The director of Ferris State University’s Writing Center, English professor Andy Kantar,
has learned that two of his books, “Black November” and “Deadly Voyage,” are now available as audiobooks.
“Black November” is the story of the S.S. Carl D. Bradley, a limestone carrier that broke up in a November 1958 storm on Lake Michigan, claiming the lives of 33 crewmen. The book was nominated for the Great Lakes Books Award, and was named as a finalist for the Foreword Book of the Year in Young Adult Nonfiction. “Deadly Voyage” recounts the tragedy of the S.S. Daniel J. Morell, which was torn in two near the tip of Michigan’s thumb on Lake Huron in November 1966, with 28 members of the freighter’s crew lost.
Kantar has also written “29 Missing,” detailing the wreck of the ore freighter S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior in November 1975. Kantar’s trilogy, based on the three largest ships lost on the three largest Great Lakes, were published by Michigan State University Press, and have sold more than 11,000 copies. University Press Audiobooks, a subsidiary of Redwood Audiobooks of Mendocino, Calif., commissioned voice actor Todd Curless to read the unabridged narration of “Black November” and “Deadly Voyage.” Production on both works was released in mid-January.
Kantar said that he is encouraged by these latest versions of his works, though he had only scant involvement in their production.
“It was all negotiated with my publisher, Michigan State University Press,” Kantar said. “It’s been gratifying that University Press Audiobooks took notice of the books’ sales. Todd called me up for some pronunciations, but that’s about it. Both audiobooks were doing well in their categories as sales began, according to Amazon.com.”
Kantar teaches classes in Technical Writing and Young-Adult Literature at Ferris, and has been a faculty member for 30 years. He believes that writing books is an important part of his job.
“I find it professionally invigorating,” Kantar said. “In technical writing, we discuss how to adapt the information to certain audiences, and that is exactly what I do when I take technical nautical information, and create a narrative that is suitable to a popular audience.”
The professor added that he is fascinated by nonfiction, and sees shipwreck stories of the Great Lakes as being important to regional and American history.
“I have always been moved and inspired by stories of survival,” Kantar said. “The resiliency of the human spirit is powerful testimony to the will to survive. I’m also touched by the stories of family members and the pain they have endured over the years. I think, for these families, it’s very much like the loss of a loved one in a time of war, sudden and unexpected.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University English Professor Andy Kantar has learned two of his written works on Great Lakes shipwrecks, “Black November” and “Deadly Voyage” have been released as audiobooks.