12 July 2012

Thursday Thoughts - in praise of the Rollicking Good Read

I had a lovely comment on my Facebook author's page this morning :

Carrie wrote: "Hi Helen I had read all your books bar the Cap Jesamiah Acorne which I didn't really think were my thing....but I am halfway though "Sea Witch" and I love it! Its such a rollicking good read..."

I am so thrilled at such kind words, (apart from because it's nice to receive compliments!) - you see the whole point of my Sea Witch Voyages is for the fun and adventure. I wanted to write something that I could have fun writing, and the reader have fun reading. Yes I agree historical fact should be fact, historical novels should be written with integrity, but the story itself is as important.

I personally feel that too many novels (and agents and publishers) have lost sight of the "rollicking good read" adventure: Winston Graham, Wilbur Smith, Dorothy Dunnet, Hammond Innes et al.
King Solomon's Mines - She - Poldark .... not necessarily historically accurate, but wow, what exciting adventures!

Patrick O'Brian's Jack Aubrey novels are straight Nautical Historical - down to the nth detail, as are C.S. Forrester's Hornblower and Julian Stockwin's Kydd... excellent books but the Sea Witch Voyages are intended as escapism enjoyment - they are not meant to be taken seriously. (As the Pirates of the Caribbean movies weren't.)

I do try to get the "facts" right. I research my nautical "language" as much as possible, even though the biggest boat I've sailed in was a small 8 foot or so  Mirror dinghy. The historical settings I try to get right as well, but I admit to a bit of manipulation - ships in the early 1700's did not have copper-clad keels, for instance - Sea Witch does. But I make mention of these "deliberate errors" in my author's note.

My Jesamiah is also possibly too clean, and conditions aboard Sea Witch are more pleasant than in reality.... but that is the point, they are not meant to be real. The Voyages are Sailor's Yarns. Adventures where a white witch can call up a wind, where the Goddess of the Sea, and the ethereal spirit of the rain have their watery eyes on the charmer of a rogue who is the protagonist; where, maybe, mermaids and sea monsters will appear.

And where the ship herself, in her own way, is alive...

I hoped my readers would see these book's as good fun.
Thank you Carrie - mission accomplished I think!
Sea Witch is available in book or Kindle Format 
(also on Nook $3.99)

Kindle UK  £3.20
Paperback UK  £10.99

Kindle US  $4.96
Paperback US $18.50

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