Meet the Books (Fair Winds)

7:28 PM

So I have a confession to make...

I have been quite a terrible blogger. Besides neglecting the comment box and delivering rather sub-par content, I have neglected to take part in my favorite blogging activity....


Literally, I've by-passed many a Language of World's post (despite the fact that I really should  participate - it is tailored for speculative authors like myself!). And I've quite forgotten to take part of my dear friend Belle Anne's link up, Meet the Books!. I have this terrible fear of being late and so I take the never rather than the late. A terrible strategy, I beg you not to take it.

But no more!

For for the next few days, I shall publish not one but three Meet the Books! posts - one for this segment that Belle just published and two more to make up for the two linkups that I missed this summer and fall. If you think me extreme, I say to you that my honor as a blogger is at stake so I must make this quest come to fruition or perish.

Now that my theatrics are out of the way, I shall reveal the topic of this particular Meet the Books! segment (I'll just ignore the fact that I put it in the title)....

What is the genre?

I guess you could consider it a loose historical fiction, but I really consider it more of a pirate fiction story. If that is even a genre. Maybe it's a sub-genre....

What is the title? Time period?

The title is Fair Winds. Each volume also has a separate name: "Sassy Devil" and "Fallen Angel".

The time period is set just after the Golden Age of Piracy, closer to 1740-45.

How is it written (Point of view, MC, etc.)?

It is mostly written in third person limited from my MC Ciara's POV. Though it does switch occasionally to third person omnipotent in the draft (yet another thing I have to fix....)

Who are the characters?

Ciara Arlen - My dark-haired, dark-eyed, and very melancholic MC. She is independent, impulsive and maybe a little sassy now and then. However, she's very very protective over her sister Grace. She loves to learn and observe and catches on to things easily. She is one to adapt, not to fight, if she can avoid it. She has lots of ghosts haunting her, especially from being teased and gossiped about as a child. She may or may not be smitten with Colin.

Colin Raeburn - A mysterious young man that is found in an abandoned ship on the seas. Is also known as Robert Colin. He is a handsome and muscular man with dark hair and bright blue eyes. He loves children and takes Grace into his confidence easily.

Grace Arlen - She is the 7 year old sister of Ciara. She inherited her father's blond hair and bright eyes. She is super sweet, kind-hearted and meek. Ciara views her as a jewel and secretly wishes she could act like her.

Leo & Jacinta Arlen - Ciara and Grace's parents. Leo is an English fisherman who makes his home near Dover. Jacinta is of Spanish blood. Leo is often away on fishing expeditions, leaving Ciara to take a lot of the work onto her shoulders. Both her parents wish that this didn't have to happen.

Arthur Livingston - Ciara and Grace's uncle by marriage (their aunt is their father's sister). He is a high commander in the British Navy and is stationed in the British colonies in America.

Mollie "Thieving Magpie" Saunders - Ciara's friend and confidante through most of the story. She has a common-law relationship with the Captain (they were married by a ship captain, only by Magpie's insistence). Magpie has dark red hair, green eyes, and is heavy-boned.  She wears breeches and waistcoats like a man, but chooses more feminine colors (like a washed out red or a light purplish vest). She loves to drink alcohol, sing, and fight with her mates.

Ernest "Tall Tide" Dacre - The captain of the pirate vessel. Of Spanish descent with dark hair and eyes, he rules the ship with a tight hand to the tiller. He keeps his men to a strict code, but does a lot of shady deals on the side. Has an air of refinement in public, but in private can be just as brash as any seaman. His special fondness is for his lady Magpie.

The Crew:

William "Sly Dog" Gunner - Red beard and hair. Good at sailing, but can’t fight. Has access to chloroform. Can also be referred to as Billy.
Dage Morris - Has a red, yellow and green outfits (stripes?) “A whirl of bright yellow, dark green and red stripes soon tackled the driver to the dock”
Thomas "Barnacle" Sampson - Red eyes, very brawny. First mate.
John "Lazyjacks" Hunt - Red scarf on head. Quartermaster.
Elias "Shiny Buckles" Ripper - Thin and blond. Has mirror, is very vain.
Degory "Black Shackles" Creegh - Barbary. Muscular, black hair, wicked green eyes.
Bartholomew "Devil’s Grin" Raw - Thin, red-haired. Is a klutz.
Myles "Silver Tooth" Butcher - The cook. Sweetly gruff.

