"No one enjoyed C. S. Forester's tales of Horatio Hornblower more than I, and no one was more disappointed when he died with another tale unfinished. I feel highly honored to work with Mr. Forester's sons to complete the story he started."
Books, newspapers, working with words - has been in the Mahon family for over a hundred years. John's father started work on a newspaper in Linn, Missouri, in 1904, and his three uncles were in some part of the printing and publishing world all their lives. Growing up in the small-town world of Kansas, John's first newspaper story was printed when he was 14, and his editorials and commentaries won a stack of prizes from the Kansas Press Association and the Mid-America Newspaper Association. With his parents he published three small country newspapers for 23 years.
As with most of his generation, he entered the armed forces (Navy) in 1943, right out of high school, got his wings as a Naval aviator in 1946 and flew torpedo bombers from carriers. Switching to regular navy, he was radio and crypto officer for a heavy cruiser, communications officer and navigator for an attack transport and a destroyer, and in charge of the radioman school at the Fleet Training Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Leaving the navy in 1958, he worked for many years in the stock and bond business, and for a short while flew air freight to Central and South America in a C-46 transport airplane. At age 86 he still owns his own airplane and keeps it rust-free with regular use.
John says, "No one enjoyed C. S. Forester's tales of Horatio Hornblower more than I, and no one was more disappointed when he died with another tale unfinished. I feel highly honored to work with Mr. Forester's sons to complete the story he started."
John now lives with his wife, Colleen, in Albertville, Alabama, a location chosen for its excellent airport and because it is about halfway between his three daughters in Florida and South Carolina, and two step-daughters in Oklahoma. He has two more books "in the works", one with considerable words already on paper, and one so far just a concept. "Look for them," he says, "in a few years. If the Good Lord permits."
John Mahon is an older fan of Hornblower with an inventive mind. His book, The Jamaican Affair of 1805 which takes off from, but in no way copies, the unfinished last book by C.S.Forester, Hornblower During the Crisis, was a challenge to himself which he accepted. We think he did a fine job. We hope you enjoy it.
George Forester, Editor
Photo: from the Gadsden Times online