Michael Tougias

Children’s & YA Author
NYT Bestseller
Travels from: Boston, MA

“A masterful account of one of history’s most poignant and tragic secrets.” —#1 New York Times-bestelling author Lee Child

Michael J. Tougias is a New York Times bestselling author and co-author of 30 books for adults and 7 for children and young adults. Among his bestsellers are The Finest Hours (Disney Motion Pictures’ version opened in 45 countries in January 2016), Fatal Forecast, Overboard, King Philip’s War, and There’s A Porcupine In My Outhouse: The Vermont Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wannabe. His book Ten Hours Until Dawn was selected by the American Library Association as “One of the Best Books of the Year.”

In conjunction with MacMillan Publishing he has his own series for middle readers.  Called the True Rescue Series, four books have been released including The Finest Hours, Into the Blizzard, Attacked At Sea, and A Storm Too Soon. All four of the books are Junior Library Guild Selections and Scholastic Selections.

Tougias lectures across the country on each of his book topics. He also offers leadership/inspirational programs for business groups, and has spoken to companies and organizations such as General Dynamics, Raytheon, Massachusetts School Library Association, New York University Surgeons Round Table and many more. He is also a frequent guest on NPR programs, The Weather Channel, Fox & Friends, 20/20, and national talk shows. He is an avid outdoorsman and donates his time to protecting open space. He is a graduate of St. Michael’s College in Winooski, VT.

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True Rescue 6: Rescue of the Bounty (Young Readers Edition): Disaster and Survival in Superstorm Sandy (True Rescue Series)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Nonfiction

Book six in the True Rescue series for young readers, this pulse-pounding account of disaster and survival at sea follows the HMS Bounty whose fateful course through Superstorm Sandy would lead to one of the most heroic Coast Guard rescue missions ever…

On October 23, 2012, with Superstorm Sandy fast approaching, Captain Robin Walbridge made the fateful decision to sail the HMS Bounty from New London, Connecticut to St. Petersburg, Florida, believing the wooden ship, a replica of the original, famous Bounty, would fare better at sea than at port. He told the crew that anyone who did not want to come on the voyage could leave the ship and there would be no hard feelings. No one took the captain up on his offer, and this decision would have fatal consequences.

Four days into the voyage, Superstorm Sandy made an almost direct hit on the Bounty—sending the crew tumbling into the ocean filled with crashing thirty-foot waves. Some were swept far from the ship, others found themselves tangled in the rigging, while others were trapped below the surface by the masts and spreaders. What ensued was one of the most complex, dangerous, and massive Coast Guard rescue missions in history. Rescue of the Bounty from authors Michael J. Tougias and Douglas Campbell is a gripping, inspiring, and unforgettable account—the perfect choice for young adventure-seekers, as well as fans of I Survived, Torpedoed, and Grenade.

No Will Set You Free: Learn to Say No, Set Boundaries, Stop People Pleasing, and Live a Fuller Life

Mango |
Nonfiction

Break Free and Learn To Say No

We’ve all been taught to seize the moment and say yes without considering the downside. No Will Set You Free empowers you to take back your life and control your own time again.

Be happy to just say “Hell No “. No, thank you. Maybe some other time. “No” can come in many shapes and sizes, yet saying it can be difficult. We may think it’s selfish but this simple word is necessary to thrive in life. This informative, self-help-style, learn to say no book helps you discover and follow your true desires, find more time to invest in those you love, and pursue your real interests.

Learn to say “No” finally. Saying no can be hard. Really hard. Author Michael J. Tougias understands. As a former people-pleaser himself, Michael wields a combination of research, personal stories, and proven methods to help us understand our actions and stop saying yes. Through his witty rapport detailing his own setbacks and triumphs, we learn how to stop people-pleasing and how to, ultimately, honor our authentic selves.

Inside No Will Set You Free, you’ll Find:

  • Studies that help us understand our urge to say yes and how to learn to say no
  • Personal stories and anecdotes about the journey to “No”, how it relieves stress, and leads to a more productive life
  • Steps, tips, and tricks to control your life through the power of No

 

If you liked Boundaries; The Art of Saying NO; or Set Boundaries, Find Peace; you’ll love No Will Set You Free.

