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Brad Matsen

Brad Matsen - Editor

Port Townsend, Washington

The inspired collaboration of an editor and an author is behind every book you love. I know how to make that happen.

Overview

I am a writer and editor with more than twenty published non-fiction and fiction books for adults and children, including a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a New York Times bestseller, and the winner of an American Library Association Award for Children's Books. I have created several award-winning books with artists and other writers and consider the process of collaboration to be essential to great storytelling. I am a developmental editor with Author Solutions, Inc., a division of Random/Penguin, with experience in non-fiction books on sports, science and technology, medicine, and natural history, and novels in the genres of horror, thrillers, romance, family history, military history, and literary fiction. I have written many documentary film scripts and was a creative producer of The Shape of Life, and eight-hour National Geographic television series on evolutionary biology. I earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, Irvine, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature from California State University, Hayward and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I was the Pacific Editor of National Fisherman Magazine for ten years and wrote extensively on environmental and natural history topics for Mother Jones, Audubon, Oceans, and many other magazines.

Services
Fiction
Adventure Anthologies Children's Picture Books Crime & Mystery Fantasy Historical Fiction Horror Humor & Comedy Literature Plays & Screenplays Romance Science Fiction Thriller Young Adult & Teen
Non-Fiction
Arts & Architecture & Photography Biographies & Memoirs Business & Management Cooking & Food Wine & Spirits Economics Life Sciences Mathematics & Statistics Nature Sports & outdoor recreation Technology Transportation Travel

Certifications

  • Master of Fine Arts, University of California, Irvin, 1975
  • Bachelor of Arts, English, University of California, Hayward and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1971

Awards

  • Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist, 2006
  • Barnes and Noble Discover Great Writers Award, 2005
  • Fellow, The MacDowell Colony, 2004 and 2006
  • American Library Association Outstanding Science Books for Young Readers, 2004
  • Cine Golden Eagle, 1988 and 1996
  • Censored Yearbook, 1995: The News that Didn’t Make the News
  • Fellow, Squaw Valley Community of Writers 1972 – 73
  • Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, 1995

Work experience

Freelance Editor

Author Solutions, Inc.

September, 2014 – Present (over 2 years)

I am a developmental editor of novels and non-fiction works specializing in the genres and categories listed above in this profile.

Editor

National Fisherman Magazine

September, 1985 – May, 1996 (over 10 years)

I edited the nation's leading commercial fishing magazine, collaborating with fifty or more contributors whose writing experience ranged from none to seasoned journalist.

Writer of books, screenplays, essays, and articles

Self-employed

May, 1970 – Present (over 46 years)

I published my first short story in 1972 and have been making most of my living as a writer ever since. I was in the Marine Corps from 1966 to 1971 and have also worked as a merchant seaman, charter pilot, commercial fisherman, lecturer, and magazine editor. I have a BA in English from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the University of California at Irvine. I am the author of Death and Oil: A True Story of the Piper Alpha Disaster on the North Sea; Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King; Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2006; the New York Times bestseller Titanic's Last Secrets; Planet Ocean: A Story of Life the Sea, and Dancing to the Fossil Record with artist Ray Troll; the Incredible Ocean Adventure series for children, recipient of the American Library Association Outstanding Science Books for Young Readers for 2004; Go Wild in New York City on urban ecology for children; and many other books. I was a creative producer for The Shape of Life, an eight-hour National Geographic television series on evolutionary biology, and wrote the accompanying book. I have written on marine science and the environment for Mother Jones, Audubon, Natural History, and dozens of other magazines. I have been awarded two fellowships at the MacDowell Colony and a residency at the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. I now live with my sweetheart, Barbara Manchester, and my standard poodle, Lucky, in Port Townsend, Washington.

Portfolio (17 selected works)

Death and Oil: A True Story of the Piper Alpha Disaster on the North Sea

Brad Matsen

The first full account of the most tragic oil rig disaster in history, the human story behind it, and the true nature of its legacy. July 6, 1988, began as a normal day on Piper Alpha, the biggest offshore oil rig on the North Sea. But just after 10:00 p.m., a series of explosions rocked the platform, and the inferno continued to burn for weeks. Of the 226 men working on the platform, 162 died... read more

The first full account of the most tragic oil rig disaster in history, the human story behind it, and the true nature of its legacy. July 6, 1988, began as a normal day on Piper Alpha, the biggest offshore oil rig on the North Sea. But just after 10:00 p.m., a series of explosions rocked the platform, and the inferno continued to burn for weeks. Of the 226 men working on the platform, 162 died... read more

