The list of quirky best-sellers includes Ernest Hemingway and Marjorie Kinnans Rawling, and modern writers Carl Hiaasen, Harry Crews and Randy Wayne White.
Emerging as the newest Florida favorite is a survivalist and Vietnam veteran who spent his first years here living aboard his 30-foot sloop, The Shard, anchored off Coconut Grove.
His style has also been compared to iconic author Jules Verne, to whom, ironically, Florida also lays a small claim. In Verne’s 1865 novel, From the Earth to the Moon, his rocket prophetically launches from near Tampa – not far from Cape Canaveral!
What is it about Florida that attracts the likes of Ernest Hemingway – a failed KGB spy who used a machine gun to shoot sharks – and Chamberlain, a diehard adventurer who eschews plants, pets and romantic partnerships?
“Water can be a wonderful muse,” says the 72-year-old Fort Myers Beach resident. “Not only does Florida have more waterways than any other continental state, it has the second longest coastline in the country. Or, maybe it’s simply that Florida has so much to spark the imagination!”
Chamberlain finds his inspiration paddling his kayak in natural scenic areas; favorites include The Great Calusa Blueway, Myakka River State Park and the clear waters of Crystal River, where he’s as likely to spot a manatee as an alligator or osprey.
“I like being alone, except for the notebook I carry everywhere, and being in different environments stimulates all kinds of ideas,” he says. “I write down everything. Everything!”
On the surface, it may not seem that Chamberlain’
“Visit a place like St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, and your imagination takes you back in time,” he says. “Key West and all of its character – and characters – can pump life and color into the fictional people and places you’re creating. One of my favorite places is Posey’s, a bar on the St. Mark’s River south of Tallahassee. It has great smoked mackerel, good cold beer, and a lot of interesting local folks.”
As he gears up for the October release of The Ice Cap and the Rift, Chamberlain says he’s happy to be taking his place among a group of talented Florida authors, especially because they’re known for not running down the well-worn path.
“I live in the moment,” he says. “And I create every one.”
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About Marshall Chamberlain
Marshall Chamberlain, author of The Mountain Place of Knowledge, the first book in the Ancestor Series of adventure-thrillers, (www.marshallchamberlain.com), is a man focused on his passions, with no time for pets, lawns, plants, puttering around or companion compromises. He has a Master’s Degree in Resource Development from Michigan State University and a graduate degree in International Management from the Thunderbird School near Phoenix, Ariz. He was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and spent many years in investment banking, venture capital and even a stint as a professional waiter.