Reply
Author
Max-Hardberger
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎01-25-2010
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger: Disconnect between literary life & everyday life

Dear JB

jb70 wrote:

I wondered about how often you were able to be with your family and if they ever came with you.  (That may come up later, I am still in the beginning of the book.)  How hard was it to keep in touch with the people you left back home?

 

In the early days, commmunicating with home was difficult and expensive. As a ship captain, I could call home whenever I wished on the SSB radio, but it costs $5.00/minute! Of course, every third-world port has a telephone office where seamen can call home, as well. Nowadays, I have a satellite telephone so I can call any telephone number in the world from anywhere in the world, even in the middle of the ocean. And almost every ship now has email, so crewmen can communicate with their famiiles without charge that way.
I never took my family with me because the places my ships called weren't so nice. They would come to visit me occasionally, when my ship called US ports. In fact, we celebrated my son's first birthday on my ship during a port call in Lake Charles, Louisiana. But I have to say I don't think my wife would have been happy with shipboard life, even without the children. In days past, it was common for officers to bring their wives, and even their wives and children, with them, but it's rare today.
All the best--Max

 

 

Author
Max-Hardberger
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎01-25-2010
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger: Disconnect between literary life & everyday life

Hi, Bitter

 

 

Bitter_Bierce wrote:

can you give a general idea of what it costs to do a job like this? I know every time you talked about your day rate I kept wondering "Man, this better pay well for the crap this guy goes through!"

 

 

Well, when I first started doing it, I didn't know any better. I would get hired to help a ship in a foreign port and then when I realized it was going to take an extraction, I would just continue the job without increasing my rate. But when it started being more of a business--when people started calling me to do extractions--I started charging a success fee as well as my regular day rate. Now, Michael Bono, VessEx's managing partner, deals with that issue. Now, our charges are based on several factors, including the difficulty and danger levels of the extraction and the value of the vessel. As an example, for a hypothetical vessel of 10,000 deadweight tons, seized and under armed guard in an outlaw port, with no crew onboard (requiring us to supply an extraction team/crew), the total cost to the owner or mortgagee could run well into six figures.

 

 

 

Author
Max-Hardberger
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎01-25-2010
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger: Disconnect between literary life & everyday life

Dear Bitter

 

 

Bitter_Bierce wrote:

2) Do your ideas for these plans just pop into your head or do you have a rough idea before you get there? I know in a book you make it happen quickly, but I'm curious if you just had Eureka moments or if it was a more going through a bunch of ideas until one made sense.

 

It's hard to say. I really can't remember the thought processes, except that in each extraction I'm presented with a set of obstacles and I have to overcome each one according to the situation. You certainly can't maintain a rigid mind-set! Sometimes the ideas are part of knowledge of the sea--for example, knowing how fast and how far a ship will heel over when the ballast tanks on one side are emptied--and sometimes they spring up at the moment. You have to use what you have at hand. For example, I needed noise to cover a ship's extraction once, and it just happened that there was a disco near the dock, so I had the owner paid to turn the music up. If there'd been no disco there, I would've had to do something else. One idea I considered--but rejected--was to buy a car and knock the muffler off, then have someone drive it up near the dock and work on the engine, revving it up at the necessary moment. I didn't like that idea so much, so I was glad when the disco idea came along. Overall, though, in answer to your last question, I would say it's been more of "Eureka!" than a process of elimination.

 

Inspired Wordsmith
krb2g
Posts: 289
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

Like DSaff, I found the chapter about the crop dusters really intriguing. In fact, that was the chapter that hooked me. In some ways, this book resembles a collection of short stories--that is, the chapter breaks make nice stopping places. Since we had gotten the book so early, I was trying to read it slowly so at least some would be fresh in my mind when the discussions started (and here I am late to the party!). But after chapter four, I just couldn't put the book down.

 

In these early chapters I was wondering a little bit about how Captain Max knew that the boats were OK to steal (that he wasn't being lied to by the boats' owners). Or maybe what I mean is that, while the work he was doing in these chapters seemed to be on the side of moral right to me, we also don't see him turn down a commission, so I was wondering if the bad/wrong deals just weren't in the text or if he hadn't been approached with one.

Author
Max-Hardberger
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎01-25-2010
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

Hi, KRB-

 

 

krb2g wrote:

In these early chapters I was wondering a little bit about how Captain Max knew that the boats were OK to steal (that he wasn't being lied to by the boats' owners). Or maybe what I mean is that, while the work he was doing in these chapters seemed to be on the side of moral right to me, we also don't see him turn down a commission, so I was wondering if the bad/wrong deals just weren't in the text or if he hadn't been approached with one.

 

Excellent question; in fact, I have been approached by people wanting to get their ships out of port without a clearance, and my initial investigation turned up that the ship's debt--the basis for the seizure--was legitimate. I am happy to report that in each of those cases, I found out in time to turn the job down. In fact, one of those incidents was mentioned in SEIZED, but only in passing, since I didn't take the job, but it did give me a chance to visit with one of the most remarkable men I've ever known, "Charlie Johnson" in the book. I have plenty of stories about Charlie that didn't make it into the book, unfortunately.

 

 

Now, Michael Bono and I have a formal vetting procedure in place to qualify our prospective clients, which has to be completed satisfactorily before any contractual relationship with VessEx (our extraction company) can be established.

