Interview: Luther Wylde

Me: Hello everyone, and welcome to WriterTSJames.com. Since today is Talk Like a Pirate Day, I thought I would sit down with the pirate Luther Wylde, the protagonist of my upcoming book, “Peregrine’s Flight.” So now, let’s welcome Luther Wylde.

Luther Wylde: Thank you so much for having me here.

Me: You’re welcome. It’s a pleasure to have you here. Now I’m sure our audience is curious. How long have you been a pirate?

Luther Wylde: I first entered piracy about fifteen years ago. I started my career as a crew member on the Peregrine with Captain Clara Blackwell. Seven years ago, I assume command of the Peregrine, and became quite successful. Between then and now, I also added the Kestrel and the Storm Rider to my pirate fleet.

Me: Impressive. To what do you attribute your success as a pirate?

Luther Wylde: Well, part of that would be that I don’t kill people unless necessary. I hold my crew to that standard as well. Because we have a reputation for mercy, quite a few of the crew members of the ships that we capture come over and join my crew. The rest that don’t join me are ransomed back to their families or employers. Another key to my success is a network of informants who keep me apprised of the shipping in the region, and where the richest treasures will be located.

Me: Very commendable, minimizing bloodshed. Why did you become a pirate in the first place?

Luther Wylde: Oh, several reasons really. I grew up in Storm Haven, watching the ships coming in and leaving our port. I love the sea. And, I have to admit… I fell I love with Captain Blackwell when I met her. Tell me something, have you every done something because of a woman?

Me: Yes, I have. At a local theme park, I went on one of those spinning rides, even knowing it would make me sick. I did it because a woman asked me to.

Luther Wylde: You see, women can have a strong influence on us. That’s the effect that Clara Blackwell had on me. I turned to piracy because I loved her, I love ships, I love the sea, and I love my freedom. As a pirate, I have all of that. I didn’t before.

Me: What did you do before?

Luther Wylde: I manned one of the guns defending Storm Haven.

Me: If they were to make a movie of “Peregrine’s Flight”, who do you see playing yourself.

Luther Wylde: That’s a tough question. I guess Johnny Depp has already played Captain Jack Sparrow, so probably not him. Perhaps Benedict Cumberbatch.

Me: I think that would be a good choice. Okay, one last questions, this is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Are you going to be talking like a pirate?

Luther Wylde: What do you mean?

Me: Don’t pirates normally talk like, “Arrr me mateys.”

Luther Wylde: I don’t know what books you’ve been reading, or what movies you watch, but pirates talk like normal people. Take me for example, I’m a pirate, and I’m talking, and I don’t sound a bit like that.

Me: Okay, fair enough. I’d like to thank you for taking the time to chat.

Luther Wylde: You’re quite welcome. When do you plan on releasing “Peregrine’s Flight?”

Me: I am shooting for early October. Thank you everyone for stopping by to read this post. I’ll be doing a cover reveal for “Peregrine’s Flight” later this week, so be sure to come by then to see it. Thank you all, and good night.

 

Excerpt: Another Sunset

Nathan Pierce stopped short as he walked into the lounge car. The car and the sumptuous furnishings were lit in a ruddy glow as the sun set behind the train. He walked over to the bar, and poured a glass of water, marveling at the sight. He took a breath, and inhaled a whiff of pipe tobacco. He looked around, seeing smoke wafting up from a chair in the corner.

“Excuse me, who are you? This car is reserved for officers, and as far as I know, I’m the only officer on this train.”

A man peered around the edge of the chair back. He said, gruffly, “The only officer? What am I then, a mess cook?”

“I.. I .. I’m sorry sir. I didn’t know you were an officer as well. I thought…”

“Yes, I get it, you thought you were the only one. Well, technically you are. I’m no longer an officer. I’m retired.” He held out a hand. “Retired General Benedict Atwood.” Gingerly, Nathan shook General Atwood’s hand.

“I’m Lieutenant Nathan Pierce, sir.”

“You don’t need to call me sir. I told you, I’m retired. Have a seat, Pierce. But first, pour yourself a real drink.”

“I don’t drink.”

“You’ll drink if I tell you to drink, son.” Atwood rose, and walked over to the bar, leaning on an elaborately carved cane. He poured a glass of Bourbon and took it over to Nathan Pierce. “Here. Drink this.” He sat down again in the seat. Nathan sat down in the chair next to him.

“Beautiful, isn’t it.” Atwood said, looking out the window at the sunset.

“It is. The landscape may not be much to look at, but the sunrises and sunsets on this planet are magnificent.” He looked over at General Atwood. His short white hair seemed to be on fire in the orange glow. A deep scar cut across his face from his left ear to his chin, standing out in the harsh light.

“Never miss an opportunity to watch a sunrise or sunset, young man. In our line of work, you never know if you’ll get to see another one.” He looked at Nathan Pierce, appraising the younger man. “You’re new to command, aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am. How can you tell.”

Atwood chuckled. “After serving for sixty years, I can tell. You still have the stink of OCS about you.”

“I just graduated last week. I’ve been given command of an Engineering Platoon. We’re on our way to Fort Bracken with supplies. We’re to help strengthen the fort’s defenses.”

“From what I can understand, they need it. That area has seen a lot of activity lately. The Stihlz have been moving in that direction. You’ll probably see some combat before long.”

“I certainly hope not. We’re engineers, not fighters.”

“If you’re in this army, you’re fighters. You may be trained as engineers, but you will do what is required of you, whether it be building or fighting.”

“I’ve never been in combat, “ Nathan whispered.

“On this planet, there’s no such thing as a noncombatant. Get used to it.”

The door opened, Nathan Pierce’s staff sergeant entered the car. “Sir, the cook wants me to tell you that your dinner is ready. Would you like to eat in the dining car, or should I have them bring it to you?”

“Have them bring it to the lounge car, please.”

The sergeant turned to leave, but stopped as General Atwood bellowed. “Wait a moment, Sergeant!” He turned to Lieutenant Pierce. “Please? You’re an officer now. This man is a subordinate. You give orders to subordinates, not requests.”

“But sir, I…”

“But nothing. If you want to lead, you need to learn to give orders.”

Nathan looked between the two men. He cleared his throat. “Sergeant Cobb, have my dinner brought to the lounge car.”

“Very good sir.” The sergeant turned to leave, and Nathan thought he saw the hint of a smile on the man’s face.

Benedict Atwood turned his chair slightly to face Nathan. “These men are soldiers, Lieutenant. They have been trained to take orders from officers.”

“I’m just trying to be polite, sir.”

“No. Don’t try to be polite. Lead your men, give them orders. They’re in the army, and they know what to expect from their superior officers. You get to know your men. You respect your men. But you need to be firm with them. Give them orders, not requests.”

“But what if I give them the wrong orders?”

“Then you give them wrong orders. It’s their job to follow your orders as best they can. If you have doubts, or if you need advice, that’s what your sergeant is there for. It’s okay to ask him for advice. He may very well have more experience in the military than you do. But never forget, you hold a higher rank. Work with him, but don’t ever forget who is in charge of your platoon, Lieutenant.”

Excerpt: Selkie’s Choice

Kerrin swam quickly through the water, the cold not affecting her at all. Her grandmother’s last words echoed in her head, “Find someone worthy, Kerrin. Find someone worthy.” The bottom of the ocean began to slope upwards as she continued on her way. She swam to the surface and looked towards the distant shore. The beach was empty this time of the night. A few lights twinkled inland, but the shore was dark.
She dove back under the waves and looked behind her. As far as she could tell, she hadn’t been followed. She resisted the urge to turn and return to her clan, to her grandmother hidden in the underwater cave. She had a job to do, however. She had to find someone among the land dwellers to save her clan.
The water was getting shallower. When she could touch the sand with her flippers, she stopped. She closed her eyes and concentrated. Her sealskin slipped away, and she took on her human form. As she transformed, the amulet around her neck glowed a bright green. In her human form, she could feel the cold water surrounding her. She hurried out of the chilly water onto the beach. A ramshackle hut stood on a nearby outcropping. She looked around as she picked her way over the rocks, making sure that she had not been seen. Certain that there was no one else around, she slipped into the dilapidated building and closed the door.
Kerrin pulled up a loose floorboard and pulled out a waterproof bag. She pulled a white robe out of the bag, and put it on. It helped to cut the chill of the night air, but not much. She took a brush from the bag and ran it through her hair. Green and purple streaks stood out starkly against the blond hair. She put the brush back into the sack along with her amulet. She removed a second amulet from her neck and held it in her hand. “I will find someone to take your sealskin, Selin. The prophecy will be fulfilled. I promise you that, brother.” She placed the second amulet in the bag with her own and replaced it under the floorboard. She replaced the board, and dragged a nearby crate over it. Steeling herself, she stepped out into the chilly night.

Off To A Slow Start

Well, it’s day 3 of NaNoWriMo, and I’m off to a slow start. I only have 467 words written so far, but it’s still early in the month. I still have plenty of time to catch up. For those of you that are interested, here’s the opening scene from “Upon A Midnight Dreary”.

——

Victoria Raven lay still. The rain was falling, running into her face, mixing with the blood running from several wounds on her face and neck.

She could still hear her attackers checking on other members of her family. She tried to avoid breathing, trying not to give away any sign that she still lived. As it was, she could feel the life leaving her body, drop by drop. She heard a pair of footsteps approaching.

She sensed one of her attackers looming over her, as another one approached. Something warm fell on her lips, the salty taste oozing into her mouth, she almost spit it out, but managed to keep from moving.

She heard a rough voice above her. “What happened to you Donovan? You’re bleeding.”

“Oh, one of those bastards pulled a knife on me. He pulled out a knife, I pulled out his throat.”

A pair of rough hands pulled the rings off of her fingers. More blood fell onto her lips as she struggled to remain still. A strange whooshing sound filled the air. The cold air seemed to grow even colder, as she sensed a new, chilling presence nearby.

A quiet, yet commanding voice filled the silence. “And what is this?”

“Lucius, we didn’t expect you here.”

“Obviously not.” The voice was cold, and full of contempt. “You know our rules. We do not murder in cold blood like this.”

“But they have been helping the Pinkertons. They’ve been opposing and hunting us. They’re doing their best to bring us down.”

“That does not excuse this sloppy execution, Donovan. We do not operate in the open like this.”

“No one is around, no one saw these murders, and none of them are left alive.”

She heard a slap. “Insolent fool! Listen. Do you hear the horses approaching? Pinkerton Detective Agency already has agents on their way. We do not need to give them any excuses to oppose the Baltimore Coven. Now, let us leave, before we are caught.”

More whooshing filled the air, and soon she could sense no one else around. In the distance she could hear the growing sound of hoofbeats. They built up to a thundering noise, stopping nearby.

There was shouting as the riders leapt from the horses, their footsteps muffled by the muddy ground.

“We missed them. Check to see if anyone survived this attack.”

“This one is gone. Check over there”

She heard footsteps approaching. Someone knelt down in the mud beside her, his hand going to her neck. “This one is still alive. Let’s get some help over here, quickly!” Strong yet gentle hands, started to raise her to a sitting position. She opened her eyes, a pair of cold grey eyes met hers. A shudder ran through her body as Victoria Raven breathed her last.

It’s Almost Time

So, here it is Halloween already. For many writers that means that NaNoWriMo starts in just a few hours. For those of you that don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a challenge to writers to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Obviously, the point isn’t to have a polished and completed novel, but to have a first draft that you can work with, edit, and polish.

For this year’s challenge, I had planned to pick up where I left off last year, when I only got about 8,000 words or so written. But I was thinking and brainstorming, trying to come up with a backstory for one of the secondary characters, when I had the idea to expand her story into its own novel. So, instead of continuing last year’s project, I’ll be writing the story of Victoria Raven.

Unfortunately, I’ll be at work at midnight, when NaNoWriMo starts. Fortunately, I can bring my tablet, and start my writing during my breaks. Although I didn’t complete the challenge last year, I am determined to finish my novel this year. I’ll be posting my progress and excerpts as the month goes on.