Only a few hours left to enter to win free piratical novels from seven different authors, including myself. Celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day with a bang! Click on the link below to enter on my website. Good luck!
Last week you may have read my previous blog posts, spotlighting authors Dan Eldredge and Helen Hollick. I want to share the other Q&As from the other authors participating in our combined book giveaway, celebrating Talk Like A Pirate Day this Friday, September 19, 2014.
Follow the links below to read the blog posts with the four other authors answering questions about their books and their interest in all things pirate. And don’t forget to enter to win free pirate novels (including my second novel, The Alliance) by using the widget here. Only one day left to enter!
You can now pre-order The Fortune!
The paperback version is currently available for pre-order only at Amazon, but the e-book is available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc. as well as Amazon. Just click on the links to be directed to the page. The paperback will soon be available at those other retailers as well.
If you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy, you can click on the links at the top of this page to be directed to the links. But if you haven’t read the first two, don’t let that discourage you from reading the third book!
A deal with the devil…
Jack Mallory has vowed to abandon his nefarious seafaring life to be with the woman he loves, but his final act of piracy leaves him facing the noose. His one chance at freedom: a deal with an old enemy, Ezra Archer, a wealthy Charles Town planter.
Archer has his sights set on increasing his lands and securing a seat on the Carolina Assembly—and he will destroy anyone in his way. At first, Jack’s pact with the ruthless planter seems benign—sail to Virginia to fetch Archer’s niece. Yet soon he discovers Archer’s plans for the girl are anything but honorable and could endanger his own future, a future that seems increasingly bleak when faced with Archer’s next, murderous task.
With time running out and innocent lives hanging in the balance, Jack must find a way to break his deal with the devil or forever forfeit the honest life he had hoped to reclaim for himself and his family.
I’m proud to host today’s Q&A with author Helen Hollick, who is fresh from this year’s Historical Novel Society conference in London. Helen is participating with me and five other authors in a blog hop to celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 19–my birthday; how fitting, eh?). In conjunction with the blog hop, we are giving away copies of our books to lucky winners in our humble contest. To enter, click on the link at the end of this post. You increase your chances of winning by liking and/or following the various authors on Facebook and Twitter.
So without further ado, I present the esteemable Helen Hollick.
What made you want to write about pirates in the first place? What is it about them that intrigued you as a writer?
I loved the movie Pirates of the Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl because it was fun, had a fine blend of adventure, romance, action, humour and fantasy. None of it was meant to be taken seriously, it was entertainment only, a movie to sit back and enjoy. As an avid reader I searched for adult novels that had a similar content, and while I found many superb “straight” nautical fiction there was nothing with that tongue-in-cheek sailor’s yarn element. So I wrote my own.
I researched the historical side of piracy and immediately found several interesting actual events that would fit well into an exciting nautical adventure that had a touch of fantasy included. To be able to weave an imaginative story into factual truth is great fun to write – and read, I hope!
Tell us a little about your book, Sea Witch, that you’re giving away for this event.
Sea Witch is the first of several Voyages – there are four at the moment with the fifth being written and a sixth to follow. There will probably be more.
The Time : The Golden Age of Piracy – 1716.
The Place : The Pirate Round – from the South African Coast to the sun drenched Islands of the Caribbean.
Escaping the bullying of his elder half-brother, from the age of fifteen Jesamiah Acorne has been a pirate with only two loves – his ship and his freedom. But his life is to change when he and his crewmates unsuccessfully attack a merchant ship off the coast of South Africa.
He is to meet Tiola Oldstagh an insignificant girl, or so he assumes – until she rescues him from a vicious attack, and almost certain death, by pirate hunters. And then he discovers what she really is; a healer, a midwife – and a white witch. Her name, an anagram of “all that is good.” Tiola and Jesamiah become lovers, but the wealthy Stefan van Overstratten, a Cape Town Dutchman, also wants Tiola as his wife and Jesamiah’s jealous brother, Phillipe Mereno, is determined to seek revenge for resentments of the past, a stolen ship and the insult of being cuckolded in his own home.
When the call of the sea and an opportunity to commandeer a beautiful ship – the Sea Witch – is put in Jesamiah’s path he must make a choice between his life as a pirate or his love for Tiola. He wants both, but Mereno and van Overstratten want him dead.
In trouble, imprisoned in the darkness and stench that is the lowest part of his brother’s ship, can Tiola with her gift of Craft, and the aid of his loyal crew, save him?
Using all her skills Tiola must conjure up a wind to rescue her lover, but first she must brave the darkness of the ocean depths and confront the supernatural being, Tethys, the Spirit of the Sea, an elemental who will stop at nothing to claim Jesamiah Acorne’s soul and bones as a trophy.
In reality, pirates were awful people that most of us wouldn’t want to run across if we were sailing a ship, but in our culture they’ve been romanticized so often that it’s almost expected by some folk. Do you have trouble balancing reality with the romanticized aura of the pirate, or do you not worry too much about that when crafting your tales?
