Columbia native and active U.S. Navy Electronics Technician 3rd Class Charles Moore found himself in the middle of the Arabian Sea aboard the USS Leyte Gulf with a lot of time on his hands, so he decided to write a book.
“I started it in deployment,” Moore said. “We would be out 45 days at a time without port, so I figured I would be productive.”
The 21-year-old, a 2017 Columbia High School graduate, said it was a way to entertain himself during long hours at sea and that he had around 200 pages finished when the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser he had been on for nine months returned to its home port at Norfolk Naval Station, Va. on Jan. 4.
“I finished it in early April and had already done most of the proofreading and editing,” Moore remembered.
He then submitted it to Amazon for independent publishing, although Moore joked that “‘published’ sounds too professional.”
The final product, And So It Was, is a blend of historical fiction and fantasy set on a different planet with the feel of Victorian-era Europe, but Moore said it is a war novel at its core.
According to Moore, the book tries to capture the “grand scale of battle,” focusing on “maneuvers, et cetera.”
“Your hands are tied when describing real-world wars. There are so many dates and locations that people will check,” Moore explained as a reason for using a fictional place for military strategy that is feasible on this planet.
The premise of the book is that three nations have been forced together in an uneasy peace and “petty squabbling that eventually became war,” according to Moore.
The blurb on the back of the book describes “an Empire, a Federal Republic and a Confederation all stand at odds, struggling to take power from the others without setting off another world war. However, enough time has passed and the peace that thousands died for a century ago is fading.”
Moore said the setting for the battles was chosen as a result of he and his father Richard Moore being “Civil War buffs.” He also credits grandparents Velda and Charles A. Moore with teaching him “a love of history and a respect for his imagination.”
“It was always a dream of mine to fight in one of those battles,” Moore said, adding the book “is my way of accomplishing that dream.”
Moore also based characters and other details in the book on people he has served with or “from home.”
“I thought it would be funny to put (a shipmate’s) name in the book,” Moore gave as the reason for a character named Jay Middleton.
Moore was also “proud” to have written a book that included his own name and that of his brother.
He said he has been surprised by the response from the almost 100 people who have already bought or read the book, with many asking when the second book, already in progress, will be available.
Moore, who is currently stationed in Norfolk, Va., described the creation of battles as a way to “play up the role of a small god.”
Moore’s father recently delivered several copies of the book to Columbia Public Library. It will be available to check out once it is catalogued.
And So It Was is currently available for purchase at Amazon.com.