Ben Cherot is garnering great reviews for his debut novel Tropic Squall.
“TROPIC SQUALL is a seafaring novel written by Ben Cherot and published by BQB Publishing of Alphareta, Georgia, chronicling the passage of one of the small tramps out of Miami trading in the Caribbean during August of 1992—in the path of Hurricane Andrew—one of history’s most violent and destructive storms. Few recent books deal with the world of tramp ships and the people who own and man them, a unique society that rows to the tune of a different drummer.
A woman cargo-shipper takes passage on the tramp from Miami to Haiti, and during those three days she consorts with that ship’s cocky deck officer. Neither intends for it to be more than an ephemeral joy ride, never expecting the relationship to intensify into an endearing romance. Battered by the hurricane the ship sinks, making survival a test for the hardiest. Four of them share a rickety lifeboat through a storm-lashed night. In the face of disaster the protagonist realizes how deeply he loves the woman and battles to save her.
Tropic Squall deals with the dreams and aspirations of people, as well as their tribulations—things most readers relate with. Struggle for survival and striving for betterment are universal. Love is the strongest emotion we experience and this book sweeps readers through the highs and lows of desire, fear, determination, and raging storms.”
“A publicist sent me information about the release of this novel and it sounded good, so I bit.
The author is a Connecticut native and retired to Florida. He worked as an exporter of “high-tech communications equipment,” shipping by air and sea.
In an e-mail interview, Cherot said he attended classes at World Trade Center in Miami while he was in the export business and found the tramp freighters docked in the Miami River “intriguing.” He said he visited them a number of times and chatted with officers and crew. That’s a great way for a writer to research his subject.
Since he had always wanted to write fiction, he took courses at Florida Atlantic University and also attended workshops at the University of Florida, University of Georgia and University of Miami.
When asked about his characterizations, Cherot said for the most part, his characters are “composites” of people he’s encountered.
I enjoyed reading this book. Cherot’s story line keeps interest flowing and there are some surprises but nothing that defies belief.
The story takes place, for the most part, on a tramp ship and involves some very shady dealings concerning shipping computer parts to terrorists. Throw Hurricane Andrew into the mix, a steamy love affair and some colorful characters, and you have a good book.
Cherot has already completed a “thriller about 600 Stinger missiles missing from a U.S. replacement depot.” He said he’s also working on another novel “concerning the overthrow of the president of Panama (which antagonizes the president of the U.S.). Can’t wait to read those, too!
Cherot and his wife now live in Boynton Beach, Fla. The book’s cover says he enjoys “golfing, sailing, and fishing when he takes time out from writing.”
He sounds like a busy man who has discovered a new talent after retirement. I find that encouraging in that maybe some day I will have time to write my novel.”
~Beth Alston for The Americus Times-Recorder
“An 82-chapter book is a long read, even if the chapters are short, yet the story of Ben Cherot’s novel Tropic Squall turned out to be fascinating… the author does not shy away from sore subjects whether they are social, political, or personal… the story is intriguing…”
~Hedi Harrington of The Harrington Review
“The essence of a voyage is seeing a journey formulate inside the central character’s mind. Whether it is redemption or regret, it is about making you feel something for his or her plight. ‘Tropical Squall’ uses this reflection as a personification of a transcendence waiting to gestate… The emotional investment, even through internal monologue, offers a distinct voice.”