About the Author

Norman C. Schell

I was born in Lebanon Pennsylvania on September 17 1944.  I am indeed a big dumb country boy at heart.

My education and life include a broken home, growing up essentially unsupervised on small town streets up and down the east coast from the age of eight, reform school and later redemption through the kindness and support of a wonderful 'foster family'.

I am retired after 55 years in the work force. I spent forty of those years, full or part time, writing, performing and singing as a folk single, and later fronting two country - folk bands.  Clean Living and Youth Well Spent.

I have performed at West Point, the Chautauqua Institute and the ‘Little Theater’ in Manhattan while fronting the band Clean Living. Clean Living had two albums released by Vanguard Records in the early 70s, and a ‘disputed’ top 40 hit in 1973.

 I discovered historical novels at age nine when I found a copy of Paul I. Wellman’s ‘The Iron Mistress’ on a shelf in our rented rooms in Sebring Florida. I read it and in it I found the magic that happens between the the mind and the written word. Shortly afterward I also discovered public libraries, these being the primary source of my education. 

My companions and teachers have been Kenneth Roberts,  C. S. Forester, Paul I. Wellman, Fredrick Marryat, James A. Michener, Louis L’Amour, Richard H. Dana, James Clavell and Patrick O’Brian. 

I have endeavored to write an historical novel of a sufficient quality so that I may greet them in the Elysian fields with my head held high.

Early Review

N. C. Schell’s riveting novel tells the story of the pirate Mary Reede, forcefully bringing to life the crew of social misfits and clever renegades she sailed and fought with disguised as a man.

In a profound testament to the strength of his research and his talent as a writer, Schell’s uniquely drawn characters stay with you long after the book is finished. 

The characters and their exploits feel absolutely raw and real, unusual for a historical book of this kind. The bonds and the dictates of their democratic, criminal “brotherhood” inspire brutal, bloody, breathtaking action while simultaneously drawing us into an intimate relationship, into the hearts and minds of those whose best choice is to embrace the rebel life.

However, it’s Mary’s spectacular story at the center of the novel, her stunning defiance of gender expectations, her struggles at the edge of morality and her brave embrace of a dangerous love that gives this story its thunder and modern urgency.

Everything about this novel, its eccentric characters, it’s consistently fascinating, spectacularly written action sequences and it’s powerful, resonant themes, screams to be made into a  television series— which is why I am currently writing the pilot.”

Laura Harrington  Actress & Screenwriter CA