Thank you to Micheal Lloyd who has written a guest post about himself and his new book, The Pirate’s Children.
I went to the Manchester Grammar School where I did not excel except in History and English, which still remain my favourite subjects. I wrote my first short story at the age of 11 and it became a best seller at the school, being a rather lurid story of the Latin Master’s wife. I was severely punished for this!
From when I could remember, I wanted to go to sea, mainly because my father was a cruiser captain in the last World War and we even had tenuous family connections going back to Captain Henry Morgan, the famous pirate who showed that crime pays. Anyway, in the end, my father relented and I joined the naval training ship HMS Conway at the age of 14 and went to sea at 16 beginning a 50 year career at sea. I became a Captain at the age of 31 and sailed the world to almost every country and in every sea. If you do want to know more about me you can Google me as Captain Michael Lloyd.
During this time I began to write, all technical and professional articles for various periodicals. Eventually, time tapped me on the shoulder and said enough fun, now go and earn a living, so I became the marine consultant for a famous Marine and Legal publishing house where I wrote several textbooks, some of which, to my surprise, became standard works.
I then decided that the world had enough textbooks and began writing a novel about the sea and those on it of course, as it was the only thing I knew anything about. To my surprise, my publishers took the book and started a separate house to publish it, being the first novel that they had published in their long history.
Four more novels followed, all based loosely on my experiences at sea and people that I knew. I would claim moderate success for these as they were only marketed through the marine booksellers and to the marine market where they are well known.
Two of my books were shortlisted for the Mountbatten Marine Literature Award.
While I enjoyed writing these, I felt that that audience was too limited, and not the general public that I wanted to open the door of the real seagoing to and show that adventure still existed. Most of all I wanted to write for children and younger people. I looked at the standard successful books for this group and saw that there was very little written about the sea and most were written by authors with little knowledge of the subject, and often condescending in their tone.
I wanted to write a book with a unique story. There are many pirate books but none about the pirates family. I blended historical fact with the realities of the times and sea life in the 17th century. Where children as young as 8 went to sea, working and fighting alongside the adults. On the other hand, I didn’t want to write too much about fighting in a children’s book, although a pirate book has to have some and children expect it, rather have an adventure story that could be seen as possible. I then made a young woman the central figure around which all the others revolved. Then I wanted adventure and romance. The result is this book. I don’t know if you have read many sea books but there is a thought that it is all about ships and the sea. Actually, while the sea and ships are featured, over half the book is on the land. I wanted children and people of different backgrounds and colour coming together. Finally, I wanted to make a woman the central figure as, traveling the world, I realised how women are the fabric holding our varied societies together especially the moral society essential in binding us together.
So we have an elderly aunt, looking after four children who believe that they are orphans, only to find out on the death of their aunt that their father was a pirate and they have inherited an old decrepit ship. They travel to London to see the ship. They hear that their father may still be alive so they decide to sail the ship to the Caribbean in search of him. Eleanor is the eldest daughter at seventeen and makes the decisions.
Finding a young Captain in a debtors’ prison and a crew made up of street orphans and old pirates, they set sail. On the way, they encounter a slave ship in Madeira and rescue a Spanish ship from pirates before arriving at Jamaica and meeting Henry Morgan and other pirates.
Kidnap and rescue follow with the children having to fight the ship and sail it without the adults. Then the action moves to Cuba where their father is a prisoner. They achieve his rescue but are caught by the Spanish. Free at last, they encounter a pirate fleet and battle follows with final victory, a return to Jamaica, and then set sail for home.
That is a brief summary of the story and me. I hope I have managed to achieve a unique story that had the right blend of fact, excitement and humour for younger people, although my wife tells me that it is for all ages as she thought it as my best book!
It is a pleasure to introduce myself to you and I hope that, if you do choose to read the book, you enjoy it. It is not written to display my erudition, which is limited, or to win prizes, but to give pleasure and keep the pages turning. I hope it succeeds in doing that.
The Pirate’s Children is available on Amazon.
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