There’s a Porcupine in My Outhouse: The Vermont Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wannabe

Lyons Press |
Memoir

NATURE BOOK OF THE YEAR Sequel to the author’s new book, The Waters Between Us (Lyons, March, 2021), about growing up loving the woods and fields and streams of his native Massachusetts and wanting since boyhood to live like a mountain man in the woods. Having acquired a forest cabin in the course of the first book, There’s a Porcupine in my Outhouse details his further adventures hunting and fishing far from other humans. PRAISE FOR THERE’S A PORCUPINE IN MY OUTHOUSE “This is the way natural history should be taught-by a good storyteller with a sense of humor.” -Audubon Magazine “Tougias recounts his experiences with candor and humor. He blends the adventures of Lewis and Clark with the vision of John Muir.” -Cape Cod Times “A very funny memoir. Tougias learned from his cabin experience and today he is one of New England’s leading nature writers.” -Book Views “This is an honest book that asks us to admit our ignorance of much of the natural process and our fears of all those unknown things that ‘go bump in the night’ when we visit friends in the country. Tougias tempers each small disaster with good humor and a growing love for a world that he at first finds completely foreign, but which he ultimately realizes he cannot part with.” -Bill Eddy, author of The Other Side of the World Here are Michael Tougias’ adventures at a tiny A-frame cabin in Northern Vermont where he learns that nature has a way of becoming our instructor. This funny, honest, and personal account is the perfect book for anyone who loves the outdoors and loves to laugh.

In Harm’s Way (Young Readers Edition): The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Story of Its Survivors (True Rescue Series)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Nonfiction

A young readers edition of Doug Stanton and Michael J. Tougias’ New York Times bestseller In Harm’s Way—a riveting World War II account of the greatest maritime disaster in US naval history.

“A masterful account of one of history’s most poignant and tragic secrets.” —#1 New York Times-bestelling author Lee Child

On July 30, 1945, the U.S.S. Indianapolis was torpedoed in the South Pacific by a Japanese submarine. An estimated 300 men were killed upon impact; close to 900 sailors were cast into the Pacific Ocean, where they remained undetected by the navy for nearly four days and nights. Battered by a savage sea, they struggled to stay alive, fighting off sharks, hypothermia, and hallucinations.

By the time rescue arrived, all but 316 men had died. The captain’s subsequent court-martial left many questions unanswered: How did the navy fail to realize the Indianapolis was missing? And how did these 316 men manage to survive against all odds?

This thrilling wartime account of heroism and survival, Book 5 in the True Rescue narrative nonfiction series, is inspiring and unforgettable—the perfect choice for young adventure-seekers.

The Waters Between Us: A Boy, a Father, Outdoor Misadventures and the Healing Power of Nature

Lyons Press |
Memoir

Untamed. Unsupervised. Uncontrolled. Boyhood in the 1960s and ’70s was a time for exploration and mischief. Author Michael Tougias found more than his share of misadventures in the woods and on the water: some life-threatening but others innocently hilarious. Over time – and after reading a multitude of adventure books — these experiences took shape in his quest to be a mountain man, owning a cabin in the forest and living off the land. Part of that dream would come true, but only after a family tragedy that shook his world and forced changes in his life. This is also a story of a complex and strained relationship between father and son, the efforts at understanding, and ultimately respect and devotion. In The Waters Between Us Tougias channels Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” to mix laugh out loud humor with insight into the natural world through the eyes of a curious boy. Tougias is a New York Times Bestselling author and co-author of 31 books, including There’s A Porcupine In My Outhouse (Winner of the Independent Publishers “Best Nature Book of the Year”) and The Finest Hours (inspiration for a 2016 Disney movie). He has received many writing awards.

Attacked at Sea: A True World War II Story of a Family’s Fight for Survival (True Rescue Series)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Nonfiction

A riveting WWII account of survival at sea—Book 4 in the middle grade True Rescue series from Michael J. Tougias, the author of the New York Times bestseller The Finest Hours.

A Bank Street Best Book of the Year!

On May 19, 1942, during WWII, a U-boat in the Gulf of Mexico stalked its prey fifty miles from New Orleans. The submarine set its sights on the freighter Heredia. Most onboard were merchant seamen, but there were also civilians, including the Downs family: Ray and Ina, and their two children. Fast asleep in their berths, the Downs family had no idea that two torpedoes were heading their way. When the ship exploded, chaos ensued—and each family member had to find their own path to survival.

