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 be in many cases hardened criminals, but they were also real people trying to make the best of their situation. Some did this more respectably than others.
The pirates in my novels contain shades of all of these motivations, but some of the pirate leaders are motivated by something more noble--the desire to escape tyranny and found nations of their own. In practice their methods are far less than noble, but the refusal of many countries to deal with them as legitimate leaves them few other options.
Martyn and Arycke are two young nobles forced into hiding after experiencing an act of unspeakable violence. They buy passage on the Isalian frigate Selene, but after a bloody battle against two pirate vessels, Martyn and Arycke find themselves shipwrecked castaways along with the beautiful young woman Starissa, her ever-watchful grandfather, and the rest of the Selene's crew.
Unfortunately for the survivors, they now find themselves stranded within reach of the pirate city of Alnari. In short order, Martyn and Arycke find themselves fighting for their lives, not only against marauding bands of savage pirates, but mutinous elements within the Selene's own crew.
The shipwrecked survivors are dragged into a maelstrom of vengeance and intrigue, as rival pirate lords maneuver against each other for dominance over Alnari. Martyn, Arycke, and the rest of the Selene's crew will need every ounce of courage, cunning, and strength they possess if they hope to escape alive...
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?
Sure, pirates frequently tortured prisoners and did other horrible things, but so did practically everyone else during that era. The pirates in my novels have their goals--nefarious goals in many cases--and they do whatever is necessary to achieve them. That said, many of my non-pirate characters can be similarly despicable, and characters on both sides of the law can be heroes as well.
How often do you turn to real-life pirates for inspiration in creating your characters or plot?
I don’t have any pirates specifically modeled after historical figures, but I do have a character who has some shades of Blackbeard in him. The self-styled Lord Baron Thurenne is a huge beast of a man who wears a tiger pelt as a cape, earning him the appellation “The Tiger of Alnari.” He has built for himself a reputation of ferocity and bloodthirstiness in battle, and is more feared for his brutality than his seamanship, so if you see his ship on the horizon, you’d better not let him catch you...
What makes your series (or book) different from other piratical adventures out there? What’s your main goal with your pirate stories?
The Pirates of Alnari is not historical fiction in the sense that it does not take place on Earth, but it’s also not fantasy like Pirates of the Caribbean in that there are no magical or supernatural elements. My villains don’t have towering magic powers to unleash against the world, but then my heroes can’t fall back on magic to save themselves either. I wanted my explore the struggles of my characters as they navigate a dangerous world, some as they merely try to survive, while others wish to excel. Everyone is only human, with all the ingenuity and frailty that implies. My characters start out as small fry, ground under by the implacable wheels of history, but as they grow in stature they will begin to influence events on a grander scale--should they be lucky enough to survive.
Bonus Question: If you had to design a pirate flag for yourself, what would it look like?
Solid black with no device. For my enemies, there is no hope in the abyss of death. :)
About Dan Eldredge:
After earning degrees in Astronomy and Physics, Dan Eldredge has worked in the defense industry for more than a decade. He has been writing fantasy stories since the 1980s and fills his free time with various forms of roleplaying, wargaming, miniature painting, paintball, and studying military history. He lives in New England.