Fisher of Men
Publisher: Tumblar House
Publication Date: June 24, 2010
When people, and even great white sharks, suddenly become prey off Southern California, marine biologists Storm Hancock and Terry Ho battle through ruthless politicians, dangerous waters, and their personal quests for truth to track down a mysterious killer before it strikes again. All the while, Terry Cross's novel embraces love and beauty while blending in the foundation of the Catholic faith.
A lot of people disappear, and it is implied that a sea monster ate them, but there is nothing graphic.Profanity: None Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking: None
NOTE: This guide may be incomplete.
1.) How do your incorporate Catholic elements into the story of Fisher of Men?
Being a convert to Catholicism, I’m well aware of the misunderstandings about Catholic Christianity that negatively influence our non-Catholic Christian brothers and sisters. I wrote Fisher of Men as an ecumenical Christian novel that portrayed the Catholic Faith in a favorable, Christian light without being pushy. For example: the name of Terry’s church in Hawaii and the dialog about St. Francis of Assisi.
2.) The main character, Terry Ho, is your namesake, albeit female. What prompted that decision?
I’ve always just really liked the name -Terry. I remembered a friend from years ago who had a Hawaiian wife, and they had named their daughter Kanani (pretty one). Then, from my early surfing days pouring over Surfer Magazine I remembered pictures of Derek Ho and Michael Ho surfing the North Shore, and presto! We have the real-cool name of Terry Kanani Ho!
3.) What inspired you to write this book?
It all began in 1975 while I was a commercial abalone diver. I experimented with writing down some of the day-to-day wild experiences of that job and sending them to my mother and sister. They loved what I wrote, so I wondered if I could put a story together that my non-believing friends at the local dive shop might read and thereby think about God, even if for only the time they were reading it.
4.) Are experiences in the book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Saving the Marine, surfing, body surfing, free-diving Deadman’s Reef, deep diving in Palau, the Dall’s porpoises, the killer whale, spear-fishing for calico bass in the kelp, the abalone-diving, the winter-storm angel event – the list goes on and on. It all happened to me. The how-to-write-a-novel books said to write what you know, so that’s what I did.
5.) Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, that science, reason, and faith in God are not mutually exclusive.
6.) What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The criticism came during the fifteen years it took me to write the story. In the beginning I didn’t know enough to know what I didn’t know. Over time I learned to accept criticism, although it was never easy to read a chapter to my best critic (my wife) and have her lovingly pick it apart.
It’s a real pleasure to read reviews that say the readers lost sleep, because they couldn’t stop reading, but the best compliment was from a reader who said the book made him think about his faith.
7.) What books/authors have influenced your writing?
I had a good mentor in James L. Nelson and his historical maritime novels. He critiqued some of my work, and I would pour through his Revolution at Sea Trilogy and try to pattern my points of view, rhythm of action, and overall appearance on what I saw in his books. And I owe great thanks to Francine Rivers who took the time to read Fisher of Men and gave me the encouragement to plow ahead when the writing got tough.
Whether fishing, spear fishing, free diving, scuba diving, body surfing, or board surfing, Terry Cross has been on or in the water most of his life. He worked two seasons on the Cat as a commercial abalone diver and helped put himself through nursing school teaching basic scuba as a NAUI/PADI instructor. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology. After attending his first Mass on a dare, he wound up leading the church choir where he met his wife of twenty-six years. He and Judy Ann still lead singing at Mass on Sundays, and on Saturdays Terry and his custom kneeboard are riding the waves. His hobbies are writing music and bird watching. Fisher of Men is Terry’s first novel. It drinks deeply from his real-life experiences and was written to share his thanksgiving for having lived them.
On the surface, the book is Jaws with Catholic elements interspersed in the background. But underneath, the book is so much deeper than that, with vivid scenery and animated characters to accompany the gripping plot. Fisher of Men is a book that you will want to dive into.
This book was fantastic. I learned a lot about the sea and surfing and diving and snorkeling. I still don't know what "abalone" are but it was great seeing the life of these divers and the respect for humans, the sea, and the creatures of the sea. The book pulls you in. You don't want to put it down. I liked the short chapters because I'm not a great reader but short chapters can help you put it down when other responsibilities call. Such a gifted writer, I'm glad his "Best Critic" - his wife, helped his through this wonderful story. I hope to see more books from him, maybe in ebook format which is what I usually use.