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Gather round, me hearties! Katherine has let me have at it again! So hike your skirts, prop up your boots, and pour yourself a dram. Captain Jack Sparrow orders it, savvy!
Aboard ship today, Author Elaine Violette!
Pardon me, I’ve got duties to attend. (Pirate!)
“Welcome, Lady Elaine! What’s a book like you doin’ in an author like this?” Looks left then right to make sure no one else heard that. “What I meant is… I have a compass that points to what I want most. In a world with vast horizons that titillate and thrill, what does your compass point to?”
Elaine curtsies. “South! Though I live in New England…”
“New England?” Jack pokes at his ears. “Did you say “new”? What happened to the old one?” Looks into his rum bottle, gives it a shake then tosses it over the rail. “Did I miss something?”
Elaine nods. “I freeze in winter, especially my toes, I was born in July, and it’s my favorite month of the year. I love the sun, the beach, ocean kayaking, and barbecues!
“You’re my kind of wench.” Jack glances at Katherine. Receives a frown warning him to stay on topic. “I meant author, savvy? What do you take on July holidays, eh? For instance, I’ve got pieces of eight in my pocket. Significant treasure, to be sure. If you could have eight pieces with you at all times, what would they be?”
“Let’s see, they’d have to be small treasures since my kids are too big to put in my pockets.”
“Kids?” Jack uncorks a new bottle, tryin’ to figure out how she’d put goats in her pockets. “Have you ever been to Tortuga? No?” Wipes a bead of sweat off his brow. “Well then…” That explains it. “What other treasures do ye fancy, eh?”
“I’d tuck in my Kindle, my iPad, and my phone since they keep me in touch with my family, my friends, my readers, and those wonderful fictional worlds found in books, as well as holding treasured pictures to take and save.”
“Aye. Special moments call for trinkets.”
“I’d pocket my favorite dog-eared paperback, Post its and a long lasting pen to jot down sparks of inspiration, and a charge card too.”
“Tell me more about this “charge card”…” Jack’s brows furrow. “Is that a signal flag you throw up as you’re chargin’ over the gunwale to board another ship?”
“And last, but certainly not least, Chocolate, preferably dark with sea salt.”
“Ah, the rise and fall of the sea.” Jack heaves a sigh. “I find it particularly fascinatin’ that authors, like yourself, always mention chocolate. Gives them energy, they say. Motive for survivin’ the doldrums, I reckon. Which brings to mind the muse. All authors have one. When did it take hold of your sails?”
“When I was old enough to hold a pencil!”
Jack jumps to his feet and postures his hand on the hilt of his sword. “Aye. Some say you’re born a pirate. Others… well… they think it’s the moment you learn to wield steel.”
Elaine nods. “As a child and into my teens, I loved penning poems and creating stories. Too busy with academics and family as years went by, I did journalistic writing, short stories, and poems. It wasn’t until my children were grown and I became single that I began to write in earnest. When I moved to the Connecticut shoreline, I began my first novel. It was a time in my life when I needed healing and I found the ocean and writing to be my healing balms.
“You need to go to Tortuga, m’lady.” Winks. “You mention writing is a healing balm. Were there times the Kraken tried to pull ye down to Davy Jones Locker with it?” Jack grimaces. “I’ve been there. Cap’n Barbosa led a rescue at World’s End. How’d ye escape?”
“Actually, it wasn’t the critiques.” Elaine smiles fondly. “I have been very fortunate in receiving wonderful comments and reviews on my books. Instead, my traditional publisher nearly caused me to give up with long waits, late royalties, and more. Now that I’m doing my own publishing, I am a happy sailor!”
“Oh, I’ve seen very unhappy sailors ‘afore. Give ‘em rum, or mayhap a wench, and they come round.” Winks, and then grows serious. “But how do you react during battle, eh? Happy sailors still need to man the braces. During a broadside, what do you do to mend your sails?”
“I’ve taken some long pauses in writing when I needed re-direction and new inspiration. I am fortunate to be a member of a wonderful group, CT Romance Writers of America. Members keep each other afloat when we start to sink!”
“A good crew be the ticket.” Jack stares out at the vast horizon and raises his finger to point at the setting sun. “Once the course for your coveted horizon had been charted, how long did it take ye to make port?”
“Fortunately, when I sent out my first manuscript, I received four or five rejections before I was received a contract. I stayed with that publisher for three books. I will always appreciate the publisher for my start and wonderful editors. Unfortunately, publishers have problems and some start to sink and take their authors down with them. I jumped out of the boat—”
“Jumped out?” Shivers. “In good seas, I take it.”
“I got my rights back, and dived into the self-publishing waters. Since then it’s been smooth sailing.”
“The journey is always better without rocks dead ahead.” Jack poses for Elaine’s benefit, jockeyin’ one foot on the rail, exposing his best profile. “Every pirate has a code.” Wiggles his fingers like this! “More like guidelines anyway. What’s your code, eh?”
“I’m an English teacher by profession so I believe in drafting, redrafting—”
“Are you a naval architect? Katherine wrote one from Talland Bay.”
Elaine shakes her head and continues. “Editing, re-editing, and editing again without getting discouraged. It’s what the writing process is all about.”
“Sounds like life aboard me ship. Manning the braces… Testing the guns… That sort of thing!”
“Every time I go back into a story, new ideas surface, sentences improve, and the plot and characters become more vividly alive.
“Well…” Jack looks at the sand glass. “Lady Elaine, it appears we’re out of time. Lucky for you, I saved the best question for last.” Preens. “Do not hold back on this one.” Saunters toward Elaine with swagger and verve. “Your all-time favorite pirate is?”
“Captain Jack Sparrow, who else?”
Jack fist pumps and kicks his feet together with joy. “Well, I am Captain Jack Sparrow, savvy?”
Elaine Violette writes British and American Historical Romances. Part of the fun of writing Historicals, she says, is doing research into the past and creating characters who live and love in those sometimes glorious and sometimes harrowing times. A veteran English teacher, Elaine holds a BS in English Education from the University of CT and an MS in Educational Leadership from Central CT State University. She presently teaches public speaking part time at a local community college. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and CT Romance Writers (CTRWA). Residing on the Connecticut shoreline with her golfing husband, Drew, she delights in being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Her favorite activities apart from writing are nature walks, kayaking, and playing Mah Jongg with friends.
“Now, dearie. Every tar what sets foot on a ship has a story. Last question but definitely not the least. What story do you have to tell, Lady Elaine?
I am very excited about my newest eBook historical, THE DIARY OF NARCISSA DUNN, just released on May 1st and available in other outlets soon!
THE DIARY OF NARCISSA DUNN is a ghostly love story that combines historical fiction with romantic and paranormal elements. Set in New England, pre-Civil War, the story deals with racial issues of the time and reveals the complex relationship between a father and daughter. When Olivia’s father tries to force his daughter into an unwanted marriage, mysterious events occur, leaving the family on edge. Meanwhile, Benjamin Pratt, desperately in love with Olivia, discovers an old diary that reveals shocking secrets. He becomes an unwilling messenger, torn between revealing a truth that will shatter her identity and destroy her family, or keep the secret and watch her marry another. Either way, he’s bound to lose her unless a mysterious woman intervenes.
Elaine Violette’s Ports:
****TREASURE ALERT**** A $10 Amazon Gift Card! Thank you for hosting me. I love to hear from readers and would be happy to choose one reader who comments on this post and “Likes” me on Facebook!