Meet today's guest, Danielle Thorne. She's author of the newly-released historical novel The Privateer, devoted wife, busy mom... and pirate?
I'll let you decide.
You Are What You Write
by Danielle Thorne
People look at me funny when they find out I write about pirates. When I start gushing about the British Navy or the Master and Commander series, they stare. Yes, out from behind the computer I’m a suburban housewife in a tee-shirt and Birkenstocks. I spend my free time zipping from Cub Scouts to Marching Band contests to swimming lessons. There are no exotic tattoos on my arms and I don’t keep a loud parrot under a sheet, but I am still a writer. I don’t just write what I know, more importantly, I write where I go. You know that place, the wormhole in your head that whisks you off to fantasyland the moment your fingers touch a keyboard?
It is a beautiful thing to be able to take someone on a trip with you--through time, across the horizon, or maybe into another universe. To be able to do this through the pages of a book is a release that no other person could understand unless he’s ever used the words “The End.” Whether it’s a painting, a scrapbook, a landscaped garden, or ten page short story, we are wired with what I believe is a sacred desire to create.
Isn’t it interesting to see interviews with the authors who have written your favorite books? You view them as a relative of this world that only you know in your heart. You wonder how much they are like their characters, what drives them to delve into this trait, or that experience. You wonder if their art is a reflection of who they are inside?
I’ve always believed that no matter how contrived a story is, throughout the stages of planning and plotting, we all release a piece of ourselves into our manuscripts. A confession, if you will, that in these pages are something we have always wanted to do, or have needed to reveal. So what if I did not really live two hundred years ago and never furled the sheets from a crosstree (sailor talk for taking in the sails from wayyyyy up high), in my secret place where I travel to for my own adventures, I certainly have done so and that qualifies me to write about it. The only essential ingredient to any story in my opinion is imagination.
In 1729, diamonds were discovered in Brazil.. The reign of piracy is over in the Caribbean, or so it’s believed. Despite the cover-up, Captain Julius Bertrand begins to hear whispers. The Spanish guardacostas are dumping log books, and a new French pirate is on the prowl. Distracted by an avaricious woman he could never love, and the beautiful Kate O’Connell who doesn’t need him, he tries to untangle the web of mysterious cargo someone in the New World wants kept secret. When Bertrand’s pirating past returns with the explosive force of a sweeping broadside, he finds he must sacrifice everything his respectable life has brought him, in order to save what matters most.
Such is the background for my novel, THE PRIVATEER. Where on earth did a Jane the Soccer Mom ever get such an idea? I’ve been there. I went, I saw, I conquered, and then I wrote about it. Was there any research? Months. Work? Uh, years. Did I leave a part of myself in the story? You bet I did.
Pirates were rebels who stood up against the establishment. They did all that and survived a brutal life at sea. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. I never rebelled. It took me nineteen years to find the ocean. I could not take it with me, but I could not let it go. Every day when I climb out of bed, my feet hit the floor and I yearn for sand. There is a part of me that should have been a pirate. There is a hunger in me to live with the Caribbean surf banging at my door.
So look twice next time you meet an author. Think twice next time your creative juices start to flow. We are so much more than words, paper, and postage stamps. We are what we write, and that means something.
Thank you so much, Danielle! It was great to have you here today. Your thoughts are inspiring! It's finding that truth inside ourselves--pirate or not!--that makes our fiction so believable.
If you'd like to learn more about Danielle, The Privateer or her other new release, Turtle Soup, visit her website or blog.
We wish you much success, Danielle! And come back to see us anytime.