay.
Usually, these guests were acquaintances from the yacht club. A connection with the family, could exist in that male guests were either dating or hoping to date Author’s elder sisters?
A feature of this Victorian House was a concealed driveway. Not a long driveway but curved to obscure passer by view of the house. In earlier times Russian noble men and women inhabited houses in these roads. Their horse drawn carriages swirled up and down the road. A Coach house, at the top of a tarmacked drive was replaced, before author’s family moved in, with a modern flat roofed garage. Space for several cars, and winter shelter, for a race dinghy. Historical research might reveal that these Russians were escaping from turmoil of 1917 Russian revolution? A modern version might be Russian oligarch purchase of London premises.
One of author’s aunts was askance that his mother ran the house without servants. Author’s elder sisters would have assisted domestically, but there was a large garden. A gardener was employed initially, but ultimately the family pitched in. When on leave from a ship, author assisted with cutting down overgrown branches. A regular childhood chore was sweeping the drive way, which led to the house. A potentially year round occupation because one type of tree shed it’s leaves in June, July and August, apart from deciduous autumnal variety shedding of leaves.
Heating in winter came from fires, lit in the main hall room and possibly the dining room. A Baxi coke fire was fitted in the lounge and by about ten in the evening threw out a good heat. Central heating pipes circled a large cellar, beneath the ground floor.
Realization that heat loss was such that chairs and tables in the cellar placed would be in a warm environment, better than that of the ground floor, led to a house maintenace friend of author’s father, instructing father and son in technique of wrapping wire netting around the heating pipes. A part clay, straw like powder mixed in a bucket of water produced a wet pastry – like substance. This, then, plastered into and over the wire netting around the pipes.
Believe this assisted in driving hot water into the ground floor, but upstairs radiators probably missed out. As was with the Victorians; radiators in the hall and in main upstairs bathrom were side covered by a cabinet of wrought iron with twisted decorated apertures. On top a marble slab. To make it not offend the eye, in practical radiator embodiment, no doubt. Warm air did flow out of top apertures, but required a long period of pre- heat to achive this effect.
The garden offerred an adventure playground of trees hedges and shrubs. Acted out scenarios of cowboys and indians, highwaymen and piratical sea adventures, ensued, with author and childhood friends. An old pram doubled as engine, for a ghost train which ran into a hedged pathway at the bottom of the garden. Camps, built out of old planking and brushwood. Lit with candles and paraffin lamps, the camps, allowed for imaginary adventures in far away lands.
Where at school you receive some commendation for your ability, glowing embers of a possible career can smoulder into light, in later life. Captain Hewitt at HMS Conway pre- sea training school, stopped on the parade ground to compliment author on his acting ability at an end of term school play. It was Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and coincided with part of the syllabus for GCE English Literature. Animal Farm by George Orwell was a novel for the exam and author’s English teacher, Mr Jones, said “read Animal Farm three times and you should be okay to take the exam.” This worked and author passed.
That Captain Hewitt recommended author’s acting ability was outside ball park of his comments over author’s seafaring skills. Maybe this shocked author at time that Captain Hewitt highly respected and war decorated Captain, should give good appraisal. During a power boat inspection, author failed to spot a cap missing from a fuel tank. Author, was due an interview, at 53, Leadenhall Street London to join Houlder Lines, Captain Hewitt remarked,
“Even Houlder Lines will expect their boats to have petrol caps, Mr Coles.”
It is now many years later, and author realizes that Captain Hewitt must have given a positive appraisal to Houlder Lines, for which author posthumously thanks him . Author was behind with his sea-going studies and an additional sea school term, as Junior Cadet Captain was recommended. This may have been conditions stipulated by Houlder Lines for author’s acceptance as shipboard apprentice?
Class mates picked up on a Breeches Buoy team photo, where they decided author had a baby face. Later, near to thirty in age and qualified as a Second Mate, author was asked by colleague postal workers had he recently left the local college? Not good for a man, but I guess a young woman would be pleased to appear over ten years younger than actual chronological age!
It was while author served aboard an ore carrier, where apprentices were worked pretty hard, that he went down with pleurisy. Later on a mid apprenticeship release course possibilities of performance art training surfaced, after a visit to Chanticleer drama training school. A meet up with a former American Conway cadet who back in time played a lead role in Twelfth Night almost precipitated author into packing in a Houlder’s apprenticeship to attend drama school.