This inspiring historical narrative tells the story of the Downs family as they struggle against sharks, hypothermia, blinding oil, drowning, and dehydration in their effort to survive the aftermath of this deadly attack off the American coast.

Into the Blizzard: Heroism at Sea During the Great Blizzard of 1978 [The Young Readers Adaptation] (True Rescue Series)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Nonfiction

A riveting true account of a rescue at sea from Michael J. Tougias, the author of the New York Times bestseller The Finest Hours.

In the midst of the Blizzard of 1978, the tanker Global Hope floundered on the shoals in Salem Sound off the Massachusetts coast. When the Coast Guard heard the Mayday calls, they immediately dispatched a patrol rescue boat. But within an hour, the Coast Guard rescue boat was in as much trouble as the tanker—both paralyzed in unrelenting seas. Enter Captain Frank Quirk who was compelled to act. Gathering his crew of four, Quirk plunged his forty-nine-foot steel boat, the Can Do, into the blizzard.

Perfect for fans of the I Survived series ready for a longer form account, this middle-grade adaptation of an adult nonfiction book chronicles the harrowing journey between Captain Quirk and the Coast Guard as they struggled in the holds of a radical storm. It’s an epic tale of heroism and bravery at sea.

Above and Beyond: John F. Kennedy and America’s Most Dangerous Cold War Spy Mission

PublicAffairs |
Nonfiction
From the authors of the bestselling The Finest Hours comes the riveting, deeply human story of President John F. Kennedy and two U-2 pilots, Rudy Anderson and Chuck Maultsby, who risked their lives to save America during the Cuban Missile Crisis

During the ominous two weeks of the Cold War’s terrifying peak, two things saved humanity: the strategic wisdom of John F. Kennedy and the U-2 aerial spy program.

On October 27, 1962, Kennedy, strained from back pain, sleeplessness, and days of impossible tension, was briefed about a missing spy plane. Its pilot, Chuck Maultsby, was on a surveillance mission over the North Pole, but had become disoriented and steered his plane into Soviet airspace. If detected, its presence there could be considered an act of war.

As the president and his advisers wrestled with this information, more bad news came: another U-2 had gone missing, this one belonging to Rudy Anderson. His mission: to photograph missile sites over Cuba. For the president, any wrong move could turn the Cold War nuclear.

Above and Beyond is the intimate, gripping account of the lives of these three war heroes, brought together on a day that changed history.

Selected as a “Top 10 Nonfiction Books to Read” (2018) by the MA Book Awards

So Close to Home: A True Story of an American Family’s Fight for Survival During World War II

Pegasus Books |
Nonfiction

In May 19, 1942, a U-boat in the Gulf of Mexico stalked its prey fifty miles from New Orleans. Captained by twenty nine-year-old Iron Cross and King’s Cross recipient Erich Wurdemann, the submarine set its sights on the freighter Heredia with sixty-two souls on board. Most aboard were merchant seamen, but there were also a handful of civilians, including the Downs family: Ray and Ina, and their two children, eight-year-old Sonny and eleven-year-old Lucille. Fast asleep in their berths, the Downs family had no idea that two torpedoes were heading their way. When the ship exploded, chaos ensued—and each family member had to find their own path to survival. Including original, unpublished material from Commander Wurdemann’s war diary, the story provides balance and perspective by chronicling the daring mission of the U-boat—and its commander’s decision-making—in the Gulf of Mexico. An inspiring historical narrative, So Close to Home tells the story of the Downs family as they struggle against sharks, hypothermia, drowning, and dehydration in their effort to survive the aftermath of this deadly attack off the American coast.

The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue

Scribner |
Nonfiction

The story behind the major motion picture from Disney—starring Chris Pine, Eric Bana, and Casey Affleck—written by a recognized master of the genre—“a blockbuster account of tragedy at sea” (The Providence Journal).

