Episode 511 | Robin Lloyd Interview

Today’s author interview guest is Robin Lloyd, author of Rough Passage To London.


Lyme, Connecticut, early nineteenth century. Elisha Ely Morgan is a young farm boy who has witnessed firsthand the terror of the War of 1812. Troubled by a tumultuous home life ruled by the fists of their tempestuous father, Ely’s two older brothers have both left their pastoral boyhoods to seek manhood through sailing. One afternoon, the Morgan family receives a letter with the news that one brother is lost at sea; the other is believed to be dead. Scrimping as much savings as a farm boy can muster, Ely spends nearly every penny he has to become a sailor on a square-rigged ship, on a route from New York to London—a route he hopes will lead to his vanished brother, Abraham.

Learning the brutal trade of a sailor, Ely takes quickly to sea-life, but his focus lies with finding Abraham. Following a series of cryptic clues regarding his brother’s fate, Ely becomes entrenched in a mystery deeper than he can imagine. As he feels himself drawing closer to an answer, Ely climbs the ranks to become a captain, experiences romance, faces a mutiny, meets Queen Victoria, and befriends historical legends such as Charles Dickens in his raucous quest.

Robin Lloyd is a journalist and a novelist. He is the author of two novels, Rough Passage to London and Harbor of Spies. Lloyd has been involved in television journalism for more than forty years, working on camera as both a news reporter on the local and national level as well as a producer and writer off camera. A veteran correspondent for NBC News for nearly fifteen years, he filed reports from more than thirty countries, mostly in Latin America and Africa. He covered numerous wars and conflicts including the Iraq war, the Israeli intifada, the Falklands War, the guerrilla wars in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, and the struggle against the apartheid regime in South Africa. Lloyd also covered the White House and the State Department during the Reagan and Bush administrations. Later as an independent news producer, he created and produced news programs with foreign networks from Washington and has written documentaries and longer news segments for many outlets, including Maryland Public Television. Among his awards are four Emmys from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay region and an award from the Overseas Press Club.

Personal Life
Robin Lloyd’s early years were spent on the island of St. Croix where his parents, Stacy and Alice Lloyd owned a dairy farm and milk plant. As a boy, he grew up sailing in the Caribbean, and working in the family business. He attended St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire where he graduated cum laude and won the Ambassador Duke Spanish prize. He then attended Princeton University where he majored in Latin American studies and developed a proficiency in Spanish, French and Portuguese. In 1976, he received a graduate degree from the School of Journalism at Columbia University where he was selected as an International Fellow. He is married to Tamara Hall Lloyd with whom he has two daughters. He and his wife, Tamara now divide their time between Chevy Chase, Maryland, and Camden, Maine.

In October, 2012, Lloyd left the television news world to begin writing his first novel which depicts the life of an American ship captain in the early to mid-19th century. Rough Passage to London, was published by Sheridan House in October of 2014, and was described by Publishers Weekly as a poignant and action-packed first novel. The Library Journal gave it a starred review for its “exciting narrative and historical acumen.” Lloyd’s second novel, Harbor of Spies which is set in Havana, Cuba in 1863 during the American Civil War, is out now.

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