“What led you to write the book?”
Well, there’s quite a bit about that in the Introduction to the Book, but, in truth it’s probably all Professor Mark Horton’s fault!
I mentioned to him during one of our earlier visits to Hatteras that I have been quietly re-transcribing all of the oldest sources of information that I could find relating to the Lost Colony. When he asked why, I pointed out that virtually every modern book on the subject had drawn its information from the works by David Beers Quinn and that the story had subsequently been told and retold so many times that I wasn’t convinced there was a completely reliable interpretation of what originally happened. I simply wanted to better understand what did happen as I thought it might better able us to find the Colonists today. (Hence why I spent so much time concentrating on the painstaking effort of reading and interpreting the works of the original authors.) Professor Horton commented that he felt that there might be a larger audience for such a work and suggested I turned my research into a book!
“Why did you include all the transcriptions, surely you could have merely interpreted them for the reader?”
When I started piecing the book together, I assumed that it would mainly interest Scholars, so it seemed appropriate to use the transcriptions verbatim and also to include many of the other references I had found. Then I realized that by including these (with accompanying notes to aid understanding), I was in effect, giving everyone and anyone the opportunity to make their own mind up as to what really happened to the Lost Colonists all those years ago. Something I don’t think anyone has ever done.
“Have you written any other books?”
Nope! It’s taken three and a half obsessive years of my life to write this one and although I have written several other unpublished pieces for my own personal reminiscences in later life, the time it took me to write this book is an indication that I am never going to be quite as productive as most other authors! So if people like the book, treasure it, it might be a unique work!
“Why is the title ‘GRENVILLE and the Lost Colony of Roanoke ’, and not just simply ‘The Lost Colony of Roanoke ’?
In my research, I discovered that Sir Richard Grenville had played a far larger part in the story than he has probably ever been given credit for. Apart from the 1584 and 1590 voyages he appears to have had a hand in every other event and sailing that we know of. The most fascinating of which, for me personally, was the first attempt in 1588 to resupply the colony. It has long been a puzzle in the town of Bideford ( England ) as to how we came to provide the third largest fleet to fight the Spanish Armada; to discover that in reality those ships were meant for Roanoke was astonishing. What a pivotal moment that attempt was. As part of my research though, I also found out much, much, more about Grenville than is commonly known, so it felt appropriate to include the short biography in Chapter One of a Gentleman who I believe really should be revered more than even perhaps Sir Francis Drake!
“Do you think we will ever find what became of the Lost Colonists?”
Considering all the research I did for the book, being Mayor of the very town Grenville sailed from, being involved in the Archaeology and of course being able to work with the wizards at the Lost Colony Research Group, has probably put me in quite a unique position to answer that one….. you’ll find my answer in the book!