Shocking as this might seem, longtime Wellesley resident Michael Urban did not choose to set his first book, an action/adventure novel called Drake’s Coffin, in our wild and wooly town. Rather, the self-published and now award-winning book is set in exotic locales such as Panama and Cape Ann, Mass. Drake’s Coffin follows the recent discovery of treasure stolen from the Spanish by English adventurer Sir Francis Drake and buried in the jungles of Panama hundreds of years ago.
Urban recently was named a finalist in action/adventure by the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and he picked up his silver medal earlier this month in New York City.
The author, who has worked in federal law enforcement and as a trial lawyer, says he started the book in November 2010 and published it in December 2011. “I grew up reading adventure stories by Kipling, Dumas, Stevenson, H. Ryder Haggard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Melville, etc. and wanted to write modern action/adventure/thrillers with a foothold in history but a modern sensibility, essentially books I would like to read. I had lived in Panama for many years and actually hiked the Camino Real from the Atlantic to Pacific twice, and scuba dived many times in Portobelo Harbor, where Drake is buried, and so gravitated to this setting. The plot came to me as I went along.”