Author’s father, persuaded him to continue with his apprenticeship, which led into pass of the Board of Trade examination for the holding of a Second Mates’ Cerificate (Foreign – going) Author’s grandfather, mainly pursued work life as author, playwright, and actor. This had not enthused author’s father with any merits for the life! Believe there were difficult financial moments, although grandfather kept a weekly newspaper story column going for sixty – five years. Professional qualifactions, outside of anyhing to do with the media, were seen as a better choice by author’s father, then.
Qulification as a professional seafarer and navigator ticked the right boxes!
The wheel of fortune’s turn stopped momentarily, but author returned to seafaring career, although later he came ashore and married in 1973.
It was a transfer from Leicestershire to first Radstock, then Frome in Somerset with Royal Mail (2000) that really re-ignited, firstly, performance art ( acting) and subsequently return to the writing of a maritime novel. Formerly, this novel was given a working title of “Pilot’s Daughter by the author. Later partner published as Atlantic Hijack by Sam Grant, with Paragon Publishing, Rotherstorpe in 2015. The novel was previously accepted by another publisher, whom unfortunately ceased trading.
Fifty years forward from original enthusiasm for plays and acting, poems were composed by the author and entered for competition. One sea poem was short -listed from 60,000 entries world -wide. Author, named it “Eye of the Storm,” which was followed by other poems drawn from author’s professional sea- going career experience and life in general.
About sixty poems were chosen for publication by editors for their anthology collections from 2003 to 2015. Author, asked Mark Webb at Paragon Publishing, Rothersthorpe whether it would be possible for author to publish his own anthology? Mark, kindly agreed to collate a list of forty poems and the anthology – Poems with themed notes was first published in 2016. One of author’s notes about a sea-going positon finding exercise was chosen to describe this shipboard exercise in Wikipedia and on a nautical site. The article features after poem Tropical Storm, in afor – mentioned Poems with themed notes.
Novel writng ,began in earnest after joining a “Craftyournovel,” group. A very comprehensive and well run course, which encouraged author to complete his novel Atlantic Hijack. There was no time for excuses – author lamented about his typing skills, but was told to get on with it by Jill. With three sisters and female cousins, aunts etc… author was accustomed to being straightened out by the human races’ female contingent, and got on typing.
WordPress and the ability to write and store documents – go back to them later, has definitely assisted author in move toward completion of novels, short stories, poems and play. Poems. can be ideas that you return to over time. With novels it’s useful to store individual chapters and sections for writing group presentations,
Eventualy, this writer became an author and continues to write. Without fail each novel presents its own challenges. Initially, sea-going life and experiences gave a superficial confidence when technical subjects could be written about from knowledge and training background.
Romantic thriller Dancing on the Beach by Sam Grant was carefully planned and critiqued. There was good background experience to draw on, since author passed an enjoyable two seasons, in the role of deckchair attendant. Like a deck chair set up in the sun ready for an occupant research was already in place. This novel became a most popular read, in succesive years on an American Kindle site. 2017 and 2018.
The fact is that from this author’s perspective Kindle listings and interest from overseas readers’ encouraged continued writing. There was more interest shown in authors books, paradoxically during Lockdown, when Amazon no longer easily suppled author’s books. Good reviews in maritime journal Sea Breezes saw reader interest grow. Author, was approached by readers’ to supply both novels Antlatic Hijack and River Escape, for those interested in both story genre.
Chilling Encounter; third in series (all three are complete novels), was first published in June, 2022. Author’s preparing a draft screen script for Chilling Encounter. Fortunately a screen writing course is available locally run by David Lassman, who has a degree in script writing. Historian, novelist, teacher and local history authority.
As has become customary, for this author, a novel has progressed, since Chilling Encounter’s publication, in 2022. Author, believes in getting extremely involved in a new novel before one is published. Where, the novel is successful, in that readers’ want to read it – that’s great! But where it’s barely noticed, then author’s, so far into the next one that disappointment is less painful!
A primary objective was to arrive at Bude to sample its marine lake. Parking was at cheap off season rate. We’d slept overnight at Holsworthy and were early to arrive at Bude. Breakfast was skipped and author walked to a post office for a coffee and paper. Swimming was not on his agenda. A Premier Inn was releasing over night stay residents. The park filled at the top end by the time of author’s return. a sunny morning, possibly an invite for locals to visit.
