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Empowering Women: A Woman Who Breaks The Mold

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buoys in waterWhat do you imagine one of the best captains on the entire east coast to look like?  The first image that pops into my mind is a burly gray bearded gristly old man.  How about if I told you the captain was an attractive brunette women? Everything about Linda Greenlaw, a best selling author and television celebrity, defies tradition in the very best possible way.  She is a women who empowers other women and helps us challenge what it is to be a woman, what it means to be a mother, and how to live life to its fullest.  Join us as we talk to her about her book Lifesaving Lessons- Notes from an Accidental Mother, when she shares her adventures as a mother of an adopted teenage girl, who had been sexually abused.

Show Summary

Link to Segment 1: Linda Greenlaw, described as one of the best captains on the entire east coast, shares her story of how at 46 yo she accidentally became a mother of a 15 year old teenager. How did Linda’s life change after deciding to become a mother?  What did she learn about herself and life after adopting a teenager?

Link to Segment 2: Linda Greenlaw, author of Lifesaving Lessons- Notes from an Accidental Mother, shares the story of how her idyllic community and she changed after discovering a pedophile had been living among them for years.  How could an entire close knit community be duped for so long? Why didn’t her daughter reach out to the community for help?

Link to Full 24 min episode

Blog Post from our Guest

Source: Frequently asked question from

How did you go from fishing to writing? 
It was thanks to Sebastian Junger’s very generous portrayal of me in his book, The Perfect Storm. After that, publishers basically invited me to write a book. I ended up getting an agent, who told me to write what he explained was called a proposal, for a book that ended up being The Hungry Ocean. He sent it around to editors.Then there was a phone auction and Hyperion won. It wasn’t something I’d ever imagined doing. In college, I’d majored in English because I liked to read, but I’d never taken creative writing courses. I am an old-fashioned letter-writer, but that’s not the same as writing a book. I guess I just had some confidence that I could do it.

What was your impression of the movie The Perfect Storm? Did you like the way you were portrayed? 
I was thrilled with Warner Bros choice of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio to play Linda Greenlaw, and I was amazed at the special effects. The movie was Hollywood’s version of speculation as to what could have happened to the Andrea Gale, and maybe it was a little far-fetched. I don’t necessarily agree with their speculation. But I thought the movie was a nice tribute to a way of life of people who choose to go to sea.

Are you still fishing? 
I was hauling lobster traps up until July 7, when I started the book tour. Unfortunately I’m going to miss most of the season on the book tour.

Who hauls your traps while you’re away on book tour? 
My dad takes care of the traps and the boat while I’m gone. He actually prefers it when I’m gone, because it’s more fun to captain the boat than to be sternman. I’m very lucky to have my dad, that’s for sure.

How is your mother? 
My mother is a breast cancer survivor. She’s feisty as ever, so I think she’s doing great.

How do you write – what is the process? 
I am very disciplined about my writing. I treat it like I do fishing, in that it’s a job, its hard work, and I have to do it every day to do it well. I write every day from when I get up in the morning to about lunchtime and then I try to do something physical and outside the rest of the day. I write longhand in a notebook, making all of my corrections and changes on paper, and eventually I take the time to type it in to MS word.

Did you ever get married?
No, I’m not married but I have a very nice man in my life right now.

About our Guest

Linda Greenlaw, America’s only female swordfishing captain, is author of three New York Times bestselling books about life as a commercial fisherman: THE HUNGRY OCEAN (1999), THE LOBSTER CHRONICLES (2002) and Linda greenlawALL FISHERMEN ARE LIARS (2004). She is the winner of the U.S. Maritime Literature Award in 2003, and the New England Book Award for nonfiction in 2004. Time Magazine called her 2005 RECIPES FROM A VERY SMALL ISLAND, co-authored with her mother Martha Greenlaw, a “must-have cookbook”. Additionally, she’s written two mysteries: SLIPKNOT (2007) and FISHERMAN’S BEND (2008).

Linda is featured in the hit Discovery Channel series Swords: Life on the Line. The second season of Swords will premier in August 2010.

Greenlaw’s latest book SEAWORTHY: A SWORDFISH BOAT CAPTAIN RETURNS TO THE SEA is a chronicle of her return to swordfishing after ten years as a lobsterman and marks her return to non-fiction and high-seas adventure.

Greenlaw first came to the public’s attention in Sebastian Junger’s THE PERFECT STORM, where Junger called her “one of the best captains  … on the entire east coast.” She’s also been featured on Good Morning AmericaTodayCBS Sunday MorningThe Martha Stewart Show, and National Public Radio.

She lives on Isle au Haut, Maine.