The Literary Journey of Christopher C. Tubbs

Christopher C. Tubbs discusses his transition from a diverse career to writing, blending historical accuracy with storytelling, and his unique character inspirations.

Christopher C. Tubbs  is a man of many talents and experiences, having carved out a remarkable career across diverse industries such as aerospace, computer games, medical, and automotive sectors. His professional journey took him and his family to the Netherlands, where he became a sought-after public speaker, traveling the globe to discuss safety and security in critical software development. Despite his demanding career, Tubbs harbored a deep-seated desire to bring the stories in his mind to life, a dream that seemed elusive until a serendipitous moment in his garden sparked the beginning of his writing career. 

Now, with over twenty-six books to his name, Tubbs has become a best-selling author with a global readership. His partnership with Lume Books in 2022 marked a significant milestone, leading to the publication of the Scarlet Fox and Decoy Ships series, while he continues to self-publish the beloved Dorset Boy Series on Amazon. Having retired from his day job in 2022, Tubbs now resides on the tranquil island of Bonaire in the Caribbean, where the serene environment provides ample inspiration for his writing endeavors.

In this exclusive interview with Reader’s House Magazine, Tubbs delves into the rich tapestry of his family history, his transition from a successful career in avionics to becoming a historical naval adventure writer, and the intricate balance between historical accuracy and creative storytelling. He also shares insights into the development of his characters, the influence of his pets on his writing process, and the inspiration behind his strong female protagonist in The Scarlet Fox series. Join us as we explore the fascinating world of Christopher C. Tubbs and the stories that have captivated readers around the world.

You have a rich family history in Dorset and a career in avionics games and automotive before becoming an author. How did your background and personal history influence the themes and settings of your novels, especially the Dorset Boy series?

My father was the last in a long line of clay miners on the Isle of Purbeck that I have chased back to the mid 16th century. They worked underground in primitive conditions, and lived short, hard lives. He suffered a broken back in a cave-in when he was in his twenties, the story of which affected me greatly. In the past people who worked in the mines were owned by the mine owner, you lived in a company house which you kept as long as you and your sons kept working. it was a form of slavery. I always wondered how you escaped that life and came up with the Dorset Boy stories. My career in safety critical industries has taught me how to communicate and provided the engineering knowhow to understand the workings of historic ships. The ability to research the facts is critical as the readers let you know immediately you get one wrong.

What inspired you to transition from a successful career in avionics and public speaking to writing historical naval adventures? Can you tell us about the moment you decided to start writing these stories that you had in your head for many years?

I have always been driven by the fear that I might not be as good as people thought I was. Gardening was my main stress reliever, and we had with a lot of hedges and trees that needed trimming. When I developed arthritis in my shoulders, I could no longer use the heavy machines and had to get in a gardener. When sat in the garden one day, bored, I picked up my laptop and wrote the first line of the first book. From then on the words just poured out.

Your books often draw from historical events and real naval battles. How do you balance historical accuracy with creative storytelling in novels like Warley and Kingfisher?

The history is important, and I spend a lot of time researching. I look for a subject that interests me, then start researching it. For the Decoy Ships Series, I chose real ships where their story is fairly well documented, then I created characters to base the stories around. Their adventures are set in the context of history but are fictional which gives plenty of scope to spin an interesting tale. Of course, details of the ships and battles have to be accurate, and the trick is balancing that with keeping a story flowing and the reader engaged.

The Dorset Boy series features Martin Stockley, who escapes a harsh life as a clay miner’s son to become a ship’s boy in the Royal Navy. How did you develop Martin’s character, and what aspects of his journey are most reflective of your own life experiences or interests?

Marty is based on one of my nephews.  He was little as a boy, bright and feisty, full of questions. He didn’t start to grow until sixteen and then shot up to six feet. My father and grandfather told stories about the mines and about the houses they grew up in. So, I had my starting point. I met many naval officers during my career and have read every piece of naval fiction I could find. Marty’s character comes out of all of that and my own career progression which was just as fast and influenced by mentors and sponsors.

You mention that your dogs often sit by you while you write and even appear in your books. How do your pets influence your writing process, and can you share an example of how they’ve made their way into one of your stories?

When you visit a new litter of puppies one always stands out, in the case of Blaez he was the one who stood on his back legs and asked to be picked up aged three weeks. Once in my arms he licked my chin. The breeder exclaimed, he has chosen you, and that is just how I wrote it in the book. We had to wait another seven weeks to get him as Marty did as well.

Scarlett Browning from The Scarlett Fox series is a fierce female pirate captain navigating a male-dominated world. What inspired you to create such a strong and complex female protagonist, and what message do you hope readers take away from her adventures?

In the Dorset Boy, Marty is married to Caroline a feisty lass from Yorkshire, and I wondered where she got that from. I found Anne  Dieu-le-Veut who was a pirate around the time and further research found smugglers on the west coast of Yorkshire called Browning. They were the mobsters of the 17th century. Scarlett is a product of that environment and Anne Die-leVeut.  Life was cheap then, but Scarlett realises slavery, in any form, is wrong. I also want the reader to understand that no matter where you come from or how humble your beginnings are, you can grow and improve your lot. Most of us mature into something no one expected when we were young, Look at me.

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