It’s the winter of 1952 and a ferocious Nor’easter is pounding New England with howling winds and seventy-foot seas. Two oil tankers get caught in the violent storm off Cape Cod, its fury splitting the massive ships in two. Back on shore are four young Coast Guardsmen who are given a suicide mission. They must save the lives of the seamen left stranded in the killer storm, and they have to do it in a tiny lifeboat. The crew is led by Bernie Webber, who has to rely on prayer and the courage of his three crewmembers to pull off the impossible. As Webber and his crew sail into the teeth of the storm, each man comes to the realization that he may not come back alive. They’ve lost all navigation and have no idea where the stranded seaman are, and have no idea how to get back home. Whether by sheer luck or divine intervention, the crew stumbles upon the wounded ship in the darkness. More than thirty men appear at the railings of the SS Pendleton, all hoping to be saved. Once again, Webber and his crew face a daunting challenge. How can they rescue all these men with their tiny lifeboat?

Dripping with suspense and high-stakes human drama, The Finest Hours has incredible and astonishing true-to-life heroism and action-packed rescue scenes. This “marvelous and terrifying yarn” (Los Angeles Times) “deserves a place as a classic of survival at sea” (The Boston Globe).

Rescue of the Bounty: Disaster and Survival in Superstorm Sandy

Scribner |
Nonfiction

From the author of the Fall 2015 Disney movie The Finest Hours, the “thrilling and perfectly paced” (Booklist) story of the sinking and rescue of Bounty—the tall ship used in the classic 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty—which was caught in the path of Hurricane Sandy with sixteen aboard.

On Thursday, October 25, 2012, Captain Robin Walbridge made the fateful decision to sail Bounty from New London, Connecticut, to St. Petersburg, Florida. Walbridge knew that a hurricane was forecast, yet he was determined to sail. The captain told the crew that anyone could leave the ship before it sailed. No one took the captain up on his offer.

Four days into the voyage, Superstorm Sandy made an almost direct hit on the ship. A few hours later, the ship suddenly overturned ninety miles off the North Carolina coast in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” sending the crew tumbling into an ocean filled with towering thirty-foot waves. The coast guard then launched one of the most complex and massive rescues in its history.

In the uproar heard across American media in the days following, a single question persisted: Why did the captain decide to sail? Through hundreds of hours of interviews with the crew members and the coast guard, Michael J. Tougias and Douglas A. Campbell create an in-depth portrait of the enigmatic Captain Walbridge, his motivations, and what truly occurred aboard Bounty during those terrifying days at sea. “A white-knuckled, tragic adventure” (Richmond Times-Dispatch), Rescue of the Bounty is an unforgettable tale about the brutality of nature and the human will to survive.

The Finest Hours (Young Readers Edition): The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue (True Rescue Series)

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) |
Nonfiction

On the night of February 18, 1952, during one of the worst winter storms that New England has ever seen, two oil tankers just off the shore of Cape Cod were torn in half by the force of the storm. This middle-grade adaptation of an adult nonfiction book tells the story of the shipwreck and a harrowing Coast Guard rescue when four men in a tiny lifeboat overcame insurmountable odds and saved more than 30 stranded sailors. This is a fast-paced, uplifting story that puts young readers in the middle of the action. It’s a gripping story of heroism and survival with the same intensity as the bestselling book and movie The Perfect Storm.

Christy Ottaviano Books

New York Times
bestselling author Michael J. Tougias adapts his histories of real life stories for young readers in his True Rescue Series, capturing the heroism and humanity of people on life-saving missions during maritime disasters.

Illustrated Chapter Books for ages 6-9:
True Rescue: The Finest Hours
True Rescue: A Storm Too Soon

Young Readers Adaptations, for ages 9-14
The Finest Hours (Young Readers Edition)
A Storm Too Soon (Young Readers Edition)
Into the Blizzard (Young Readers Edition)
Attacked at Sea (Young Readers Edition)

Overboard! A True Blue-water Odyssey of Disaster and Survival

Scribner |
Nonfiction
From masterful storyteller Michael J. Tougias comes a new, heart-stopping true-life tale of maritime disaster, his most thrilling and amazing story yet.

In May 2005, Tom Tighe, captain of a forty-five-foot-long sailboat named the Almeisan, and his first mate, Loch Reidy, welcomed three new crew members for a five-day voyage from Connecticut across the blue waters of the Gulf Stream to sun-drenched Bermuda. The new crew included forty-six-year-old Kathy Gilchrist, seventy-year-old Ron Burd, and thirty-four-year-old Chris Ferrer. Although Tighe had made the trip forty-eight times, with Reidy accompanying him on twenty of those voyages, the rest of the crew had joined to learn more about offshore sailing.