Previously Beer was visited. Superlative views from cliff walk. A beach cafe opened and trestle tables filled with customers by eleven. We’d slept overnight at Seaton. There was a swimming pool at Colyford which was loaned out for swimming lessons. Marine Lake in Bude, already pencilled in for swimming. Real concern, from hotellier, about energy costs which apparently had risen by £8,000 from previous year.
Very fortunate with weather in morning at both Beer and later Bude. A visit was made to Ilfracombe. Honeymoon seaside town, in 1973, for author and his wife. Author didn’t participate in cliff walk after having walked some distance to the post office in Bude.
The beach theatre was open to buy coffees and drinks. A code on card receipt allowed access to toilets. Later a walk up a steep pathway was made for a coffee at Costa’s. After Bude, the journeying was a progression back to Frome, taking in Exmoor after a vist to Trago Mills. Trago owner’s political voice was not to everyone’s taste. Trago, is now believe in hands of his son. In general layout, in terms of gondalas etc.. shows improvement. There’s always been a somewhat haphazard merchandising, but Trago has proven popular in the southwest, which has, in past, experienced restricted retail growth due to – out on limb position of Devon and Cornwall. Consensus was that the Liskard store, in Cornwall was a better proposition.
An experienced background of retail chain store management gives author immediate understanding of lost sales, in any shop or store. Trago Mills no exception.
Dawn French, allegedly jibed at the prospect of having to Visit Trago for “do it your self,” and house product purchase. Guess its rustic, somewhat haphazard charm, didn’t appeal to celebrity’s previous experience, of sophisticated retail areas of country.
Local people have for some years enjoyed retail offerring; cheap fuel, and ready availability of cornish pasties and cafeteria; general ambience of a park – like layout.
On departure from interior retail floors, a peacock was in attendance, with a hen, a few feet away on a boardwalk. Visitors eagerly taking camera photos. Three ducks waddled through an open market area, seemingly, primarily to accost stall holders by their strident walk/ quack talk – to be fed! Two other ducks were making most of a spread of corn. Overweight, no doubt from plentiful supply.
Author’s father was hugely impressed with purchase of a two pound watch, when taken to Trago Mills, Bovey. A generation that experienced two world wars, perhaps easily satisfied with simple pleasures?
Author is published on Amazon at amazon.com/author/grantsam
Good bookshops will also supply copies. Please give ISBN
Waterstones have an online listing for Sam Grant, Author.
A winter weekend break was made to Chatham. A stop over, to break the journey to Margate and its marine lake, swimming venue. It was crucial to be there by eleven since the lake is subject to coverage, from incoming tide. After swim, author spectated, it is noted, and with incoming tide Anthony Gormley’s beach standing man statue was soon covered above waist height.
Chatham was viewed on a walk to a town restaurant. Impressive figure of General Gordon, on horseback in night darkness. Lionised as a British war hero at the end of the siege of Khartoum.
The M25 was, as ever, a river of mainly cars, but also commercial vehicles, either way, probably exiting or joining the channel tunnel or ferry services. Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester merge one to another. Charles Dickens is a famous figure who lived at both Chatham and Rochester. Evidence, everywhere of strategic position of Chatham and build of fortifications in Napoleonic period, largely still in place. Wikipedia gives a far more informative narrative for both Chatham and Margate.
After swim, a visit was made to the Turner Contemparary art gallery. Sonis Boyce’s exhibition currently showing, winner of Golden Lion at International art exhibition. Turner Contemporary features at number seven in list of most popular attractions, but it’s free and well worth a visit. Seen as an essential catalyst for regeneration of East Kent.
A billionaire ,with a spare two hundred million could assist in returning former seaside glory, to Margate. Number one attraction is the Shell Grotto covered with 4.6 million shells.
Author grew up in a seaside town and witnessed in later years, the collapse of holiday trade to seaside resorts with advent of foreign package holiday travel. Margate awaits further rejuvenation to bring new life to a very attractive resort with great beaches.
The rail link gives ease of access from inland parts. Last year saw a growth in seaside holiday vacations. Author is probably biased from young days of daily beach swimming, but a beach was a favorite place to read a book, after return from a deep sea voyage. Later working life saw a life led in the centre of England. A visit to the seaside, remains a visit to look forward to.