What does the plot consist of?

This is going off the rough first draft so bear with me here....

Ciara loses both her parents in a storm (father drowns, mother disappears mysteriously). She is left to take care of her sister Grace. Her uncle Arthur writes to her, and asks her to come to Plymouth to meet him as he can't leave their sick aunt. He was supposed to send his lieutenant to escort them, however, the letter somehow got separated.

Ciara, in a stubborn independent fashion, decides to go Plymouth on her own. In trying to get to the inn, she meets up with a stranger who lures her and Grace onto his ship. Ciara is now forced to survive on this pirate ship or her sister will be harmed.

As they sail for the Caribbean, they see an abandoned ship on the water. There they find Colin, who appears to be a pirate on the way to trial in England. He tries to gain Ciara's trust (and maybe even love?) but Ciara isn't sure she's ready to follow another stranger....

What is the setting?

Coastal England and the Atlantic Ocean in the first volume. By the second volume, we are close to the Carolina coast and maybe an island hideout or two.

What gave you the idea?

I got the idea during my college creative writing class. I don't exactly remember what the trigger was for the story - probably something that my professor mentioned - but I do remember having the idea pop into my head during the beginning third of class. I spent the rest of class that day plotting the story.

Actually to be honest, Fallen Angel was plotted first....but then I got so so fascinated by my little captainess that I decided to explore her further. And that is how Sassy Devil came about.

Who are the favorite characters so far?

My favorite characters are Colin, Ciara and Grace. Their dynamics are one of my favorites to write....especially Colin and Ciara. For reasons.

What is the favorite scene so far?

Quite honestly, it's a scene that I wrote much later after I wrote the first draft. It is the only scene of Fallen Angel that is written.

I wrote it while I was vacationing down in the Carolinas and I had payed a visit to the beach. It was November and the ocean was warm, so I took a brief swim. I later captured that experience by putting it in Ciara's point of view.....and in a blog post called The Ocean, She Plays.

Every time I read that scene, I remember vividly my own sea bathing experience. And to be frankly honest, I think it's one of my best written scenes for this WIP.

Any themes of music for this work?

I sure do! Here are some from my playlist:

Thieving Magpie's Theme:

Main Theme:

Ciara's Theme (or one of them, at least):

Honorable mentions include "Destination Tortuga" and "Port Royal" by Antti Martikainen

Any drawings?

As you all know, I rarely draw. I usually do avatars in order to show what my characters look like.

So far, the only avatar that I have available is one for Thieving Magpie:

Any snippets?

Happy to oblige you :)

Suddenly, there was a loud cacophony of pings, curses and girlish screams. Ciara and Magpie rushed towards the quarter-deck and nearly were slashed to pieces by Devil's Grin Raw and Shiny Buckles as they arrived. Grace was huddled in a corner, crying.
"I tell you, Raw, let me get the water for the pretty one!"
"No way, ya seatimber! I saw her first!"
By this time, Magpie had drawn her corsair, and now had started yelling at her mates.
"Ya lazy lubbers! Stop fighting this instant! Stop it, I say!" Magpie started matching blow for blow, trying to disarm her mates.
"Shut up, Thieving Magpie! And stay out of t'is!" Raw shoved Magpie to the deck very roughly.
"Yeah, t'is is our fight!" Shiny Buckles's black hair bristled as he lunged hard at her.
Ciara, her temper starting to flare, had just stepped up to Raw when she and the rest cowered following a gunshot from above their heads.
Ciara looked toward the mast, to what Magpie called the crow's nest, and spotted the captain glaring down on them. He slowly lowered himself down to the deck.
"Magpie! I warned you about this! You keep those girls outta the way of my crew or they'll end up like the last bunch of females I let on this ship!"

And here is one more:

Ciara fastened an eye patch given to her by Magpie, and headed down into one of the holds. When she reached the bottom she noticed that it felt strangely....empty.
Suddenly, a chain rattled.
Ciara scurried back toward the ladder, but was stopped by a beam of light that was entering through a porthole. She suddenly saw a form...a human form. And it moved!
Ciara tried to scream, but no sound came out of her mouth.
"Well, well, and well. I know the devil can assume an angel of light, but this is ridiculous.” A hearty baritone greeted her.
Ciara shook her head in disbelief. There was a man with the darkest hair and bluest eyes she had ever seen, sitting down in the hold, chained. Did he really just speak to her?
“Of course, there is one way to tell if you are an angel or a devil. There is a key near where you are standing. Fetch it over here, and unchain me.”

