Friday, July 07, 2006

Everyday Pirates and a Book Giveaway!

I know when I'm done this will look like a ploy, but I assure you it is the truth. As usual, I'm joining Jules by being thankful for the little things. Today I'm going to share about playing pirates with my kids. Eldest generally begins the game by passing out the hats (rather plunking them on our heads) and telling us it is time to play pirates. Our "pirate" hats are one firefighters helmet, one slightly smashed cowboy hat, one hard hat, one knight's helmet, and one sailor's hat. He also passes out the swords: the plastic one that doesn't stay together, the lawn stake, the branch out of the wood pile (only the boys get swords). They pile into the bunkbed/ship and holler things like "Arg Matey!" (Yes, Matey, not hearties) and "Land Ho!" Princess is "the lady that gives them the gold" and I am where they come for gruel.

They enjoy this game so much, that in true 21st century parenting style, I bought a pirate costume for Eldest for Christmas. Times worn: 0 though once he used the scarf to make a flag.

But I love their imaginations. Pirates just wouldn't be right without the firefighters helmet.

And, on this day of the release of the new Pirates of the Caribbean, I am featuring MaryLu Tyndall and her pirate book, The Redemption. One commenter will win a copy of MaryLu's book...and in the all of the blog world (where I am but a drop in the bucket) one lucky winner will have two tickets to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest tucked in their book! I can't tell you how many blogs are participating because I haven't a clue. Comment away....Mateys!

1.) Tell us a bit about the story.

My story begins with a horrific storm at sea in which Lady Charlisse Bristol becomes shipwrecked on an island. She has run away from an abusive uncle in London and sailed to the Caribbean in search of a father she has never known. After weeks of combating the elements, her salvation comes in the form of a band of pirates and their fiercely handsome leader, Edmund Merrick.

Captain Merrick has only recently given his life to God and turned his back on a life of piracy to become a privateer. While battling his attraction to this winsome lady and learning to walk a more godly path, he offers to help Charlisse on her quest-until he discovers her father is none other than Edward the Terror, the cruellest pirate on the Caribbean. Edmund must find a way to win this lady's love while shielding her from his lecherous crew and working to bring her father to justice.

2.) What sparked the idea to write about pirates?

I've always had an obsession for pirates-those swashbuckling heroes who roamed the wild Caribbean seas in their tall ships. The Golden Age of Piracy was such an adventurous and romantic time in our history, and having grown up in that part of the world-south Florida-it grabbed my interest at an early age. What sparked the idea for the novel, however, was the Disney movie, Pirates of the Caribbean. After I saw it several times with my daughter, I had a desire to write about pirates that wouldn't go away. Why do the evil pirates get to have all the fun? Why not write about a Christian pirate?

3.) As you researched this subject, what most surprised you?

The biggest surprise for me was discovering that not all pirates were vicious thieves and murderers. Many, in fact, were commissioned by their countries during times of war to disturb merchant shipping lines and fleet movements, and in general to play havoc with their enemies. In fact, one of the most notorious pirate captains, Henry Morgan, commanded his own fleet of pirate ships, called the Brethren of the Coast, whose sole purpose was to raid Spanish ships and towns in the Caribbean. He was eventually knighted by King Charles II of England and became the governor of Jamaica. These facts aided my story a great deal as many of these pirates, who turned privateers, had strong religious convictions.

4.) How long did it take to write your first novel?

I began writing The Redemption in the Fall of 2003, but it was slow going at first. I was working full time as a software engineer, not to mention my responsibilities at home as wife and mother. I'm sure many of you can relate. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day! Consequently, I did not complete the novel until early Spring 2005, yet I still didn't feel it was ready. I hadn't written in a while and needed some counsel, so I hired two editors to go through my manuscript, and I entered four contests for the feedback. I made the final cut in two of those contests and felt encouraged, but I must admit, I learned a great deal more from my editors. By the end of Spring 2005, I had polished the manuscript the best I could and went looking for an agent. God's timing is always perfect. I was laid off from my job of fifteen years the same month my agent took me on as a client and began submitting The Redemption. By September of that same year, I had a contract in hand from Barbour for the entire three book series!

5.) How long must we wait for the sequel?

Not long! The second book in the series, The Reliance, will be released in January 2007, and the third book, The Restitution, will be out in stores, June, 2007. As you can tell, I've been very busy!


Anonymous said...

A Christian pirate? I never would have thought. The concept seems forced, what with the raping and pillaging that your average pirate is wont to do. But the author's research is intriguing. Could a moral pirate captain justify raids on towns and shipping commerce the same way a moral soldier justifies attacks on enemy ranks? Where does one's faith and sense of duty fit with piracy, which typically is synonymous with bloodthirst and hedonism? This alone is worth writing (and reading) about. BTW, pirates are big in our house too, though once the "Swords" are brandished they often morph into light sabers and the pirates suddenly become Jedi Knights.

kpjara said...

I never would have thought up a "Christian Pirate" either...but hey, I suppose if there are Christian Bartenders...there are probably Christian Pirates!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your comments! And many thanks to Jamie for posting my interview. Steve, you are definitely on the right track with your comments, and Patty, you can read an excerpt on or on my website. Kpjara, absolutely, we Christians are in every business. How else can we reach the world.
God Bless,

Anonymous said...

"Soldier" pirates. Add that to my endless list of things in which I lack an education. Who knew?