The Irish Pirate and The Next Chapter
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July 1st – as the title implies – starts the next chapter of my writing/publishing career. By virtue of inspiration, perseverance, and good fortune, I will be holding my first book-signing on that day at the Irish Pirate Trading Co. on Emerald Isle. (Thank you Tammy and Rick Lyons.) It is both an exciting and humbling concept.
I don't know how other writers mentally process such a singular activity but I can say with all honesty that it scares the bejeebers out of me. I mean, I'm just Bill. Nothing special. Why would anyone want my autograph? But if it means helping get the word out about Black Hearts White Bones then I'm all for it. This book deserves to be read. I want people to know who Anne Bonny and Mary Read were. Their story has been too-long relegated to the shadows and they deserve better. Not because they were good people – quite the contrary. They were the worst of the worst. But their story is one of the most compelling I've ever come across. And if a reprobate like Edward Teach (Blackbeard) can enjoy a glorified and exaggerated post-life – then surely Bonny and Read deserve equal treatment times two. As I explain in the Author's Notes at the end of my novel:
When I began my research I quickly discovered that, although largely unknown to most people, there are two groups who are very familiar with Anne Bonny and Mary Read – pirate aficionados and the gay community. (OK, mostly lesbians.) I remember growing up, that most history books and articles gave only a cursory reference to their existence, if they were mentioned at all. I suspect this may have been because of the fear (in those days) that they might have qualified to belong to the second group mentioned above. Better to rush past that awkward part of history than have to explain to little Johnny and Susie why these two female pirates were really, really close. From where I'm sitting, all of this makes their story that much more compelling.
Rather than write a story meant to glorify Bonny and Read or which way their carnal compasses pointed, I wanted to write a story that humanized them while at the same time giving an honest account of what they would have had to endure as women of that era. OK, to be totally honest, I also wanted to write a great story about two women who kicked-ass and didn't worry about taking names. The fact that they may or may not have loved each other is the part of the drama, conflict, and tension woven into my story. To understand what that means, you'll have to read the book.
Which brings me back to signing books. For those who may not know, one of the few historical facts we have about Anne Bonny is that she was born in Ireland. So how cool is it that my first book-signing will take place at an establishment called the Irish Pirate and features a female pirate in their logo? Now get this – my second book signing on July 14 will held at the The Next Chapter Bookstore in New Bern (thank you Mary Jo Buckl) as part of Bear Town's monthly ArtWalkor – or ArtCrawl. (I'm not sure which it is as both names are promoted and I have not yet discovered which is which and what's the difference, if any. But my name is on the ArtWalk website so I'm going with that for now.)
So, completely by happenstance, my first two book-signings will be at establishments that have significant meaning in my life. I can only wonder how the stars will align when I publish my next novel – Aphrodite's Whisper.
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