Strong point in story?

After reviewing the story again, I believe that the only real strong points of the story are some of the descriptions and emotions. And maybe the characterizations of some of the characters. It's tough to see since it's in such a rough state.

Weak point in story?

My pirates aren't bad enough. I really want to destroy the romanticism behind these characters, if I can....

The plot is a very loose affair and needs to have a lot more added to it to make it a good story. As my professor said, the seams are also very visible.

Also, the first draft was written before I really knew about writing realistically, so there is that to fix.

What are your plans for it?

I do want to publish this story one day - if only to hand the first copy to my old Creative Writing professor. She loved the story very much and wished to see it published even in it's really rotten first draft form. Even after I left the class, she would still occasionally inquire if I ever got any further with "my little pirate wench".

Any particular writing habits for it?

If I recall, this may be the WIP in which I drink the most alcohol to. Don't quote me on that, since I rarely drink alcohol when I'm slows down the muse.

I do like to write this WIP at a certain beach resort in the Carolinas. Something about the Atlantic beach gives me strong vibes for the story. I've been known to write on the beach too. Believe me, if I had access to that beach more often, I'd probably have a good portion of the story re-written by now...

If it were made into a movie, what would be your ideal cast?

Ciara Arlen - Anna Poppelwell immediately comes to mind. Ciara is a lot like Susan Pevensie, except she has this impulsive, independent streak that Susan doesn't.

Colin Raeburn - Admittedly, Orlando Bloom's Will Turner was the physical inspiration for Colin Raeburn. I couldn't tell you if he would be a good fit or not for the character as I've not seen him act as of yet (don't judge me!!!). 

However, now that I think about it, Ben Barnes actually could be a good fit for Colin. I'm remembering back to when he played Sam Adams in a historical drama I watched a few years ago (but don't recommend due to the fact that there are impure scenes in there *whoops*) and I was impressed with his acting there.

Grace Arlen - A young Debbie Turner (the actress who played Marta in Sound of Music) may be a good fit for this role....if anyone can think of a kind-hearted child actor, let me know...

Mollie "Thieving Magpie" Saunders - Oddly enough, I'm thinking along the lines of Scarlet Johanssen. Magpie is an edgy woman but she can't seem to get away from that feminine core.....and Scarlet kinda nails that well.

Ernest "Tall Tide" Dacre - Maybe an older Chris Pine? *wrinkles brows*

Leo Arlen - *head desk* Where the heck is a stubborn blond mustached British dude?

Jacinta Arlen - Carroll Baker from The Miracle (1959). Not only is it the right look, but the character of Theresa may also have similarities to Jacinta. Unfortunately, Jacinta isn't that well developed yet.....

As for the crew, they have too minor of a role to really peg. Except that Black Shackles absolutely needs to have Mediterranean heritage. Everyone else can be a random English actor that can be picked up for peanuts, in my book.

And so concludes this installment of Meet the Books!

Now I am curious, dear friends....what stood out to you the most? What was your favorite? What could be improved? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

Scribblingly yours,


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  1. I love how the crew all have their own nicknames!!

    Pirate stories are always fun, too.

  2. Ooh ooh what fun! "Fair Winds" always has intrigued me. It's so sweet your professor was invested in the story! The characters sound like smashing good fun, especially Magpie. And North Carolina beaches are the best...

  3. :( THE BEACH!!! <3 <3 <3 Colin! Gosh I love him


  4. Yessss I love pirate stories!! And I especially love the dialogue in the second snippet, it's amazing. :D Can't wait to hear more about this one!

  5. This sounds so interesting, and I love pirate stories. :) Thieving Magpie sounds so cool (I love that she has red hair).

  6. Ach, every time I try to comment, the computer deletes it!!! Che sventura!!!
    Ahem. Anyways. Fair Winds is a splendid name for a pirate story, by the bye, and the setting is gorgeous... Plus, piracy seriously needs some detox on the Romanticism, haha, so good job on that...
    Thanks for joining!


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