1) Who was your favorite character to write in this novel?
I would have to say that my favorite character is Rafe. In many ways, the main character is really me. He is the personification of what I would feel, think, and do. I readily identify with his anxieties, frustrations, anger, sadness, and ultimately, love.
Having said that, I have to point out that the Black Widow is in some ways, a female version of Rafe (or myself) although a bit darker. I really enjoyed writing about her. She was probably the most “fun” to write about.
But aside from the favorites, I truly believe that it is the camaraderie and bonds of loyalty and love that bind all the characters together in the story. It just wouldn’t be the same without the irascible Angus, or the stoic Baka’mu, or the paternal Sam, and of course, the tragic and beloved Maggie. Captains Green, Sands, Coffey, Bailey, and all the others are based on my real life friends and tend to show their real personalities.
2) How is this novel different from the competition?
This is a difficult novel to “pigeon hole”. Technically it is historic fiction, but it is so much more than that. There is romance, sex, humor, action, thrills, disgusting terror, gore, adventure, education, and the giving of a moral, or lesson. I like to think that in my book, you will see the painstaking historical research of James Michener, the adventurous ride of Clive Cussler, and the shocking take your breath away impact of Stephen King.
3) Share one secret about this book in its development.
When I began, I really wasn’t all that excited about doing it. It was basically a favor to my wife, who enjoys the romance novels with the dashing pirate holding a buxom damsel. That’s just not me. I had to force myself to get started, but once I realized that I was going to do this on my terms, I fell in love with it.
This was a difficult book for me to write. Not because of writers block, or word choice, or grammar, or any of the other usual things you might think. It was difficult because I know the real nature of pirates. How could I pen a story about such brigands in a factual realistic way, and yet make you, the reader, feel compassion for them, identify with them and root for them? Pirates were the terrorists of their time. They were not the lovable ruffians that today’s culture makes them out to be.
This was a hard balance to achieve.
4) Share one secret about yourself.
Are you serious? That’s why they are called secrets! Hmm, let’s see. Ok, how’s this… I wish I had lived Jimmy Buffet’s life!
5) Who is your inspiration?
Depends on what you are referring to. In life as a whole, the Most Beloved of all worlds, The Lord God Almighty inspires me to tears of love and joy.
In my personal life, it is my wife Barbara. I’ve never know anyone with a more loving heart and basic goodness. She is my rudder, and my guiding star.
In my writing, it would have to be James Michener. His story telling of historical fiction is part of what made me want to write in the first place. If I can be even a fraction as good as he was, I’m happy.