Captain Buddy Ward drives the ferry on weekends. What many people don’t know is that Buddy is a published author. After reading his Tales of The Anna Karrue, I was curious to learn more about Buddy, his writing, and his books. You can get your own copy by emailing him at email@example.com. The price is $10.00 plus $5. for shipping. Buddy was kind enough to answer the following questions for me:
How did you get started with writing?
More than a writer, I’m a storyteller, and I have been for most of my life. My first professional work was done in high school and was a piece I submitted to Surfer Magazine. My storytelling took a twist with the publication of “The Tales of The Anna Karrue” when I learned I was able to share my stories with a much wider audience.
Who were your major influences?
Just prior to beginning “Anne Karrue” I had read the entire Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey and I was enthralled by her technique and approach and have emulated her when I can. I also find that I borrow from Tom Clancy’s writing style. And as almost all writers do, I aspire to become a combination of Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway.
How close to real life are your stories?
Very close. A very wise person once told me to write about what I know. Many of the stories in “Anna Karrue” actually happened to myself or people I know.
Was there really a smuggling incident aboard a banana barge like the one you describe in “Billie’s Ride?”
Not exactly, although there have been many intricate plots involving smuggling in the history of the maritime industry. I did, however, always think that that would be a great way to do it, if one was so inclined, so I wrote it into the book.
What more can you tell us about Tales of the Anna Karrue?
The novel itself began slowly. I was working with a gentleman who had lost his captain license when a girl on waterskis slipped under his tug. I wrote that story and a few more. At that point, I intended to simply present them to my parents as a gift. I was encouraged to submit them for publication and was accepted by two publishing companies. I chose Tradd Street Press because of the wonderful letter that Betty Hamilton had written to me and her enthusiasm for the project. I tried to include her in the book’s dedication but she refused to let me do so.
What are you working on now?
I have a collection of original Christmas stories that I’ve written through the years. I am hoping to find a publisher for them in the near future. I also have two magazine articles, one that has been submitted and one in progress. I have finished about one-third of a new novel called “Brave West Wind” about a charter boat captain in the Bahamas. I have another completed manuscript entitled “Suffer the Little Children” which is a novel “looking for a home” about my experiences with the Juvenile Court. And finally, I would like to do a yearbook-type book based on my collection of magazine articles about Charleston Harbor that have been previously published in “The Waterlog.”
What do you like about working on the Dewees Ferry?
The people. It is a rare gift to be a part of an operation such as this where the owners and the employees get along so well on a day-to-day basis. My fellow captains are some of the finest I’ve ever worked with and the overall feeling of pride that runs through our entire crew is reminiscent of times gone by.
You have done a wide variety of jobs– working with the juvenile justice system and on the Charleston County Substance Abuse Commission. What do you do now during the week?
Other part-time jobs. I am an instructor at Sea School. And I pick up odd jobs as they appear. And I write.
How do you find time to write?
That doesn’t seem to be a problem as I have always found that the writing has a mind of its own. At times, the words just refuse to come and yet, on other occasions, I have been known to stay up all night plunking away on the keyboard. The stories will only come when they’re ready and when they’re ready, they must be written.
Is it true that you were a student at the Citadel with another local writer?
“Catfish” Brown was a classmate of mine who has published numerous works and is an accomplished artist. There are two other classmates, one who is a well-known author in the fantasy genre (whose name escapes me at the moment although I can see his face clearly in my mind), and John G. Richards, who writes historical fiction. Beyond that, I don’t know who else you might be referring to.
Are there stories about driving the Dewees Ferry that might make it into a book?
One of the truisms that I heard years ago is that you never want to meet a writer because you’ll end up in his next book.