Correspondent
MsReaderCP
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎07-10-2009
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

In memoir, when a lot of time has passed, I just assume the author is summarizing the dialog and giving me "jist" of the conversation, which is fine with me IF it doesn't get too detailed.  the author did a great job of that in this book.  So I didn't come out of the memoir as you spoke of and wonder about that.  If the conversation gets very detailed, then I agree, I stop and wonder, did he keep a journal with notes because there is no way he could remember this.

Correspondent
nicole21WA
Posts: 79
Registered: ‎03-22-2009
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

I keep wondering how one gets a job like this?  It's clearly a very dangerous job, so I'm also curious as to why Hardberger continued once he had a family.

 

Each chapter has been interesting, though I have been confused at times not knowing exactly how ships are set up or what the background is for each situation.

Reader 4
maxhardberger
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-21-2010
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

dear Nicole

 

 

nicole21WA wrote:

I keep wondering how one gets a job like this?  It's clearly a very dangerous job, so I'm also curious as to why Hardberger continued once he had a family.

 

 

As to how one gets a job like this, it's hard to say since I'm the only person I know who does it (extracting freighters, that is; there are other repo men who repossess yachts and aircraft). I think one would first have to have a solid knowledge of the sea and ships, and how things work in third-world ports. Personally, I just fell into the work--shipowners found out I was willing to do it and word-of-mouth brought in clients.

 

As to why I kept doing this kind of thing once I had a family, the answer is that I had to earn a living. I suppose I could have found more conventional work, but it just wasn't in me.

 

All the best

 

Max

New User
elst
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-08-2010
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

I found the beginning a bit choppy, but once I worked through the first couple of chapters I coudn't put it down.

My only complaint was that it seemed as though too much  was crammed in to one book, really there's material enough for 3 good sized books here. I found myself wishing Mr. Hardberger had spent more time detailing the people he worked with/for/against.

New User
paul69
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎02-08-2010
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

[ Edited ]

Wow, the first pages of Chapter 1 had me hooked. When it got to the taking of the Patric M, I found it a bit harder to follow in the beginning, but it redeemed itself by chapter 3.

 

Also, I kept wondering how you could remember so many details. I found myself reading it, seeming like fiction to me, and I had to keep telling myself that this actually happened to this guy. Anyway, this is the kind of stuff that should be made into a movie. Great book.

Inspired Correspondent
CharlieG31
Posts: 257
Registered: ‎01-06-2010
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

I am currently in chapter 7 And I gotta say the book is so good. I have been having some trouble getting to understand completely some parts when the talk becomes to technical I have to go to a dictionary and search for the ship parts etc. But the way the adventure is told is excellent because it has a touch that makes it look as if it was fiction when it is not. As I move through the chapters I am always amazed about all the things he did and how sometimes he is at the edge of creating an international conflict. The way he narrates how he felt and what he did makes you want to keep on reading more because you are like What is gonna happen , run run , stop lol I have had lots of fun reading this book. Max congratulations are in order You have done a very good job as far as the chapters I' ve read lol .

 

I believe that besides Mr. Hardbergers military experience there is also a part in which personality and personal know how come into the work . Some even with the military background would not be able to do the things Mr. Hardberger does which is why I believe this are things you are born to do and you have a type of "passion" for them which make you be excellent in the field. And I believe in Seized this is the case Mr. Max is so smart when dealing with situations that that is what makes him get his plans carry out perfectly.

"The questions are more essential than the answers."
Karl Theodor Jaspers

Correspondent
jabrkeKB
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎11-15-2008
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

This book is certainly a departure from what I normally read, but I am enjoying it. Chap. 1 had me intrigued but chap. 2 let me confused. I felt like there was too much going on for me to follow. Chap. 3 cleared some things up for me and chap.4 was great.

 

It take a special type of person to be able to do what you do Max. You seem to be able to think quickly and come up with solutions. I enjoyed reading the paragraphs you included about your childhood.

 

Any plans to make this into a movie? I think it would be a hit!

Author
Max-Hardberger
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎01-25-2010
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

 

jabrkeKB wrote:

 

Any plans to make this into a movie? I think it would be a hit!

 

Hi.  Michael Bono (from Chapter 12) here writing for Max.  Actually, a movie about the adventures of Captain Max is in the works -- THE GOOD PIRATE is motion picture in development from the makers of the upcoming Peter Weir epic, THE WAY BACK (which is Weir's first movie in 6 years since MASTER AND COMMANDER).  Anyway, the screenplay for THE GOOD PIRATE should be complete in around three months.  Keep up with the latest news about this on our website at www.maxhardberger.com -- and thanks for participating in the Sneak Peak program!!!  It's been a big help.

 

Correspondent
jabrkeKB
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎11-15-2008
0 Kudos

Re: SEIZED, by Max Hardberger, Chapters 1-4 (and Welcome)

Max-Hardberger wrote:

 

jabrkeKB wrote:

 

Any plans to make this into a movie? I think it would be a hit!

 

Hi.  Michael Bono (from Chapter 12) here writing for Max.  Actually, a movie about the adventures of Captain Max is in the works -- THE GOOD PIRATE is motion picture in development from the makers of the upcoming Peter Weir epic, THE WAY BACK (which is Weir's first movie in 6 years since MASTER AND COMMANDER).  Anyway, the screenplay for THE GOOD PIRATE should be complete in around three months.  Keep up with the latest news about this on our website at www.maxhardberger.com -- and thanks for participating in the Sneak Peak program!!!  It's been a big help.

 

 

Thats very exciting! I will be looking forward to it!:smileyhappy: