Like I’ve said before, my favourite character is the Captain and I really do love writing about him. I generally enjoy writing characters who are all about dramatics and interesting dialogue, and this man is a lot like that. He’s emotional – from sweet to suggestive in seconds, sometimes haunted by melancholy and other times blinded by rage – which makes for many strong scenes. He’s a man with a large responsibility, a pirate known by everyone, and his actions and decisions have consequences. And he’s intelligent, well-mannered and cultivated, he’s never drunk and never uses strong language. There are many sides to him and I love writing all of them, really. Complexity can be tough when you’re trying to pinpoint what a character is like and they are so much, all at once – but after many, many rounds of editing I believe I’ve managed to write the Captain just as I want him. A bit of this and a bit of that (and just a little bit psycho).
(I wonder what kind of ships they mean… ^^)
I’m keeping this pretty short because I don’t want to spoil stuff (as always), but there are many ships to be found in this story. Originally, I wanted to write a novel which was inspired by BL manga and anime, and which had a little bit of a reverse harem feel to it. That is, not one but many options for the protagonist to choose from. There is of course a main pairing (or two, really), but also several minor ships. Just like the girls of reverse harem manga, my main character attracts a lot of attention from the men around him.
The main ships of the story are Captain Hart/Chris and Chris/Dylan. Minor ships include Alec/Chris… and many more that I can’t tell you about. But if you want ships, you’ll get plenty here.
You could say that this story takes place in four main settings: England, the pirate haven Corona, various uninhabited islands, and out at sea. Most of the story is set in the Caribbean, which was at that point in history roaming with pirates. The islands in the Caribbean sea were colonised by the British, the French, the Spanish and the Dutch, among others, and there were great deposits of precious metals and natural resources in the region. Slaves were shipped from Africa to the Caribbean to work on plantations, and when times were difficult in Europe, there were people who sold themselves into slavery to be able to go to the Caribbean where they might have a better future. The Caribbean was a true melting pot where you could find people from all over the world, and though the colonising nations tried, maintaining law and order in the region proved a difficult task. This, and the fact that sailors were treated very poorly and had few job opportunities, made many men (and some women) join pirate crews. (Read more on the subject here and here, for example! This was just a very simple summary of a complex time in history.)
The island of Corona is based on the infamous pirate haven of Tortuga, located off the Northwest coast of Hispaniola (which is now shared by two nations; Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Tortuga was home to buccaneers in the 17th century. I’ve chosen to exclude this part of pirate history from Wavesongs, instead using the location of Tortuga for my own, made-up pirate haven, and making it the center of piracy during a different period in time. In the 1720’s, during the last years of the Golden Age of Piracy, the British had taken control of Nassau, which was the great pirate haven of the region from 1713 to 1718. For the sake of the story I created a place like the havens of the 17th century, where pirates could build their own societies and live pretty much undisturbed. Corona is a town consisting of little more than taverns and brothels, but it is also a place where people are free to live as they please. It’s the one place that my pirates are always longing for, so of course I had to let them stay there for a huge part of the story. 😉
The plot of Wavesongs is, basically, Chris wanting to become a sailor and ending up as a pirate. He leaves for Boston on a merchant ship but pirates attack, and Chris is taken as a prisoner after the captain has spared his life in the last minute. At first, he doesn’t want anything to do with the pirates but he warms up to them gradually, especially to the Captain who surprises Chris by being a gentle and considerate man. They become lovers and Chris can finally come to terms with his sexuality and who he really is.
But life with the Captain isn’t always easy and Chris sees more and more of his darkness and cruelty. Chris finds out that the Captain is searching for a treasure – a treasure hidden by his own father – and that this quest is preoccupying his thoughts. To the Captain, it’s not just about gold but about his father keeping his rightful heritage away from him, and he keeps studying his treasure map even though no one else believes it will lead to anything.
Together with his new crew, Chris arrives to the hidden pirate haven of Corona, a small island where a pirate town has been founded. The Captain is busy searching for new crew members and Chris spends a lot of time by himself, getting to know the town. He meets a boy, a young barkeep called Dylan, and they become friends. But neither of them are free and as life with the Captain becomes more and more difficult, Chris starts wishing for freedom more than anything else.
Wow, this is a tough one. Like I wrote yesterday, this story has a lot of characters and quite a few of those are major ones. I’ll try to tell you a bit about the most important ones:
Chris Andrews is the protagonist, a young cabin boy who’s thrown into the dark world of pirates.
Christopher Hart is the captain of the pirate vessel Victory, famed for his cruelty and mercilessness.
Julian Pierce is the quartermaster of Victory, a sadistic man who disapproves of the Captain’s decision to spare Chris’ life, and who takes every chance to show Chris how much he dislikes him.
Goldie is a member of the pirate crew, and Chris’ closest friend on board. He’s kind-hearted and talkative, always smiling.
William Hill is Victory‘s boatswain. Even though he’s the complete opposite of Goldie – Hill is a stern, silent loner – the two make an unlikely pair of friends.
Alec White is a crew member of the merchant ship Queen Mary, a sailor who befriends Chris and helps him out when he’s in trouble. Brave, kind and good-looking, Alec stirs hidden feelings in Chris. Feelings he has no idea how to interpret or act upon.
Dylan is a young man working as a barkeep in the pirate haven of Corona. He’s a rare beauty, with long dark hair and a pretty face, but his life is filled with tragedy and he’s trapped in a town where there is no hope for a brighter future.
That’s about it! 😉