I wanted to blend the humour, romance and fantasy of the Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones movies with the action of James Bond and Hornblower, while adding the factual authenticity of Patrick O‘Brian’s Jack Aubrey novels. But above all I wanted to write something that was a fun read, albeit with the darker side of life in the early 1700’s included. Pirates were not alone in being “not nice” people: this was when African slavery was on the rise, when a child could be hanged for stealing a loaf of bread or poaching a rabbit; when a woman could be whipped, semi naked in public for committing adultery. When men preferred to join the army or navy in preference to facing the squalid conditions of being jailed. Death in its many various guises was harsh, life was even harsher. So no, my direction when writing was not intended to portray the reality, but the excitement of adventure, and the relationship between a man who would give his life for the woman he loves, and she could be hanged as a witch if ever she became careless. Having said that, my Captain Jesamiah Acorne is no pushover – he is quick to laugh but formidable when angry. He has his priorities and killing someone before they kill him is one of them. My novels have adult content, violence, sex and a little bad language. In that sense, they reflect reality.
How often do you turn to real-life pirates for inspiration in creating your characters or plot?
The reality behind the romantic view is essential for research. What I enjoy is taking the facts of an event and using it to create a plausible imaginative storyline. My nautical references are as accurate as I can get them, (thanks to James L Nelson who edits for me), but I also have scenes that are fantasy. My female protagonist is, after all, a White Witch, but I prefer to use a more believable aspect to her Craft – more The Force in Star Wars rather than the magic wand of Harry Potter.
What I especially enjoy is adding a twist in the tale concerning the historical facts: for instance, in the third Voyage, Bring It Close, Jesamiah is instrumental in planning the well-recorded factual demise of Blackbeard. But Jesamiah firmly states that he will not have his name written down in any official book – which is why you will not find him documented anywhere.
What makes your series different from other piratical adventures out there? What’s your main goal with your pirate stories?
The Sea Witch Voyages are not meant to be taken seriously – they are adult sailor’s yarn-type novels. I believe they are different from other nautical adventures because I include a fantasy element as well as accurate sailing detail and historical events. Mine are pure escapism, designed to take the reader into that imaginative world of a cracking good read.
My main goal? Well, every author dreams of heading a best seller list or achieving a movie or TV drama deal – of course I would love those, but my main aim is much simpler, although as an Indie Writer not necessarily easy to achieve. I want readers to enjoy Captain Jesamiah Acorne’s adventures and maybe fall in love with his charismatic charm as much as I have.
Bonus Question: If you had to design a pirate flag for yourself, what would it look like?
Oh that’s easy! Royal blue with two cutlasses in white, with an acorn and oak leaf in the centre where they cross.
Why the acorn and oak leaf? Well, because of Jesamiah’s name. The cutlasses because he is an (ex) pirate and the Royal Blue colour? That is because Jesamiah wears blue ribbons laced into his hair. He uses them in a variety of ways – for giving as a token after a night of pleasure in a brothel (before he met Tiola, I might add), for urgent repairs when cordage or rope is not available, or for the real reason – they make a handy, quickly accessible garrote…
Born in North-East London UK, Helen Hollick started writing pony stories as a teenager. She moved onto science fiction and fantasy and then discovered the delight of writing historical fiction. Published in the UK and the US with her books about King Arthur and the 1066 Battle of Hastings, she officially made the USA Today best seller list with her novel Forever Queen. She also writes the Sea Witch Voyages, a series of nautical adventures inspired by her love of the Golden Age of Piracy.
As a firm supporter of independent authors she has recently taken on the role of Managing Editor for the Historical Novel Society Indie Review and introduced an annual Historical Fiction Indie Award.
Helen now lives in Devon, England, with her husband, daughter and son-in-law, and a variety of pets, including a dog, cats, horses, chickens, ducks and a goose.
To enter the book giveaway, just follow this link to my official website and use the widget the enter: Contest.
I’m up next in the piratical author line-up as we continue the book giveaway to celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 19). Author JM Aucoin interviews me on his blog. Follow this link to read it. And don’t forget to enter to win free books from me, JM Aucoin, Helen Hollick, Christine Steendam, Lisa Jensen, Nick Smith, and Dan Eldredge!
Originally posted on Caffeine & Contemplation:
I know I said I wasn’t really blogging… but every once in awhile I have to make an exception. Like in the case of this awesome blog hop and giveaway full of pirates, pirate books, and pirate authors.
I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Dan Eldredge today. Check out the interview below :)
Enter the Giveaway HERE
What made you want to write about pirates in the first place? What is it about them that intrigued you as a writer?
In the Golden Age of Piracy, men became pirates for any number of reasons, from avoiding the law to a desire to get rich to being a captured seaman who joins the pirates for lack of anywhere else to go. Yet once they embarked on a life of piracy, there was no going home again. From that point on, it was piracy to the end. Pirates could…
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Talk Like a Pirate Day is just around the corner and that’s just cause to celebrate! Swashbuckling! Plundering! Rum! The sea!
And how about a little literary treasure on top of all that, eh?
To celebrate, myself and six other historical fiction authors are giving away seven pirate novels. My second novel, The Alliance, will be one of them along with Jake Hawking & the Bounty Hunters by J.M. Aucoin, Heart Like an Ocean by Christine Steendam, The Witch from the Sea by Lisa Jensen, Sea Witch by Helen Hollick, The Pirates of Alnari by Dan Eldredge, and Gentleman of Fortune by Nick Smith.
The contest begins on Monday, September 8th and runs through September 19th (Talk Like a Pirate Day).
To enter, just follow this link to my official website and use the widget the enter: Contest. You can earn additional entries by liking the authors’ Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. The more of our social media accounts you follow, the more entries you get. The more entries you get, the better your chances are of winning! Let your reader friends know!