I had so many questions for Captain Linda Greenlaw-- and could’ve asked so many more. I mean, this is someone who witnessed The Perfect Storm, then went on to become a bestselling, award-winning author.
And turns out, Greenlaw had some pretty great things to say about us, too.
Here’s more of our recent interview.
Daley: Your mysteries are so cinematic, I can see them as a TV series. Have you gotten any interest?
Greenlaw: I couldn’t agree with you more [laughs.] I’m just waiting for the phone to ring.
Daley: [laughs] Do you prefer writing fiction or non-fiction?
Greenlaw: I prefer non-fiction. Fiction is difficult for me. Plots don’t come naturally to me at all. To tie everything up at the end is difficult. It's work.
Daley: So does non-fiction come easily?
Greenlaw: No, none of it comes easily [laughs.] It’s all hard for me.
Daley: Do you have any plans to write another non-fiction book soon?
Greenlaw: I have to finish the fourth Jane Bunker novel first — I don’t know if it will be the final Bunker or not… And I’d love to do another cook book — I cook a lot and I have some ideas.
Daley: What are some dishes you’ve made recently?
Greenlaw: I’m constantly cooking fish… I’ve been on a salmon kick lately, but it depends what I can get super fresh. I’m lobster fishing here now, so I don’t feel like cooking them… Mussels are a year-round thing for me, in different broths and different flavorings.
Daley: Do you see yourself as a captain who writes or writer who captains?
Greenlaw: I’m definitely a fisherman. I’ve been very fortunate to have an opportunity [to write].
Daley: What do you read when you’re at sea?
Greenlaw: Sue Grafton for mysteries, other than that, my favorite all-time author is Pat Conroy [“The Prince of Tides.”] I like his voice; I like his style; I think he writes beautifully. I loved “My Losing Season” and I don’t even like basketball.
Daley: What do you love about fishing?
Greenlaw: A much younger Linda Greenlaw would’ve said, “I love catching the fish, filling the fish hole.” But a more mature Linda Greenlaw would answer that it’s the sheer optimism of it. The true fisherman has to be an optimist — when the weather is bad, fishing is slow, it’s always, the next season, the next trip, the moon will shift. There’s always reasons to hope.
Daley: I love that. And you’re a lobster captain now. Do you like that better than swordfishing?
Greenlaw: There are things I love about each — swordfishing is exciting, every trip is an adventure. You’re a thousand miles from home, self-reliant; it’s a cool way to live. The swordfish is beautiful, like this unicorn.
On the other hand, lobstering is nice, every trap that comes aboard is like a Christmas present. I enjoy being home at night. Being present for the weddings and funerals—the big events you miss when you’re at sea. But I do miss the adventure.
Daley: Are you looking forward to coming to New Bedford?
Greenlaw: I always look forward to going to New Bedford. I always love fishing in New Bedford. [Over the years], seeing the revitalization of the scallop fleet, I really love to see that success. The boats are maintained proudly. Reading in National Fisherman [magazine] that New Bedford is the richest port in country, including Alaska, I really love that.
New Bedford is a place, even when the chips were down, if I was landing a boat in New Bedford, there were always people there to catch my lines, to say, “Do you need a ride? Do you need groceries?” Other places, people run the other way… I love that sense of community in New Bedford. That sense of pride.
Interview has been edited and condensed.
Lauren Daley is a freelance writer and book columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She tweets @laurendaley1. Read more at https://www.facebook.com/daley.writer.