In early 1973, he decided that the time had come for him to write the novel he had been thinking about since the age of ten. He moved to Ireland, where some friends found him a small flat in the stable yard of a castle in south County Galway, and he supported himself by working two days a week for a Dublin ad agency, while he worked on the novel. Then, about a hundred pages into the book, he discovered sailing, and "everything went to hell. All I did was sail."
Woods wrote an account of his sailing (OSTAR) experiences, and was introduced to Stanford Maritime, a London-based publishing house specializing in nautical books, by Ron Holland. Blue Water, Green Skipper was published in 1977. The American publishing rights were sold to W.W. Norton.
Woods' second book was to be written about the 1977 Round Britain Yacht Race but due to low winds it was canceled. He persuaded his publishers to allow him to change the scope of the book, and spent the summer driving 12,000 miles around Great Britain and Ireland writing a guidebook to country restaurants, inns and hotels.¹
He and I share a number of cases, but we are very different people. We live differently. We do different work. He’s younger, slimmer and luckier than I am. (Laughs) So, that’s the reason I say there’s not much comparison. ~ Stuart Woods when asked about comparisons between himself and Stone Barrington.
I think that my books are fairly tightly plotted. I am something of a minimalist…uh, wherever it comes to things like descriptions and that includes character descriptions. I think a writer’s most powerful tool is the mind of his reader. If you can plant just enough in the reader’s mind, then the reader will develop a character, the atmosphere and the location of the novel very quickly. ~ Stuart Woods
John le Carré, because he is one of the best writers alive in the English language, and Elmore Leonard, because he writes better dialogue than anyone else. ~ Stuart Woods when asked to name his favorite authors
For your convenience, a printable Stone Barrington Series checklist.