Dancing on the Beach by Sam Grant. Romantic thriller set in a fictional seaside town. Phillip falls for hotel receptionist. Maria arrives to find out about death of step – brother Alfie. Reported as a natural death, but investigation reveals something more sinister.
Sam Grant, author can be found through Google or directly at amazon.com/author/grantsam Best wishes from author.
It went back to the naval outfitters. Gold braid circled each arm of the uniform jacket. Former merchant navy officers’ at Sea School wore uniforms with half braid. It was practical in that continued scuffing under the cuff tore into the stitching and gave a worn appearance. Although author was not a leading light in navigation classes, there was admiration, for college tutor who during WW 2 served aboard ships in the North Atlantic Convoy to Russia. That, this commanders arm uniform was half braided may have influenced decision.
Author’s father bought him a micrometer sextant, with a steel -like finish which coincidentally matched the stainless steel fitments aboard tanker he was appointed to. A vessel of Norweigan build, which was bought from a shipyard by John Houlder after a customer failed to find purchase money of £2,000,000. A thoroughbred, in tanker parlance lassooed into the stable of thirty ships under the Houlder umbrella of companies.
Always memorable, to author; that first ship in new role capacity. It was as Third Mate, which involved a flight to Rotterdam as part of a new crew, to replace those signed off. Industrial action meant that British ships became strike bound once an anchor hit the sea bed within British territorial waters. It made sense for the company to keep the ship away from Britain.
Both author and Second Mate must have had “non- experienced tanker officer,” stamped on foreheads, in Rotterdam, when the First Mate met up with both, on the foredeck. Three thousand tons of oil an hour was being pumped ashore with the Mate left to supervise the process. His first words were effectivelly- “I expect you two to have full knowledge of the pipe layout.” Cargo tanker watches, in port on Houlders’ ships were split between Second and Third Mates’ on a twelve on twelve off basis. In point of fact, the pipe layout was more straightforward than a previous tanker author served aboard which was designed as a mixed oil carrier with a more complex pipe system. Merchant navy officers, in Houlder Lines were uprouted from cargo liner runs to man a growth in the tanker and ore carrier fleet. It was seen by some, as like a move from the Savoy to a Premier Inn.
Enough about idiosyncracy around ship types and preferences. After a couple of runs to Lagos to supply Thameshaven Shell decided that our presence was required in the Middle East to load oil for Kobe, Japan.
In the Red Sea author had to call out engineer officers from their slumbers, to staunch a fire in an after locker. A crew of mixed nationality smuggled aboard some spirits while in Suez and were incapacitated. Fortunately, a saloon steward had presence of mind, to walk along the catwalk from the after accommodation, up to the bridge and inform author about a fire raging in a locker. It was put out with hoses by the engineer officers. At breakfast later, the Senior Second Engineer Officer, explained to author that an oil storage tank, adjacent, had been loaded with oil, while in Suez. A partly empty tank would have exploded. Heat created from an inflow fan, caused frames to become incandescent white from the fire. A saying, to be thankful for small mercies was upgraded to that of big ones, that morning.
Possibly, with that sense, which can return in spades when an escape is made from a life or death situation was with author on following starry night in the Red Sea. It cannot be denied that ships are material objects and not of biological creation like a person or animal, but certainly individual ships, for author, at any rate, had particular appeal.
This Norweigan tanker, with a top speed of 16+ knots, twin radar screens, stainless steel fitments, composition decking rather than timber; not forgetting turbine main engines and three powerful turbine driven discharge pumps, had appeal. The vessel was about a year old and built to an accommodation specification, not experienced on older British ships, author had previously served aboard.
A lookout sailor on the Monkey island above the bridge, must have requested a toilet break, because author was alone, he believed on this uppermost bridge. With no shore light pollution and a clear night sky stars/planets, seemed very immediate. Author can remember a search of the sky for well known stars/planets which figured in navigation, when the question came to him -“would you like to navigate a ship in the sky? ” A rhetorical question, or so it appeared at the time, only that stars were no longer distant nor did the ship feel to be in the Red Sea, but within the star canopy. An answer was not forthcoming and a return to shipboard reality was made.
Can report that the ship arrived safely at Kobe, Japan with its cargo of Middle Eastern light crude.
Author has written a series of maritme novels. Atlantic Hijack – first in series, Front cover photo displayed.
Please visit at amazon.com/author/grantsam Good book shops can supply with ISBN – Waterstones, Foyles online