Welcome to my “home” site. You may find more about me and my books by visiting patosislandpress.com. Briefly, after a two decades plus career with the CIA I spent another 30 years working in the field of nonprofit governance, both in the Pacific Northwest and nationally. Now I’m bringing those experiences together into writing and book publishing. I welcome your comments at Vaughn@patospress.com.


     Sea Travels – Memoirs of a 20th Century Master Mariner, was published by Patos Island Press and released on September 1, 2012.  It is availabe at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart and through independent bookstores. The life story of J. Holger Christensen as told to Vaughn Sherman, it takes us from his birth in 1906 at Nome, to formative days on his dad’s Puget Sound workboat, to a high seas career rising from ordinary seaman to master mariner.  Many of his adventures as a deck officer took place in and around Alaska’s Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea.  The author’s glimpses of Puget Sound maritime life in the 1930s and ’40s are truly fascinating.” – Joe Upton, author of Bering Sea Blues

     Sasha Plotkin’s Deceit, published by Camel Press, was released in August 2012, and is available wherever e-books are sold.  The trademark version is now out of print. This novel has received many good reviews, including Publishers Weekly: ” . . readers will be pleased with Sherman’s unpredictable plot and lively, credible spies. His liberal and detailed inclusion of Swedish history and culture, clandestine work, family dynamics, and the portrait of Chris’s mother, Mor, are engaging.”

     Walking the Board Walk, published by Patos Island Press, was released in March 2012 and launched at at a community college seminar in Chicago, Illinois.  The author shares experience based on his 30 years of work coaching and advising trustees and others involved with the governance of nonprofit agencies.  The book is availabe at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Walmart  through independent bookstores. Multiple copies may be purchased at a discount through the publisher, Patos Island Press, LLC (patosislandpress.com). “When I encounter a board problem that I’ve never seen before, I’m likely to turn to Vaughn for advice. Fortunately for us, in this slim volume Vaughn compresses his lifetime of experience with board members.”  – Gary Davis, Owner and Founder of Board Solutions.

     Bonded by Water - In June 1953 I met Dave Olson at an overseas post in the Far East, beginning our first CIA assignments.  I went on to other adventures with the CIA, while Dave carried on an adventurous life with other pursuits, all of them most interesting.  In Bonded by Water he writes excitingly about  dangers and successes, and with touching sensitivity about the tragic losses of a remarkable daughter and a brother who was also a close friend.  As the publisher of Patos Island Press, I’m proud to announce that  Bonded by Water was released in early July 2014.

Vaughn’s community college books, Essentials of Good Board-President Relations and The Board Chair, may be purchased from the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) at www.acct.org.

A blog, Saturdays with Vaughn, has been published weekly for more than a year.  Sub-titled A Seasoned Perspective (referring to his advanced age, more than an inflated ego), it covers a variety of topical interests ranging from national politics, to education, to health issues.  You can read it at vaughnpip.wordpress.com



“Sasha Plotkin’s Deceit” is out of print in the tradeback version. It remains on sale as an e-book at Amazon and wherever else e-books are sold.