Jacques Cousteau: The Sea King

Brad Matsen

An unprecedented and masterfully told biography of Jacques Cousteau that reveals for the first time the fascinating and compelling individual behind this famous television personality. Inventor of the aqualung and fearless scuba diver, Jacques Cousteau opened up the ocean to a mass audience for the first time. Here, with the cooperation of many of the subjects closest confidants and family, Br... read more

An unprecedented and masterfully told biography of Jacques Cousteau that reveals for the first time the fascinating and compelling individual behind this famous television personality. Inventor of the aqualung and fearless scuba diver, Jacques Cousteau opened up the ocean to a mass audience for the first time. Here, with the cooperation of many of the subjects closest confidants and family, Br... read more

Titanic's Last Secrets: The Further Adventures of Shadow Divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler

Brad Matsen

After rewriting history with their discovery of a Nazi U-boat off the coast of New Jersey, legendary divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler decided to investigate the great enduring mystery of history's most notorious shipwreck: Why did Titanic sink as quickly as it did?To answer the question, Chatterton and Kohler assemble a team of experts to explore Titanic, study its engineering, and div... read more

After rewriting history with their discovery of a Nazi U-boat off the coast of New Jersey, legendary divers John Chatterton and Richie Kohler decided to investigate the great enduring mystery of history's most notorious shipwreck: Why did Titanic sink as quickly as it did?To answer the question, Chatterton and Kohler assemble a team of experts to explore Titanic, study its engineering, and div... read more

Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss

Brad Matsen

In Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss, Brad Matsen brings to vivid life the famous deep-sea expeditions of Otis Barton and William Beebe. Beebe was a very well-connected and internationally acclaimed naturalist, with the power to generate media attention. Barton was an engineer and heir to a considerable fortune, who had long dreamed of making his mark on the world as an adventurer. To... read more

In Descent: The Heroic Discovery of the Abyss, Brad Matsen brings to vivid life the famous deep-sea expeditions of Otis Barton and William Beebe. Beebe was a very well-connected and internationally acclaimed naturalist, with the power to generate media attention. Barton was an engineer and heir to a considerable fortune, who had long dreamed of making his mark on the world as an adventurer. To... read more

Planet Ocean: A Story of Life, the Sea, and Dancing to the Fossil Record

Ray Troll

This is the paperback edition of the great pop-paleontology book with the fabulous art that inspired a show that toured the nation's natural history museums. In its own way it has inspired many people to take a new look at the fossil record and imagine creatures and things as they might have been—a blend of word and image unlike any other.From the Trade Paperback edition.

This is the paperback edition of the great pop-paleontology book with the fabulous art that inspired a show that toured the nation's natural history museums. In its own way it has inspired many people to take a new look at the fossil record and imagine creatures and things as they might have been—a blend of word and image unlike any other.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Go Wild in New York City

Brad Matsen

How wild is New York City? Well, you can ride a subway car through giant cracks in the Earth. Watch monarch butterflies floating among skyscrapers on their annual trip from Mexico to Canada. Drink mountain rainwater piped a hundred miles through some of the world's biggest tunnels. Spy on horseshoe crabs (that showed up on Earth before the dinosaurs) as they crawl up to lay their eggs on city ... read more

How wild is New York City? Well, you can ride a subway car through giant cracks in the Earth. Watch monarch butterflies floating among skyscrapers on their annual trip from Mexico to Canada. Drink mountain rainwater piped a hundred miles through some of the world's biggest tunnels. Spy on horseshoe crabs (that showed up on Earth before the dinosaurs) as they crawl up to lay their eggs on city ... read more

Ray Troll's Shocking Fish Tales: Fish, Romance, and Death in Pictures

Ray Troll, Bradford Matsen

First published in 1991 by Alaska Northwest, this book introduced a new audience to the often edgy, always observant and colorful fish art made semi-famous by the T-shirts and cards hauled out of the Northwest by fans of this Ketchikan artist. The mysteries of the deep, the strange, the hideous and the wonderful all appear on the canvas and in the words of this highly original, wacky work. Ful... read more

First published in 1991 by Alaska Northwest, this book introduced a new audience to the often edgy, always observant and colorful fish art made semi-famous by the T-shirts and cards hauled out of the Northwest by fans of this Ketchikan artist. The mysteries of the deep, the strange, the hideous and the wonderful all appear on the canvas and in the words of this highly original, wacky work. Ful... read more

Faces of Fishing: People, Food and the Sea at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century

Bradford Matsen

This book explores a variety of fishing practices from around the world. Beautiful and compelling imagery and engaging text highlight the people and their cultures that are changing the face of fishing for future generations. Readers get closer to the real issues surrounding today's fisheries--overfishing, bycatch, coastal habitat destruction and human population growth. Also highlighted are p... read more