Four days into the voyage, an enormous storm struck, sweeping two of the crew into the towering sea. The remaining crew members managed to stay aboard the vessel as it was slowly torn apart by the rampaging ocean. Overboard! follows the simultaneous desperate struggles of both those still on the boat and those fighting for their lives in the sea.

The Coast Guard, alerted to the Almeisan’s distress, rushed to the storm-tossed scene. Their ensuing search and rescue mission proved so spectacularly difficult and dangerous that it was later selected—from among thousands of incidents—as the Guard’s search and rescue case of the year. Highly trained helicopter pilots and rescue swimmers alike found themselves in almost as much trouble as those trapped by the ferocious ocean.

By turns tragic, thrilling, and deeply inspiring, Overboard! is a riveting, fast-paced story of death and survival at sea—amazing, unforgettable, and all true.

Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea

Scribner |
Nonfiction

Now in paperback, a true story as spellbinding and harrowing as The Perfect Storm, “marvel- ous and terrifying” (Los Angeles Times)—published to herald the arrival of Tougias’s new hardcover, The Finest Hours.

On   the   morning   of November  21,  1980, two  small  boats  set out  for  Georges  Bank,  a  lucrative but perilous lobster fishing ground off the coast of Cape Cod. The National Weather Service had forecast typical fall weather, and the young, rugged crewmen aboard the Sea Fever and the Fair Wind had no reason to expect that this trip would be any different from the dozens they’d made earlier in the season. But the only weather buoy in the area was malfunctioning, and the National Weather Service had failed to reveal this critical detail. And as the two small boats headed out to sea, a colossal storm was brewing to the southeast, a furious maelstrom that would batter the boats with sixty-foot waves and hurricane-force winds. A true story of catastrophe and survival at sea, this is a vivid moment-by-moment account of seventy-two hours in the lives of eight young fishermen. Most amazing is the story of Ernie Hazzard, who spent more than fifty terrifying hours adrift on the stormy open sea.

Gripping and heart-pounding, Fatal Forecast is an unfor- gettable true story about the collision of two spectacular forces: the brutality of nature and the human will to survive.

Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do

St. Martin’s Griffin |
Nonfiction

In the midst of the Blizzard of 1978, the tanker Global Hope floundered on the shoals in Salem Sound off the Massachusetts coast. The Coast Guard heard the Mayday calls and immediately dispatched a patrol boat. Within an hour, the Coast Guard boat was in as much trouble as the tanker, having lost its radar, depth finder, and engine power in horrendous seas. Pilot boat Captain Frank Quirk was monitoring the Coast Guard’s efforts by radio, and when he heard that the patrol boat was in jeopardy, he decided to act. Gathering his crew of four, he readied his forty-nine-foot steel boat, the Can Do, and entered the maelstrom of the blizzard.

Using dozens of interview and audiotapes that recorded every word exchanged between Quirk and the Coast Guard, Tougias has written a devastating, true account of bravery and death at sea, in Ten Hours Until Dawn.

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The Finest Hours

The real rescue and the making of the Disney Movie: an inside look at Hollywood (Adult, middle reader, and chapter book versions available)

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Survive & Thrive

The key to inner strength and making the right decisions by those who survived against all odds .

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Fourteen Steps to Strategic Decision Making

President Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis (Includes declassified slides from the crisis and the pilots of the U-2 Spy Planes, one of whom was shot down and killed by the Soviets over Cuba).

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Write Your Book

Tips on writing memoirs, fiction, non-fiction, finding a publisher, agent or self publishing.

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U-Boats So Close to Home

Little-Known chapter of WWII when German Uboats came all the way to the mouth of the MS River. (adult and middle reader version books available).

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Humor & Nature: A Voyage of Discovery

A presentation based on two bestsellers – There’s A Porcupine In My Outhouse: Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wannabe and The Waters Between Us: A Boy, A Father, Outdoor Misadventures and the Healing Power of Nature (Growing up in the 1960’s & 70’s).

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From Cubicle to NY Times Bestseller List

My Journey out of a traditional business career to full time writer and speaker – Humor and inspiration.

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