Author Travels Coast to Promote Books

Published 1:18 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Normandie Fischer is taking a book tour to promote some of her latest books. Her trip will take her to locations along North Carolina's coast.

Normandie Fischer is taking a book tour to promote some of her latest books. Her trip will take her to locations along North Carolina’s coast.


Many people will take a trip to the coast this summer for short afternoon, evening, or moment.

Normandie Fisher is going to stay a little longer.

Fisher is promoting two books “Becalmed” and “Sailing out of Darkness” on the boat Sea Venture in a special trip along the Intercoastal Waterway.

On July 9, Sea Venture begins her trip up the ICW from Beaufort, NC, to New York City. First, Fisher and crew will launch Becalmed with an on-board book signing at the Beaufort docks on July 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. Copies of Becalmed will be available at the Rocking Chair Bookstore or can be ordered through a favorite venue in print or e-book format. After August 15, Sailing out of Darkness will be part of the book tour as well.
On the way south, the voyage will most likely be stopping in Little Washington and other NC ports along the way.

“I’ll have two books out at that time, and if we can find folk who’d like us to visit, we’ll make the time to do so. One thing I’d like to do is to find local charities to which I can donate a portion of the sales of my books. In DC, we’re arranging for donations to a women’s shelter,” Fisher explained.
Fisher explained some of her background in sailing, writing, and life experiences in a recent interview with the Scuppernong Reminder.

“I learned to sail by holding the tiller with my aunt on her 18-foot sharpie as we followed the wind’s vagaries from our cottages on Sleepy Creek out to Cape Lookout. She told me I was a natural, but really I was just a girl who needed to learn how to let that tiller become an extension of my hand so that the boat and I could find our rhythm. I learned and grew, and so did my boats,” she said.

Fisher was an introvert, a reader, a writer of poetry, and an artist.

“Being on the water let me breathe. Time slowed, because sailors can’t hurry, not unless they have a motor on board. On the water, I could just be,” she said.

Fisher’s writing consists of stories that evoke the storms and the calm, where water serves as both friend and foe, and where small boats occasionally have personalities of their own.

Fisher explained that sailing and writing have a lot in common.


“They begin with a dream that can only take shape through hard work,”


In the seventies, Fisher trained as an editor in the Washington, DC, area, and most of her writing was technical. Essays came along to relieve that stress.

And then somewhere along the line, while Fisher was spending time raising children and making money doing portrait sculpture, she got bored.


Fisher moved into fiction, which included many ups and downs.

“My first full-length manuscript won an award for me in 1994 as best new writer, but I hadn’t a clue what to do next. So I wrote another story. And then Reza Fazeli hired me to write an action memoir of his escape from Iran,” Fisher remembered.


Fisher is now focusing on “Becalmed” and “Sailing out of Darkness” releasing this summer,


“ I am back  spending time on those books and on readying two others for my agent to submit,” she said.


Fisher has some unique advice for young writers.

She spoke at a Washington State Writers conference this winter on the “Cadence of Voice,”


It was about the difference between our characters’ voice and our own, the effects of genre and place and mood in developing a particular voice that fits the story but reveals the author,” Fisher said.


Two of T.S. Elliot’s poems, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and “The Naming of Cats,” show how the same poet uses distinct poetic voices to elicit different sentiments, but he’s still Elliot. Shakespeare remains recognizably Shakespeare, no matter the genre.

Fisher also pointed out that rejection can be a powerful motivator to improve if writers do not let it push them in the wrong direction.

“Not every no-thank-you holds equal weight, because some merely mean the editor or agent doesn’t think the work fits a particular need at the moment. But if we persevere and continue to hone our craft, we will find someone who wants what we write,” Fisher said.

Fisher’s 85-year-old mother will be with Normandie on Sea Venture’s trip.

“She crossed the Sea of Cortez with us several times and joined us to bring the boat through the Panama Canal in March of 2011. The Panama Canal and the ICW hold a special place in Mama’s heart because her granddaddy led the campaign to construct both when he was a US Senator,” Fisher said.

Sea Venture will plan to take the easy route up through the protected Intercoastal Waterway  until the boat gets to the Chesapeake Bay, with stops there in old sailing grounds as we ease into the C & D Canal. Book signings will take place wherever possible along this route and in NYC.