This book explores a variety of fishing practices from around the world. Beautiful and compelling imagery and engaging text highlight the people and their cultures that are changing the face of fishing for future generations. Readers get closer to the real issues surrounding today's fisheries--overfishing, bycatch, coastal habitat destruction and human population growth. Also highlighted are p... read more

The Shape of Life

Nancy Burnett, Bradford Matsen

Based on the National Geographic - Sea Studios Foundation series seen on PBS. Every animal that ever lived fits into one of only eight basic body plans, the blueprints for living on Earth that emerged 550 million years ago and endure to this day. Those basic forms have given rise to billions of species of animals, including ourselves, and continue to define the shape of life on Earth. In this ... read more

Based on the National Geographic - Sea Studios Foundation series seen on PBS. Every animal that ever lived fits into one of only eight basic body plans, the blueprints for living on Earth that emerged 550 million years ago and endure to this day. Those basic forms have given rise to billions of species of animals, including ourselves, and continue to define the shape of life on Earth. In this ... read more

Fishing Up North: Stories of Luck and Loss in Alaskan Waters

Bradford Matsen

From the super-heated decade when fishing fleets turned king crab into fortunes, to the annual circus of Bristol Bay's monster salmon runs, to the bucolic life of the open-ocean trawler, the true stories in ""Fishing Up North"" carry the flavor of the modern fisherman's life and fortunes in the waters off Alaska. In ""Fishing Up North,"" you'll Find firsthand accounts of frightening weather, g... read more

From the super-heated decade when fishing fleets turned king crab into fortunes, to the annual circus of Bristol Bay's monster salmon runs, to the bucolic life of the open-ocean trawler, the true stories in ""Fishing Up North"" carry the flavor of the modern fisherman's life and fortunes in the waters off Alaska. In ""Fishing Up North,"" you'll Find firsthand accounts of frightening weather, g... read more

Raptors, Fossils, Fins and Fangs: A Prehistoric Creature Feature

Ray Troll, Bradford Matsen

Trilobites, fish with legs, weird prehistoric sharks, and fearsome dinosaurs coexist peaceably in the coolest paleontology book to come along this millennium. Long ago, a fish made its way out of the ocean and onto dry land. It was one small step for a fish, but one giant leap for fishkind—and it led to all sorts of interesting creatures like, well, people. Yes, RAPTORS, FOSSILS, FINS & FANGS ... read more

Trilobites, fish with legs, weird prehistoric sharks, and fearsome dinosaurs coexist peaceably in the coolest paleontology book to come along this millennium. Long ago, a fish made its way out of the ocean and onto dry land. It was one small step for a fish, but one giant leap for fishkind—and it led to all sorts of interesting creatures like, well, people. Yes, RAPTORS, FOSSILS, FINS & FANGS ... read more

The Incredible Record-Setting Deep-Sea Dive of the Bathysphere (Incredible Deep-Sea Adventures)

Bradford Matsen

Describes the 1934 dive of a bathysphere, or "sphere of the deep," in which two explorers, William Beebe and Otia Barton, set the world depth record and saw mysterious creatures of the deep ocean.

Describes the 1934 dive of a bathysphere, or "sphere of the deep," in which two explorers, William Beebe and Otia Barton, set the world depth record and saw mysterious creatures of the deep ocean.

The Incredible Search for the Treasure Ship Atocha (Incredible Deep-Sea Adventures)

Bradford Matsen

Presents background information about the sinking of the Spanish galleon, Atocha, in 1622 and describes efforts to locate the wreck and successfully salvage its treasure more than 300 years later.

Presents background information about the sinking of the Spanish galleon, Atocha, in 1622 and describes efforts to locate the wreck and successfully salvage its treasure more than 300 years later.

The Incredible Hunt for the Giant Squid (Incredible Deep-Sea Adventures)

Bradford Matsen

Relates what is known about one of the largest and most mysterious creatures of the sea, the giant squid, and what scientists are doing to learn more about it.

Relates what is known about one of the largest and most mysterious creatures of the sea, the giant squid, and what scientists are doing to learn more about it.

The Incredible Quest to Find the Titanic (Incredible Deep-Sea Adventures)

Bradford Matsen

An account of the sinking of the Titanic and Robert Ballard's search for the wreckage.

An account of the sinking of the Titanic and Robert Ballard's search for the wreckage.

The Incredible Submersible Alvin Discovers a Strange Deep-Sea World (Incredible Deep-Sea Adventures)

Bradford Matsen

Describes the 1977 journey of the submersible ship Alvin, in which three explorers saw, for the first time, the strange marine life that dwells in hydrothermal vents and other mysteries of the deep sea.

Describes the 1977 journey of the submersible ship Alvin, in which three explorers saw, for the first time, the strange marine life that dwells in hydrothermal vents and other mysteries of the deep sea.

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